THE STAR – A viral video of a man touching and riding a whale shark in waters off an island in Semporna, Malaysia, has outraged the local diving community there.
What’s worse is that he may have been a tourist guide who should have known better, they said.
The incident was recorded on a 17-second clip and is believed to have taken place at Pulau Sibuan on Friday.
Semporna Professional Divers Association (SPDA) president Suzimin Idris said the incident wouldn’t have happened if the guide knew how to respect wildlife and was aware of local regulations.
He pointed out that Pulau Sibuan waters was under the jurisdiction of Sabah Parks.
“SPDA has issued reminders for each dive centre to only hire qualified tourist guides,” he said in a statement yesterday.
He said the dive centres could take this approach or train their workers and divers to respect wildlife.
“Once again, the SPDA urges tourism players in Semporna to give the proper training and awareness to their staff,” Suzimin added.