Dive news from around Asia
BORNEO DIVERS co-founder Clement Lee has taken up another role as a “Tourism Ambassador for Diving” for Malaysia. In theory, he is retired – but still working hard to promote his homeland’s best sites. Lee pioneered trips to Sipadan as far back as 1983, an oceanic island that most divers would rate the top dive destination in the nation. He and partners Randy Davis, Ron Holland and Samson Shak set up Borneo Divers to take trips to the island, subsequently brought to an international audience and widespread fame by Jacques Cousteau’s movie Borneo: Ghost of the Sea Turtle. Borneo Divers was the first recreational diving operation in Sabah, half of Malaysian Borneo. Lee became a PADI instructor in 1984, and set up the first dive school in Tanjung Aru. He was one of the first two Malaysians to become a PADI course director when he took up that role in 1991. Another first in a career full of them includes training up the first female dive instructor in Malaysia. On accepting the diving ambassadorship, Lee said he felt “extremely proud” to represent Malaysia and promote its “underwater treasures” – all while pursuing what is in any case a life-time passion. Lee is already a member of the International Diving Hall of Fame. He’s also one of only 14 tourism advisers to Malaysia as of 2015, as part of an initiative to boost arrivals by the Ministr y of Tourism and Culture.