With recent reports of the shelving of the mega-development project, Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED), Sabah's Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, has recently announced that the Sabah Government may well continue with the billion-ringgit project.
"As the new Government, we will undertake an in-depth study to determine if the project should be scaled down or scrapped. And we will also take the people's views and interests into account before making any final decisions" he said when answering a supplementary question from Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan during a question-and-answer session at the Sabah State Legislative Assembly today (4 July).
Shafie acknowledges the public's concerns over the environmental destruction and inaccessibility of the beach and said, "The State Government will not carry out projects at the expense of the people, and the shoreline may well be maintained as it is.â€
According to Shafie, the project is expected to give the 861 acres of land in Tanjung Aru a facelift, including 253 acres of proposed reclaimed land. This was approved according to law by the Head of State on the recommendation of the previous State Government in 2014.
When asked about the RM500 million grant for the project, Shafie, who is also the State's Finance Minister, said the State Government will try to obtain the grant if the financial situation of the Federal Government permits.
The State Government is said to have spent approximately RM60 million on the project, which will only continue after the review. Another feasible study will be conducted instead of scrapping the project, said Shafie.
"I am not saying we will stop work or downsize because this project is very important to me. But equally important is the need to preserve the environment. We understand the project will create a lot of job opportunities to the locals and boost the tourism industry in the state, but we will also listen to the locals' wishes" he said.
TAED is a mixed development project at Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu. Once completed, the whole development will consist of eight district zones; Aru Gateway, Prince Philip Wharf, Prince Philip Park, Aru Village, Aru Oceanfront, Aru Marina, Tanjung Aru Beach and Golf Retreat.