Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Development to be speeded up in Pulau Sipadan

Sabah wants to speed up the construction of tourism facilities at the renowned diving haven of Pulau Sipadan.

Acting State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjum said the state was aware that Sipadan was among the world’s top five diving destinations.

“I will be meeting the chairmen of Sipadan’s Joint Committee (the Chief Secretary to the Government and Sabah State Secretary) to expedite the decision-making process for tourism facilities there,” he said yesterday.

Responding to concerns by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor that visitor facilities were dilapidated and were an eyesore, Masidi said Sabah Parks was willing to refurbish buildings on the island if funds were provided by the Prime Minister’s Department National Security Division which had been collecting fees in Sipadan.

He said planning and approvals for the new facilities, including quarters for Sabah Parks and security personnel, took time and existing buildings were being utilised by staff there.

Masidi said these buildings, built by diving companies which have since relocated their visitor accommodation operations to nearby islands, would be demolished once the new structures were completed.

Source : STAR
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