Borneo in general is a safe destination with relatively low crime rates. Tourists should exercise the usual precautions – not walking alone at night, not leaving valuables such as cameras and smart phones on display, using registered taxis, etc.
In recent years there have been a few kidnappings of tourists and locals around the east coast of Sabah.
Thanks to its proximity to the Philippines, this area is at a higher risk of this kind of activity. Travel to this area is largely trouble-free, but stay up to date with government travel advice on the FCO website
to be sure.
If you are travelling independently in this region – and particularly from the airport at Lahad Datu to your accommodation, you should be sure you are using transport organised by reputable companies.
Traffic accidents are not uncommon. Choose your driver wisely, and always wear a helmet if travelling by motorbike or moped.
Malaysia and Indonesia are largely conservative, Muslim countries, and you should dress modestly, particularly in rural areas, to avoid causing offence. This is even more important in Indonesia.
Homosexuality is not widely accepted (homosexual acts are illegal in Malaysia and taboo in Indonesia), so same-sex couples are advised to act discretely in public.