Govt told not to delay on Tanjung Aru Eco project
Published on: Thursday, April 13, 2017
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Kota Kinabalu: Luyang Assemblyman Hiew King Cheu (pic) called on the Government to start the Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) without further delay. Hiew believed TAED would enjoy great success with its man-made beach like the Likas Bay Park despite numerous criticism over that project.

"There are plenty of man-made beaches in the world and the nearest one we can find is the beautiful and popular Likas Beach. This beach wasn't there at all before. I was involved in building of the coastal highway linking Tanjong Lipat to Yayasan Sabah in 1981.

"When the sea walls were completed, the sea sand brought in by the waves started accumulating along the sea walls. The sand became more and more, and today we see a long beach had formed.

"Many people like to come here for picnic and many government events are also held here.

The yearly Dragon Boat race is also held here. The question is why were these events not held in Tanjong Aru Beach," he said during the debate session in the State Assembly.

Many had expressed concern over the controversial TAED project and wished the government would call it off but Hiew wants the project to proceed without further review or wasting time.

He said there is no reason to think there would be fewer visitors to the beach once the project is completed, adding that it would be a pity to see a great project not become a reality.

He believed TAED is a development which would bring lots of job and economic opportunities, as well as an environmental upgrade and rejuvenate more interest among people to visit and live in.

Hiew also proposed erecting more tourism jetties to ease the congestion at the Jesselton Point ferry terminal.

"There is an urgent need for City Hall and the port authorities to grant approval for more tourism jetties along the Kota Kinabalu Waterfront area.

"This is due to the big influx of tourists especially during the coming peak season," said Hiew, adding that it will also greatly reduce the traffic at Jesselton Point where construction is being carried out in the area.

He also suggested the police marine jetty there be relocated as it was also blocking works in the area.

On the proposed BRT, Hiew proposed that the government introduce a scheme to encourage more people to opt for public transport.

He said the free bus operations in Luyang, Hilltop, Iramanis and Dah Yeh Villa were all running 95 per cent empty most of the time and that the few who used the transport were mostly migrants.

He said not only are public transport operators facing a tough time to keep business afloat, workers in the public transport operations are also earning a low income and it is getting harder for them to earn more with the higher fuel costs.

"Just imagine, how can the buses do business without passengers? Will the BRT help to ease the traffic jam, while the people still prefer to use their cars to go to work?" he asked.

On real estate, Hiew who is also the MCA Government Affairs Bureau Chief called on the government to lower home ownership by foreigners from RM1 million at present to RM500,000.

"This ruling needs a review due to the housing developers' difficulty to sell off their homes to foreign buyers.

"We should welcome more foreign investors to buy our properties in Sabah in order to boost the economy," he said.

He said not only will Sabah experience an inflow of foreign funds, developers too can build more houses and clear the unsold units.

On a related development, Hiew also called on the government to amend the Land (Subsidiary Title) Enactment 1972 to resolve the long-standing non-issuance of strata titles to owners of multi-storey residences.

He said the issue has become a headache for many house owners, adding that recent reports revealed the government would only make procedural changes to allow the issuance of strata titles at the same time a development has its Occupational Certificate issued.

"Until today my office continues to receive cases on not having subtitles and having problems with the developer's management corporation (MC) for not performing.

"I urge the government to take immediate action to upgrade the Subsidiary Title Act to resolve these problems," he said.

Meanwhile, Hiew proposed that Gaya Street be converted into a night time eatery spot for locals and tourists, adding that the area was relatively quiet during week nights.

"Only a few people go there and mostly for Bak Kut Teh. It would be a big advantage for those in the city, especially those who are in the tourism field.

"What we want is to give the silent street some life and activities. The existing Gaya Street eateries also welcome the idea that the street be closed from 6pm to 12 midnight for them to do business and put their tables and chairs on the street.

Once the idea is put into reality, our Gaya Street will be alive at night," he said.

Towards this end, he called for Chinese labelling on local products, saying it would be an advantage for the SMEs due to the preference of the China tourists to taste local delicacies like coffee, bird's nests, cakes and others.

"To add a few Chinese words will surely improve the sales. I hope the government can inform our food manufacturers to do the same," he said.

Among others, Hiew also called for free WiFi service in Luyang, saying that the Internet has become a necessity now especially among office workers.

He also called on the government to complete the by-pass linking Nountun Inanam to Taman Khidmat road to solve traffic congestion in Inanam and the abandoned Star City project in the city, as well as initiate the Sunday Market in Foh Sang and resolve the parking issue at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital I.

Hiew called on City Hall to choose a much more responsible operator at the Taman Tun Fuad Park, saying that the new operator must ensure the pond and the park areas are all cleaned up, as well as keep fish and turtles in the pond.

"The car parking area at this place must be upgraded. The open market and the food stalls must be provided with proper sheds, water supply and toilets. This is the time to improve and upgrade the whole place to a better standard because this place is frequented by many tourists and the local folk. We don't want to leave a bad image behind.

"I urge City Hall to be very careful in selecting the right group to manage this public park, and at the same time to strike a good deal for KK City," he said. - Jason Santos


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