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A number of successful and attempted kidnappings occurred in coastal areas of eastern Sabah in recent years.
In November 2016, militants based in the southern Philippines attacked a yacht in waters between eastern Sabah and the Sulu archipelago.
Contact the Malaysian High Commission before you travel to check the rules regarding any medicines you take. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia.
If you arrive in Malaysia with less than six months validity remaining on your passport, you could be denied entry and deported – even if you intended staying for just a few days.
Contact an Embassy, High Commission or Consulate of Malaysia for the most up-to-date information on visa requirements and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations).
If you violate your visa conditions or overstay your visa, you could face penalties including fines, detention and/or deportation.
While rare, protest activity could lead to violence and could cause disruption to public services, including public transport, and traffic congestion.
In May 2015, gunmen entered a local seaside restaurant in Sandakan and abducted the manager and one customer (who was subsequently beheaded).
Malaysian authorities increased security in the region in response to these and similar incidents and the Sabah Government imposed restrictions on the use of waterways.
One German national was killed and another kidnapped.
A number of commercial seamen were also kidnapped from cargo vessels in the area in 2016.