Public outcry at even more reclamation planned for Tanjung Aru in KK Draft Plan 2020
KOTA KINABALU, May 17 2014: The Sabah Environmental Protection Association (SEPA) expressed shock and disappointment at the latest Zoning for the Draft Kota Kinabalu Local Plan 2020 which sees Sabahans losing even more public spaces to make way for even more hotels and resorts.
“We were shocked when we saw the new draft plan produced by Kota Kinabalu City Hall (KKCH) for Tanjung Aru beach area which shows three areas on water, zoned as ‘Hotels & Resorts’ which in turn leaves an extremely small patch of beach for members of the public,” said SEPA President Lanash Thanda.
Describing it as unacceptable, the SEPA President said that the needs of the majority of regular people of Sabah should come ahead of big business, tourist and the wealthy. Sabahans have already lost so much.
“This new reclamation areas and zoning for Hotel & Resorts such as those described in the Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) for example is unacceptable and goes against what the majority of people want,” stressed Lanash.
SEPA also called for an immediate extension to the timeline of up to the 22nd May 2014 given by KKCH to make comments on the draft plan.
“The deadline must be extended, as all necessary documents are not ready for the public to view. and they have nothing online which would ease public access to all the documentation,” said the SEPA President.
In addition, SEPA also stressed that a proper stakeholder consultation be held with all represented parties and concerned individuals invited, and that all material and documentation be given in advance of the meeting.
“When Sutera Harbour was being built the then Minister of Tourism and Environmental Development promised all Sabahans that we would have a public park and a public beach, where is it? We refuse to lose Tanjung Aru beach, it’s the last of KK’s beaches and it belongs to all of us and not just the rich,” stated Lanash.
SEPA together with many other non governmental organisations and groups have also started a Facebook page, “Save Tanjung Aru Beach” to disseminate information to members of the public.
“We also question why the area where the Royal Turf Club use to have horse racers is now zoned as ‘Mixed Uses’? The public was told that this space was being handed over for airport runway extension and safety and now it’s for development? This is just ridiculous and wrong,” lamented Lanash.
Another issue is that members of the public were told to purchase a RM1.00 form from KKCH if they wished to lodge an objection, however in the KKCH’s own brochure it clearly states under No.9 and No.13 that members of the public can lodge complaints via email, fax and letters.
“We called just to make sure and we were informed that it is mandatory to purchase the form if you want to make a objection. How can you call this public consultation?” asked Lanash.
SEPA urged members of the public to visit the Save Tanjung Aru Beach Facebook page to see how they could lodge an objection to the KKCH and keep up to date on information regarding pressures on Tanjung Aru beach by developers.
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