Malaysian Warns Of Sabah Resort After It Allegedly Didn't Return Over 100 Divers' Deposits

He hopes others won't fall into the same pit.

Cover image via Francisco Jesús Navarro Hernández/Unsplash & Outlook Travel

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A resort in Sabah has allegedly failed to return deposits to over 100 individuals who booked scuba diving packages with them

One of the divers, Faisal Abdul Rahim, reached out to SAYS claiming that as early as 2020, over 100 individuals, both Malaysians and non-Malaysians, had booked diving packages with a resort on Pulau Layang-Layang.

The bookings required a 50% deposit.

"However, due to circumstances such as the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), the resort was unable to operate in 2022 and 2023.

"On 22 November 2023, the resort issued a letter stating that their operating license had not been granted, rendering them unable to operate, and declared that all deposits would not be refunded," he told SAYS.

Pulau Layang-Layang.

Image via DAsia Travels

"In response to this situation, some affected parties sought legal counsel, while others pursued resolution through the Tribunal For Consumer Claims (TTPM)," he shared

"Despite efforts to serve the resort with claim documents, including visits to their office, company secretary's office, and director's home address, the resort's representatives avoided accepting the documents. Consequently, some individuals resorted to sending documents via registered mail," he said.

During the TTPM hearing, the resort representatives were present. However, according to Rahim, they had not brought proper documentation.

TTPM president Haliza Aini Othman then instructed the resort to provide all necessary documents and granted them one month to respond, Rahim said.

Image for illustration purposes.

Image via Aviv Perets/Unsplash

However, on 19 March 2024, the resort representatives failed to appear at the hearing, "despite multiple notices and calls from TTPM"

"As a result, TTPM awarded us notice bayaran for all deposited amounts," Rahim revealed.

The affected divers' primary concern is the inability to contact any representatives from the resort.

"Despite our efforts, including waiting for them at the TTPM Kuala Lumpur office and sending emails and making calls, we have received no response. Our resources are exhausted, and legal assistance is not readily available for this TTPM case.

"It is crucial to bring to light the plight of over 100 affected Malaysian and non-Malaysian individuals due to the resort's unlawful and unethical actions. Our objective is to inform both Malaysian and non-Malaysian scuba divers that the resort is no longer operating, despite their website still accepting bookings.

"We urge all affected individuals to file claims with TTPM to ensure lawful protection for consumers against irresponsible companies that tarnish Malaysia's reputation," he added.

After examining the documents Rahim provided, SAYS has reached out to the resort for comment but has yet to receive a response

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