18th July, 2012
KOTA KINABALU: The state government’s decision to halt further reclamation of Kota Kinabalu’s waterfront is a positive step which should eventually be extended to include the seafront the Tanjung Aru beach to Kinarut, Papar stretch.
Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP) executive director Cynthia Ong said it was significant that the decision had come from the State Legislative Assembly, making it difficult for any party to stake claims on the seafront from Likas Bay to Tanjung Aru.
“The decision has clout, in the sense that it was made at the Sabah Legislative Assembly sitting. It is indeed long overdue, and LEAP supports the state government’s commitment to protect Kota Kinabalu’s waterfront.
“We wish to see protection of more seafront areas, in particular from Tanjung Aru beach towards Kinarut. There are mangroves in the Lok Kawi area that should be saved from any possible future development,” she said in a statement, here yesterday.
On Monday, the State Assembly approved a bill prohibiting the 1,550 hectares Tanjung Aru to Teluk Likas coastal areas in the city from being alienated to any party.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji said the government had received a lot of comments from non-governmental organisations including environmental bodies, locals and tourists on the need to protect and conserve Kota Kinabalu’s waterfront.
Musa also said the protection of the city’s waterfront from further reclamation was for the future generation.
“This is not only for our tourism industry but also for our future generation, our children, pour people,” he said.
Cynthia said LEAP was also working with several groups to initiate a water quality project at the Tanjung Aru beach.
“The water quality there is poor, and we must urgently address this so that locals and visitors can enjoy the beach. It is one of the best and most accessible places for locals to relax with their families,” she said.