KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman hopes to see more studies conducted on traditional wellness systems in Sabah and also documented for the public through books.
Sabah is blessed with plant diversity as well as the traditional knowledge of its over 30 indigenous groups which can be promoted and popularised, he said, adding there is value in promoting local knowledge on wellness, not just for economic reasons but also for further protection of the State's natural resources.
"There is no reason for us not to popularise what we have locally.
We can also safeguard and even strengthen local culture and heritage through the practice of wellness from the traditional perspective," said Musa.
In some parts of the world, high value is placed on traditional ways that lead to wellness and such knowledge has expanded beyond the region of its origin, he said at the opening of a two-day Wellness Journey Conference and Exhibition at the Sabah Trade Centre in Likas, here, Saturday.
Advances in the wellness industry, both modern and traditional, are in line with Sabah's focus on promoting health-based tourism, as envisaged through several initiatives including the Economic Transformation Plan (ETP).
In wanting to see higher participation of local entrepreneurs in health-based tourism, Musa encouraged them to form joint ventures with those in the know in order to create opportunities that not only benefit the State but also help create quality jobs for Sabahans.
He hoped those keen to venture into this will make full use of the event to learn from the exhibitors.
He was also pleased to note the presence of a number of non-governmental organisations like Befrienders KK, Pink Ribbon, Sabah Cancer Society and Palliative Care Association at the exhibition, as well as invited experts from Canada, Australia, Austria, Singapore as well as local experts as speakers at the conference.
The event, jointly organised by Maxx Media Sdn Bhd and Sabah Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals Association (Swepa), features vendors and exhibitors who specialise in beauty and health industries (spa, health, beauty and academy).
A new highlight for this year's Wellness Journey, the second after last year, is a Wellness Garden, a central gathering area that will allow visitors to rest and recuperate.
Designed to look like a lush, verdant garden, it serves as a small stage area with attractions such as a regular lucky draw as well as buy-and-win contest, which rewards visitors who make purchases at the exhibition.
A variety of super deals will also be on offer, providing heavily discounted products and services, in addition to activities such as a blood donation drive by the Likas Women and Children Hospital.
This year's Wellness Journey also sees the return of the Wellness Conference, a two-day forum centred on presenting information and talks delivered by a number of prominent players in the health and wellness industries.
The talks are presented by six international speakers, namely Singaporean wellness coach and consultant, Julina Halim, Australian traditional and complementary medicine specialist, Professor Gerard Bodeker, Canadian founder of bioessentials, Joanne Bruce, Malaysian herbal medicine expert, Dr Sivakumar Kumaresan, Austrian health and wellness consultant, Karina Lipold, and Singaporean wellness magnate Michael Loh.
The event is open from 11am-8pm. (DE)