Think of the community when developing Tanjung Aru, says LEAP

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 30 Oct 2014

KOTA KINABALU: Any redevelopment project at Sabah’s iconic Tanjung Aru beach must be carried out in a sensitive and thoughtful manner, says Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP).

The NGO’s executive director Cynthia Ong said that what was important when conducting the beach’s revitalisation programme was to take into account the people’s involvement.

“The development of this public space affects the entire community, and decisions about its future should be made with the community for the community,” Ong said yesterday.

“This is to ensure the preservation of the essence behind the beach and common public places for the sake of future generations.

“There is a need to strike a balance between public interest and privatisation.”

Ong was pointing these out in response to an ongoing debate over the state government’s plans to implement the Tanjung Aru Eco Development project.

She said there was “a genuine fear” that economic interest might override public interest in the long term.

She added that development projects should leave out unnecessary and environmentally damaging large-scale dredging and reclamation – as proposed under the current project plan to revitalise the beach and its surrounding areas.

LEAP is part of the Tanjung Aru Action Group 2.0 (TAG 2.0), comprising various environmental and community organisations.

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