Still a sad news for Mount Kinabalu

This article was adapted from the local newspaper The Borneo Post, Thursday, June 22, 2006.

At last, the Chief Minister of Sabah has come out with a very late but good decision: ‘Mount Kinabalu project off’, it was on the first page headline of local newspaper, The Borneo Post. The area for RM9 million restaurant-resthouse project in World Heritage Site is totally scrapped. The Chief Minister said such development in the gazetted as a World Heritage Site, or any ecologically sensitive locations is strongly dissallowed.He said that it is an important area and the state government would dissallow any type of development which could destroy the environment there.

“The project involves rock blasting for piling purposes and we cannot allow this to happen within the World Heritage location. The project has been scrapped following discussion with the other ministries and we will give Federal Development Department Sabah (JPPS) ample time to clean up the debris, and hopefully the place will return to its original form,” he said. Asked about the situation in the area, he said that according to the JPPS report, it is “not serious”.

“We were told that the existing resthouse such as Laban Rata could not support the number of climbers wishing to scale Mount Kinabalu but we cannot allow anymore development there. If there is a need, then Sabah Park should find another location”, he said.”When we heard that there was rock blasting involved, we had to stop the project,” he said, referring to the resthouse-cum-restaurant project at Layang-Layang, a project funded by the Federal Tourism Ministry and supervised by JPPS to provide climbers with a place to rest and eat before continuing their journey. It was scheduled to be completed in May last year.

However, the previous contractor was unable to complete the project within the stipulated period and the contract was terminated. JPPS said they have opened a new tender for it.

My two cents: Malaysian style of thinking: Do first, think later… And look what happened? The damage has been done.

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