KOTA TINGGI: The construction of a RM15mil elephant sanctuary is set to start this year in Jalan Lombong here.
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the 100ha project, located not far from the Kota Tinggi waterfall, is expected to help resolve the conflict between the animal and humans in the area.
The project, which has been tendered, is expected to be completed in 2020.
Mohamed Khaled said there were more than 100 wild elephants in the Kota Tinggi area and their presence have frequently caused disturbance to the residents whereby the elephants would enter farms and residential areas in search of food.
Once completed, he said the sanctuary would be able to house and care for up to 150 elephants.
“The sanctuary will be able to boost Kota Tinggi’s eco-tourism and create a variety of opportunities and benefits for the locals.
“This is part of our plans to also develop the district into a history and heritage tourism hub,” he said in a press conference during his working visit to the Tenggara parliamentary constituency on Sunday.
He added that the development of Sungai Johor was also in the works, where RM34mil would be used in the next five years to build facilities including jetties, bridge, floating market and tourism information centres.
Separately, Mohamed Khaled hit out against the Opposition for taking advantage of the situation by politicising the massive land and housing scandal that recently hit the state.
He reiterated that all states have the same policy for handling the changing of status for bumiputra lots to non-bumiputra lots.
He said there was nothing wrong with the policy, where developers are allowed to switch the status of bumiputra lots to non-bumiputra for unsold units for them to avoid financial losses.
“The are no problems with the policy, the policy is very clear.”
He added that the DAP is taking advantage of the situation and politicising the matter.
“Since when is DAP the champion for the bumiputras?,” he asked.