The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to all islands off the coast of eastern Sabah from Kudat to Tawau, including (but not limited to) Lankayan, Mabul, Pom Pom, Kapalai, Litigan, Sipadan and Mataking.
On 2 April 2014 armed men abducted 2 women, a Chinese tourist, and a Philippine hotel worker, from Singamata Reef Resort. Singamata Island is situated off the coastal town of Semporna in eastern Sabah.
On 15 November 2013, 2 Taiwanese tourists were attacked in their room at the Sipadan Pom Pom Resort, off the coast of eastern Sabah. A male tourist was killed and his wife kidnapped.
These incidents highlight the ongoing threat to foreigners of kidnapping and criminality on the eastern coast of Sabah and in particular on the islands close to the Sulu Archipeligo in the southern Philippines.
You should take great care in the town of Sandakan and along the coastal area south to Tawau. You should also take great care in areas east of Lahad Datu and around Semporna following the confrontation in March 2013 between insurgents and Malaysian security forces. Keep up to date with developments, and follow the advice of your tour operator and the local authorities. See Terrorism and Local travel - Sabah
Malaysia is a multicultural, but mostly Muslim country. See Local laws and customs
Around 435,500 British nationals visit Malaysia each year. Most visits are trouble free.
The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.
Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.