Semporna district will be the first to have a floating city in Sabah.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Jaujan Sambakong, who is also the Local Government and Housing Minister, said that the floating city of Semporna would serve as an alternative attraction for the district, in addition to Sipadan Island and Mabul Island.
It is hoped that the floating city would materialize within 15 years, he said, adding that the idea and proposal for the floating city was conceptualised by Hatten Group Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian-based company.
Jaujan said the estimated area for the floating city is 300 acres and that the site would be built on government land by the sea. He also said that there would be no land reclamation for the project.
As to when the work on the project would commence, Jaujan said that all the departments involved have been directed to speed up their process.
“The people want to see changes and development,” he said.
He believed the floating city will provide employment opportunities and would feature water parks and hotels to accommodate the district’s bustling tourism industry.
It is estimated that Semporna presently receives up to 2,000 tourists per day and there are not enough accommodation facilities to house the guests.
Hatten Group Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Wira Eric Tan Eng Huat said they plan to construct 10,000 hotel rooms in Semporna.
That could easily accommodate between four and five million guests per year, he said.
Prior to the press conference, a Hatten Group Sdn Bhd team met with Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Haji Apdal to brief him on the project.