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Mantanani on sale for RM12m
Published on: Sunday, January 16, 2022
By: Jason Santos, The Vibes
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Kota Kinabalu: Popular diving spot Mantanani (pic) is going on sale for RM12 million, according to a listing. It consists of three islands, and is known to divers for its dugong sightings.

Located off Kota Belud, some 80km from here, the listing also said the sale is open to non-citizens.

This is not the first time Mantanani has been put up for sale.

In 2021, a 2.95ha plot was priced at RM14.3 million with the seller claiming to be able to convert its native title (NT) to a country lease.

Sabah’s islands make regular appearances on sale listings, for example, in 2011, Mengalum island near here had a selling price of US$18 million (RM75.21 million), Pandanan island off Semporna was priced at US$2 million, and Montukod island off Papar was going for RM35 million.

The Vibes also learnt that Daat island, which is part Labuan, will be under auction on January 21 after owner Potensi Bernas Sdn Bhd was liquidated.

The reserve price of the 237.55ha island is set at RM135 million.

Mantanani made headlines in 2017 following the discovery of the looting of the Usukan wreckage, which was 38.2km from the islands and a popular site for divers.

The Usukan wreckage comprises three Japanese ships believed to be the Kokusei Maru, Higane Maru and Hiyori Maru that were torpedoed by the United States during the 1944 Pacific War.

They were said to be destroyed in an alleged illegal metal salvage operation.

The area near Mantanani is in the process of being gazetted as a state marine park, which the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry expects to complete by 2023.

A source from the state ministry, however, told The Vibes the government is not able to stop the sales of private islands.

Some parts of the island are now under private companies, while some belong to the locals, who have the NTs.

“If the villagers or locals decide to sell their land, this is beyond the state government’s control.”

Similarly, Gaya Island, which is part of the Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, is divided into three types of land ownership – resorts, Sabah Parks, and villagers.

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