PETALING JAYA: Responses to The Star Tioman online poll continue to pour in with many still expressing their anger and dismay over the Tioman marina project.
So far, almost 3,000 Malaysians and foreigners have responded to the poll although the Sultan of Pahang has called for the RM40mil project to be temporarily halted pending completion of the Marine Departments report on it.
About 90% of those who responded online said they would not return to the island to dive if the marina was built while 69% wanted the island to remain as it was and 63% said the project would over-commercialise the island.
By 6pm yesterday, 2,316 responded to the newspaper's short messaging service (SMS) poll.
About 95% of the SMS responses said local villagers would not benefit from the project and 91% felt the project would not bring about an increase in tourist arrivals.
The following are some of the responses received online.
Research analyst Dr Su Kiat Lim wrote:
The argument of extracting economic benefits from this development can never be justified simply because the value of this priceless asset will never be possibly matched by any monetary measures.
Lee Jen Pink, a lawyer, said:
The money allocated for the marina should instead be used for marine conservation efforts and to improve the waste disposal system on the island itself.
Asif Ansar, a journalist in Singapore, said:
The marina project will ruin Tioman. Such 'development' will over-commercialise and take away the beauty, charm and magic of the island. It will affect the locals and drive away tourists in the long run.
Environmental impact assessment researcher Dr Davide Geneletti from Italy noted:
I expect the island's beauty and biodiversity to eventually lose its appeal to foreign tourists.
Formula One engineer Marco from Switzerland said:
It will be a disastrous choice to so-called develop your hereditary beauty as this will only destroy it.
Restaurant owner Yohann J Setna of India said:
The charm and beauty of Tioman is its natural untouched beauty. Im all for commercialisation but it should not be done at the cost of the natural habitat which should always be the main attraction of Tioman.
Housewife Lay Lay Pironti Yeap from Germany noted:
I am a diver and so is my husband. We usually go diving when we go to Malaysia but we will not go to Tioman again if the Government goes ahead with the development.