This Advice was last issued on Wednesday, 13 May 2015.
We now advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions in eastern Sabah. We continue to advise Australians to reconsider their need to travel to the coastal region of eastern Sabah, including islands, dive sites and associated tourist facilities, due to the high threat of kidnapping. Australians should exercise normal security precautions in Malaysia overall. Malaysian authorities have recently arrested a number of suspected terrorists.
- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Malaysia overall. Exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia.
- Australians should avoid all travel to the coastal resorts of eastern Sabah, including the islands, dive sites and associated tourist facilities owing to the continuing high threat of kidnapping, and as such you should reconsider your need to travel to the area. The risk of kidnapping increases on the water and waterfront after nightfall. Information indicates there is a continuing threat of attacks by armed insurgents in or around the coastal regions of eastern Sabah.
- The kidnapping threat is highest in the area between the towns of Sandakan and Tawau due to its proximity to the Sulu archipelago in the southern Philippines. There are recent indications that extremists may be in the advanced stages of planning to kidnap foreigners from locations in this vicinity.
- Smoke haze across some parts of Malaysia including Kuala Lumpur is usual from June to October but can occur at any time of the year. When haze levels are high the Malaysian authorities recommend limiting outdoor activity. There has been a significant increase in cases of dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis in 2014. See Health section.
- If you are intending to travel overland from Malaysia to Thailand, you should also read the travel advice for Thailand which recommends that Australians do not travel to or through the far southern Thai provinces of Yala, Pattani, Narathiwat and Songkhla.
- Australians visiting Malaysia on business should see our Advice to Australian business travellers.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
- organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
- register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
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