Snapshot of Sabah scenery tops global photography contest

PETALING JAYA - A breathtaking picture of a sea gypsy home in Sabah will be making its way around the world after it claimed the number one spot in a global photography contest organised by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The photograph, captured by Malaysian Muslianshah Masrie, will now appear on KLM's Flying Blue luggage tags worldwide along with the pictures that won second and third place.

Muslianshah beat 160,930 entries from all over the world with his captivating image of the sea gypsy home taken in the remote Maiga Island, an hour off the coast of Semporna.

"Photography means so much to me. Whenever I travel, my camera is with me so that I can capture beautiful scenes along the route, nature or just people passing by.

"Photography is my hobby and it allows me to explore the world, people and their culture," said Muslianshah, a 43-year old from Tawau, in a press release yesterday.

The father of four has had his Flying Blue membership upgraded to the highest level - Platinum - for a year and received 200,000 miles, which is more than enough for a round-the-world trip.

"I'm going to use the miles to see the Northern Lights in Iceland as well as travel with my lovely family," said Muslianshah.

Air France-KLM sales information and revenue manager Andrew Lee said the company was thrilled that a Malaysian scene had come out tops and would showcase the country's beauty to people all over the world.

"Air France and KLM are members of the SkyTeam alliance, which has 20 member airlines, offering customers access to 1,052 destinations in 177 countries."

"The Flying Blue luggage tags will be promoting Malaysia as a beautiful and exotic destination in many airports around the globe," said Lee.

The contest was organised by KLM for members of its Flying Blue loyalty programme, which lets passengers earn miles that can be used for flights, hotel stays, car rentals and exclusive benefits.