P’pang Council okays Eco Township cum Safari Park
Published on: Thursday, April 25, 2019
By: Oswald Supi

PENAMPANG: The Penampang District Council on Wednesday unanimously endorsed a proposal to set up an Eco Township cum Safari Park in the district. 

The decision was made during the Council’s first meeting chaired by new District Officer Henry Idol. 

The proposal was made by KST Development Sdn Bhd, a Sabah company led by Datuk Bobby Tan, who listed five reasons for coming up with the project. 

These are the only one of its kind in Malaysia; attracting millions of visitors yearly; benefiting all downstream businesses in Sabah; magnet for regional and global tourists; and lastly, the pride of Penampang.

The proposed location is about 100 acres of reserved land at Sugud where all big trees would be preserved for a botanical park, while necessary facilities for tourists and visitors would be provided. 

These include tree houses, canopy walks, restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, chalets, watch towers, fish ponds, bird watching facilities, traditional museums, car parks, restrooms and jogging trails, among others. 

KST noted that 3.879 million tourists visited the State last year, with each spending an average of US$2,500 (about RM10,000), but they have not much to spend on after paying for travel and hotel.

The Council, however, pointed out that it has no power to approve such large project but can recommend to the Government.

The Council also discussed the Master Plan for Donggongon Town with one way traffic flow to overcome the present congestion, covered plaza around the town and disabled-friendly facilities. 

A local consultant also proposed a double-storey covered tamu ground with car parks. However, there was a debate whether to keep the open characteristics of the tamu or modernise it to a fully covered concept. 

Another proposal was for a multi-level car park with shops and hotel or two 15-storey condominium blocks. This was also debated with the majority going for hotel to avoid further traffic congestion if residential units are built in town.

The last issue discussed, which the Council allowed members of the press to be present, was on the large number of gaming clubs in the district. 

Six councillors voted to close all of them. However, the decision was to set up a technical committee to reduce the number allowed to operate in the district.


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