Malaysia: Sabah Parks Enactment 1984

  • General Information

The State of Sabah is well-known by the diversity of the natural heritage with many unique features with high esthetical values including the flora and fauna. In 1962, the State of Sabah established the “Sabah National Parks Ordinance” which aims in providing the constitution, maintenance and control of national parks in Sabah. Under this ordinance, Kinabalu National Park (1964) and Tunku Abdul Rahman Park (1974) were established. In 1977, the “National Parks Enactment 1977” replaced this ordinance. The new Enactment resulted in establishing the Turtle Islands Park (1977), Pulau Tiga Park (1978), and Tawau Hills Park (1979) [1]. On 15 March 1984, the Enactment was repealed and replaced by the “Parks Enactment 1984” which re-enacted the law relating to the provision and control of National Parks and National Reserves in Sabah, with improved provisions for the constitution, administration, procedure, functions and finance of Parks [1][2]. Now, Sabah Parks have gazetted all 8 Parks including Crocker Range Park (1984), Tun Sakaran Marine Park (2004) and Sipadan Island Park (2009) which covers a total area of 317,654 hectares [1].

The Sabah Parks Enactment 1984 establised Sabah Parks as a legislative body under the Ministry of Tourism Development, Environment, Science and Technology, and is administered by the Sabah Parks Board of Trustees [3]. According to the enactment, the Board is granted with the power to purchase or acquire, hold and exchange or alienate any property movable and immovable, and to enter into contracts and generally to do such acts and things as a body corporate may do by law, in order to necessarily carry out its duties as set out in this Enactment [2]. In brief, the function and powers of the Board are:

  1. To initiate, co-ordinate and control the activities in all Parks in Sabah.

  2. To recommend to the government the methods, measures and policies to be adopted to facilitate Parks development, and where approved by the government, to carry out/assist in the implementation of such recommendations.

  3. To provide and maintain adequate and efficient services and facilities at all Parks constituted under the Provisions of the Enactment.

  4. To promote the use, improvement and development of the Parks.

  5. To take such steps as are necessary to ensure the security and preservation of the Parks in their natural state.

  6. To reserve or set aside any portion of the Park as breeding places for animals and as nurseries for vegetation.

  7. To provide such accommodation, amenities, facilities and services as are likely to attract visitors to the Parks and are not prejudicial to the proper care, control and management of the area.

  8. To levy fees or to collect dues from persons utilizing the accommodations, amenities, facilities or services provided under this enactment [2][3].

This Enactment has also stated the offences except with the written permission of the Board, or the Director, or any authorised park Officer:

  1. hunting, or is found in circumstances showing that it is his intention to hunt, any animal or bird or disturbs or removes the nest or eggs of any animal or bird in a Park or Nature Reserve; or
  2. collecting any vegetation or any mineral or is found in circumstances showing that it is his intention to collect vegetation or minerals in a Park or Nature Reserve; or
  3. without reasonable excuse, fails to produce anything which he may be required to produce under the powers conferred by section 51; or
  4. resists, threatens or obstructs the Director, any Trustee or Park Officer in the performance of their duties [2].

With the establishment of Sabah Parks, the biological, geographical, geologically and historical of wild resources are protected and well-preserved, and this rises a great impact to ecological, educational and eco-tourism of Sabah [1]. Hence, the development of zoning area is seen as the simplest and most effective way in achieving the objectives for the parks. The zoning areas cover four main zones which include:

  1. The Pelagic Use/Buffer Zone which surrounds all the islands;
  2. The General Use Zone which mainly covers the more populated western part. Both these zones allow for a variety of sustainable use activities.
  3. The Sanctuary Zone is a no-take, limited use zone which includes the lagoon and outer reefs together with the forested areas; and
  4. The Preservation Zone, which is no-take and no-entry Park, except for limited monitoring and research [3].

A permit is required for entry into those Parks, and for all activities and developments. Permits are allocated for different uses (e.g. permit for entry; permit for fishing; permit for installation of tourism facility etc). The permit system enables Sabah Parks to regulate activities and impose standards. It also provides a way of keeping detailed records of resource use and other activities in the park [3]. Such records are vital for monitoring and better management of the wild and natural resources, and may provide valuable scientific researches of the local flora and fauna and their natural habitats, for the benefit of present and future generations.

  • Contact Details 

The Sabah Parks Board of Trustees
Lot 45 &46, Level 1-5
Block H Signature Office
KK Times Square Coastal Highway
88100 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia
Tel: +6088-523500
Fax: +6088-486435


  1. Official Website Sabah Parks - The Sabah Park of Trustees. Last accessed on 18 March 2013 at 

  2. State of Sabah - Parks Enactment 1984 (Sabah No.6 of 1984) (Amendment on July 2010). Last accessed on 18 March 2013 at 

  3. Management Plan for the Semporna Islands Park: Chapter 10 – Legal Aspects and Regulations. Last accessed on 18 March 2013 at