Sunday, November 16, 2008

Concern over Mabul resort plan

SEMPORNA: A plan to build Malay­sia’s first and biggest oceana­rium resort of luxury chalets in Mabul, in the east coast of Sabah, is facing a wave of opposition. Environmentalists, villagers and dive operators warn that the proposed project on a 33ha parcel of shallows will bring disaster to Mabul marine life and may also degrade the eco-sensitive coral reefs of Pulau Sipadan, a 20-minute boat ride away.

Application for a 99-year lease for the parcel facing south of Sipadan was first put in by a local company based in Kota Kinabalu in September last year. Unspoilt, for now: The parcel of 33ha of shallows at Mabul where the oceanarium is approved to be constructed. The island in the background is Sipadan.
The Semporna Assistant Collector of Land Revenue approved the application early this year and the Sabah Cabinet endorsed it last month, according to state officials. They said the project was supposed to be undertaken by a local and Japanese joint venture based on an environment-friendly building concept.

Work will only commence after a thorough study of the environment impact assessment report. The sources added that the oceanarium would be surrounded by five villages of more than 200 sea-view bungalows and semi-detached villas, with side pools and spa villas as well as staff and scientist quarters.

Sabah Environment Protection Association president Wong Tack asked if the oceanarium was necessary because one could easily see fishes swimming in the clear Mabul waters. Tourist attractions: Holiday chalets on Mabul island. Dive operators believe that the existing chalets in the area are enough to cater to tourist needs.“How can approval be given to such a massive project before the terms of the EIA are known?” he asked.

Citing scientific studies of corals in tourism islands such as Fiji and elsewhere, Wong said any major construction activity in the shallows is bound to have negative impact on the reefs. He added that tonnes of construction material would have to be brought in by barge and sand pumped in from the shores of the island, thus heavily impacting the rich exotic Mabul marine life.
Wong said the authority that approved the resort project should remember what happened in Sipadan in 2006 when a construction barge ran aground, destroying a coral reef patch the size of three tennis courts and putting Malaysia in a bad light.

He said the existing four resorts for higher-bracket tourists and five to 10 home-stay places for backpackers with a total of more than 250 rooms provided enough accommodation for 120 divers given permits to dive in Sipadan waters every day.

Wong said the 2,000 local Bajau and Suluk villagers living on Mabul island were also worried about relocation and that their historic grave site would be removed to make way for the oceanarium resort project.
Concern over Mabul resort plan
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Lim Kit Siang


SOLYMONE said...

Salam Senjaliza,
topik yang menarik.Pandangan saya ada lah saperti berikut;
"What a waste. Some time ago, I used to visit Semporna district . Unfortunately, I never visited Mabul island. The surrounding Semporna as it is, it just as beautiful. Especially if you travel by boat along the coastal vicinity from Kunak to Semporna. It is a breath taking beauty. Memorable.

I wander why the Government haven't listen to the Environmental Professional. As such, any excess improvements could cause distortion or even distruction to the existing features like corals and beaches.
Why must they keep on developing an area that is already rich with its natural beauties. Why can’t they find some places else. I guess there are lot of them around sabah.
Tampered development is not always the answer to every thing.

I still remember what my guru had said “ If we keep on destroying the nature; in the end they will destroy us back”.

JomoSama Tuaran said...

Sesuatu yang patut kita sokong dan perlu diambil perhatian oleh pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan. Sudah tentu ada cara yang sesuai untuk pembinaan sebuah `oceanarium'di kawasan tersebut TANPA menjejaskan keindahan ekologi sistem disana.
Kecanggihan teknologi, kalau digarap dan diharmonikan dengan alam semulajadi, pasti akan membuahkan hasil yang cukup menarik untuk kita kongsi bersama.
Yang menentang itu hanya tokey-tokey chalet yang sedia ada kerana takut dengan saingan,dan yang pastinya..masyarakat akan mendapat faedahnya atas adanya persaingan sihat antara pengusaha2 chalet ditempat itu nanti. Dengar khabar sewa chalet disana cukup `merunsingkan' poket juga bagi orang2 biasa macam saya ni,lainlah kalau saya gunakan sleeping beg saja dan tidur dibawah atap langit semesta. okaylah bah tu....

Anonymous said...

Pertembungan Chong Kah Kiat dan Musa Haji Aman bertolak dari kes ini.. Isu Ma Tzu di Kudat berpunca dari Chong tidak merestui Projek MUSA-Mabul-Sipadan. Now sengaja dibuka semula sebab MUSA sedar KL tak akan mampu buat apa-apa pada dia. Ambilah semua dan juallah semua..KARUN....