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Sabah to proceed with TAED and dam

26th June, 2019

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will proceed with the controversial multi-billion ringgit Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (TAED) project.

And to support the massive project, Sabah will need to build the dual-capability Papar Dam, said Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony.

Both projects have received objections from environmentalists and villagers among others.

Peter stood firm in the government’s decision to implement both projects despite the disagreements.

“This is the only way for us to address Sabah’s future water needs,” he said, adding that the dam would support the TAED project.

“When it is operational, and coupled with the rise in population of nearby areas such as Beaufort, Putatan, Papar and Kota Kinabalu, adequate water supply is definitely needed,” he said during an excellent service awards and farewell to retirees from the event Sabah Water Department at a hotel here Tuesday.

According to him, the department needed to plan for sufficient water capacity as the water plant in Papar cannot accommodate the demand, the FMT reported.

“When the tide comes in, it is (mostly) salt water and this is a concern for residents there. That is why they are agreeable to the Papar Dam being implemented immediately,” he said.

Before the May 9 general election last year, Parti Warisan had campaigned against the TAED project as well as the Kaiduan Dam in Penampang, pledging it would scrap the projects if it came to power.

However, after assuming power, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said the TAED project might not be scrapped as it was too important for the state, adding that the state government would review the development plans.

Since then, there has been no announcement of its final decision, which Shafie said would only be made after taking the people’s views and the interests of the government and investors into account.

The government subsequently announced the cancellation of the Kaiduan Dam but said construction of the Papar Dam, which drew criticism from grassroots organisations as well as the opposition, would go on.

Peter said the Papar Dam would have a dual function as it would also be able to generate electricity.

“It must be able to produce 100kVA of power, which will be enough for the needs stretching from Papar to Kota Kinabalu,” he said, adding the road linkages in these areas would also receive upgrades.

“When we finally settle the loans to construct the dam, maybe in six or seven years, the state government will be able to collect at least RM500 million annually and this is good for development in Sabah.”

He said the Babagon Dam in Penampang was unable to accommodate future water needs, adding it was not possible to upgrade the dam’s existing design.

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