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Yeoh says world will appreciate Pulau Gaya project
Published on: Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kota Kinabalu: The multi-million ringgit Gaya Island Resort - a project by YTL Corporation Berhad due for completion by mid-next year - will be a pride for Malaysia and especially Sabah, as it will be something that the world will appreciate, said YTL Corporation Berhad Managing Director, Tan Sri (Dr) Francis Yeoh.He said once completed Gaya Island Resort would not be competing but complementing YTL's most well-known property, Pangkor Laut, which was voted the World Best Resort in 2003.

Speaking to the Daily Express in an exclusive interview, Yeoh said YTL is investing a substantial amount of money to develop the resort.

"It takes a lot of money to do what we do to make sure that there is no environmental destruction, to build the things without machines actually.

Just like Pangkor Laut, hand-built literally, you don't want to raze all the trees down. You have to do it very sensitively," he said.

As a young man while studying in England, he said he saw the destruction of beautiful coasts and also in Spain where he found years later had been turned into a concrete jungle.

"I was quite sad that things were not the way it was. For me, since I always say, God gave me the opportunity to do something to preserve the jungle.

I want to do something about it," he said, adding that was how it started with Pangkor Laut in 1985.

Despite being a unique and beautiful island, nobody dared to touch Pangkor Laut because of the social stigma since it used to be leper colony.

"But this island was so beautiful É the abandoned facilities when I first walked on the islands and just cried, just thinking of all the lepers there.

"Then I went on my knee and said 'God, give me a chance to develop the most beautiful island on this earth and I will preserve it for you," he said.

The rest is history with personalities like former Britain Prime Minister, Tony Blair and Russel Watson, making several repeat visits every year.

"I can't understand why. It's very simple, it's a sense of peace and the jungle is very natural.

Not artificial that kind of thing," he said.

For Pulau Gaya, Yeoh described it as the epitome, the apogee of what it stands for and he got his brother, Mark, to do a job to understand the sensitivity of the whole ecosystem making sure it can preserve a beautiful part of Borneo to really enjoy.



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