Islands & Beaches Of Malaysia Series II
(28 June 2003)
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On 17 December 2002, The International Court of
Justice (ICJ) concluded that sovereignty over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau
Sipadan belongs to Malaysia. Both islands are highly attractive
destinations waiting to be discovered.
Ligitan island is surrounded by very large reefs which
forms the Ligitan group islands on the edge of the continental shelf.
While Sipadan has achieved worldwide fame, Ligitan island is the great
'secret' of the international diving community. It is the thrill of
diving in unexplored waters that brings the world's best divers here
to sample Nature in her most pristine form.
The underwater scene here is completely different from
Sipadan's. It is a macroworld of great interest featuring rare fauna
including dragonets, fire gobies, wasp or leaf fish, gurnards, the odd
'little dragonfish' or seamoth, the tame crocodile fish, giant
frogfish, blue-ringed octopus, ribbon eels, mantis shrimp and crab-eye
gobies, to name just a few. Indeed, the Ligitan group is regarded as
one of the world's top destinations for underwater nature photography.
There is certainly no shortage of subject matter!
The many other unexplored reefs here offer great
potential, and with the growth of a tourism infrastructure, this
island will soon offer their delights to more and more travelers from
around the world.
'I have seen other places like Sipadan-45 years
ago-but no more. Now, we have found again an untouched piece of art.'
That is how Jacques Costeau, the legendary French undersea explorer,
described his first visit to Sipadan.
Little wonder the island is considered one of the tip
five diving destinations in the world. It offers swirling tornados of
barracudas, jacks and hammerhead sharks, schools of brilliantly-hued
reef fish and dozens of sea turtles swimming placidly in the
crystal-clear waters. More than 3000 species of fish and hundreds of
coral species have been classified in this richest of ecosystems.
Sipadan lies five degrees north of the equator in the
Sulawesi Sea (Celebes Sea). Like many tropical islands it is heavily
forested and surrounded by sandy beaches. Sipadan was formed by living
corals growing on top of an extinct undersea volcano, which rises 600
meters from the seabed.
A unique feature of Sipadan is the so-called 'turtle
tomb', an underwater limestone cave with a labyrinth of tunnels and
chambers that contain the skeletons of turtles than became disoriented
and then drowned. Divers can and do explore this cavern, but caution
April through October is the best time to visit. The
rainy season is November to March. The water temperature ranges from
79 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (26oC to 30oC) year
|Date of Issue
||28 June 2003
||30 sen (2 designs), 50 sen (2 designs)
||40mm X 30mm
||RM0.50 X 2
||70mm X 100mm
|Stamp Size in
||30mm X 40mm
||Lithography & Emboss