The story behind SSL & Sabah State Government on Mount Kinabalu management

I received an official call from Mr. Guna, the investigating officer for our complaints against Sutera Sanctuary Lodges on the ridiculous pricing of climbing Mount Kinabalu starting from 2008. For the other 15 complaints that had been submitted (thanks for those who submitted the complaints), you will get a similar call from him soon.

Basically, this was his explanation:

1. Prior to 2003, the accommodation in Laban Rata was managed by Sabah Parks, i.e under direct supervision of Sabah State Government.

2. Starting from 2003, Sabah State Government privatized the management of the accommodation for climbers at Laban Rata, in which, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges have to pay the Sabah State Government RM1.5 million a year. The contract is that Sutera will have to run the place for 30 years.

3. In return, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges will have to manage, maintain, upgrade and do anything that is necessary to make sure the accommodation on the mountain is managed properly.

4. Sutera claimed that for 5 years (from 2003-2007), they never increased the rate. So, in 2008, without any good justification, they decided to increase the price to more than 300% as they wish. They claimed that the cost of running the place is increasing.

5. That is why they published ridiculous pricing structure starting from January 2008, without prior notice to the climbers.

So, are you happy with his explanation?

Further discussion with Mr. Guna revealed that KPDNHEP cannot do much to help us on this increase in the cost of accommodation at Laban Rata by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges.

What we can do now is complaint to the Sabah State Government, as they are the one who knows better about the situation…

Any feedback? Just drop in the comment box…

12 thoughts on “The story behind SSL & Sabah State Government on Mount Kinabalu management

  1. I had received his(Mr.Guna) call n same explanation too. Sadly to hear those answers that really unsatisfied me, same to others i think! They said they cannot do anything about it. So let us go to the Sabah State Government if this is the right place that we can complaint to.

  2. i got his call smhow last week as well. Standard explaination frm him. And the dissapoitment is nothing they can do(at federal level) to for the change.
    Let turn our effort to Sabah State Gov. !!

  3. Mr. Guna emailed me as well..and he asked to take this matter to Sabah Parks coz KDNHEP is not in charge..he also gave me the phone number and email address of Sabah Parks but would that do any good???

  4. Guys, Mr. Guna from KDNHEP called me this afternoon and he has mentioned that no private and confidential information should be written here coz he might get into trouble..like this one
    ” Starting from 2003, Sabah State Government privatized the management of the accommodation for climbers at Laban Rata, in which, Sutera Sanctuary Lodges have to pay the Sabah State Government RM1.5 million a year. The contract is that Sutera will have to run the place for 30 years “..
    He basically mentioned the same thing too that this is not in his power but he also mentioned that he is doing all he can to put pressure on Sabah Parks/ Sabah Tourism Board and SSL as he said the issue is getting hot as even the locals are not happy the SSL is monopolizing this..is has been published in the local newspapers as well. Let’s keep this going and let’s hope things will look up soon!

  5. 30 yrs (2033) and they can do anything within this years!..

    I just read so much things of this issue and as a local to Kinabalu Park, I must say this is totally an outrageous act by SSL to monopolize Kinabalu. Although my kampung is just a few minutes to Kinabalu Park but this make me even far away. I haven’t climb kinabalu for years and thinking of getting to the top again but this issue back me off.

    Thanks for this writeup.

  6. For me, I am not happy with the explanation given.

    I have climbed Mt Kinabalu on Nov 2008 and intend to climb again in 2010. But after reading so much things of this issue I must say this is totally an outrageous act by SSL to monopolize Kinabalu. Imagine increasing 300% and not informing the public on the fee structure is blatant disrespect to all climbers. So my thoughts of climbing in 2010will take a backseat as this issue really backs me off.

    Thanks for highlighting, Doc..

  7. Dear all,

    Just want to show the common reaction to the unreasonable price increase from a potential visitor to KK and Mount Kinabalu.
    My choice is simple. I vote by my feet. Since there are so many choices around these days and promotions are everywhere, I will visit other places until Sabah State Govt do something to iron it out.
    I believe many potential visitors will do the same.

  8. Well, I ‘force’ to pay RM780 per person just for the 2 days 1 night climbing Mt KK. All including pick up and drop off service, 1 night accommodation in Gunting (No heater and using sharing common bathroom), 4 meals, guide and certificate. Some tour agent try to cheat me to pay for RM850 – foreigner price. Guess the Malaysian living standard is approaching the US or Europe standard.

  9. Sad Sad story. I go to KK almost every month and the rpices had been going up and up and up. I love the Mountains and being a non resident of Sabah, I could have set the record being visited the place more times than anyone else.

    I am a General Manager in the hospitality industry. I am very surprised that rates could be raised without procedures – I believe the stake holders, the Sabah Govt. should have been advised, notified and probably permission granted before rates are arsied.

    This high way robery by the SSL will tarnish the image of Sabah as a destination for many – as they are also involved with the facilities at Mesilau and the Island off KK.

    Sad Sad.

    I have boycotted the SSL by not staying with them as much as I can and stay elsewhere if I am given the option. Maybe it is time all did the same.

  10. Have planned to in June 2009 but after reading all about it I will cancell my plans to scale Mt KK cos the whole pricing is a ripp off !
    Soon M’sia will be an expensive tourist destination!
    Hope the government steps in so many more could enjoy nature !

  11. this is also happened to Sipadan Island. The day trip only cost you RM500/- non diver. previously only RM180/- . so ridiculous.

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