KOTA KINABALU, Jan 11 ― The Sabah government is reviewing the mega project proposed by the previous administration to develop the popular Tanjung Aru beachside before it decides whether to continue or scrap it.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew told reporters today that they have yet to decide how to proceed but denied that they were breaking any promise.
“The CM has indicated that the government is still studying the project so he has not made decision yet so we just have to wait.
“I don’t consider it a U-turn, because it was the plan at the time. The present government is going to study it, whether it will be implemented with amendments or not, we don’t know yet,” she said, reacting to a news portal that reported that the state government could make a “U-turn” on the project.
Liew, who is also Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, said the study will determine what is best for the government, and the community in the affected area.
She added that while the government is weighing their options, the beach, popular for picnics and sunsets, will be opened and available for tourists to enjoy.
“It will remain a beautiful site for tourists to visit. Our recent Tanjung Aru festival there was a big success and we will make it an annual event as long as it’s empty,” she said.
The Tanjung Aru Eco Development was a mega project mooted by the previous Barisan Nasional administration to makeover the popular beach front location.
The project, valued at RM7.1 billion, covered some 340 hectares and included reclamation of the shoreline, resettling of properties, several resorts and a public park.
Residents and environmentalists had raised objections as they were worried about restricted access to the beach and facilities and its impact on the natural flora and fauna.
Parti Warisan Sabah leaders had also promised to scrap the project if elected into government.
But last year, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal was under review and hinted that it might be downsized but not scrapped altogether.
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