KOTA KINABALU: Calls for the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government to scrap the controversial Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (TAED) project are growing louder.
Local NGO Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP) has joined WWF Malaysia and SOS Kota Kinabalu in urging the state government to scrap the TAED masterplan for the 348ha mixed tourism development, which includes sea reclamation.
LEAP’s chief executive officer Winnie Long said the plan involved massive land reclamation and dredging for a 42m canal, which she claimed would destroy the iconic Tanjung Aru seafront.
“It is likely to affect the nearby Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park islands as well. The area surrounding the canal will create a huge island with the proposed hotels, Prince Philip Park and the new beach on it,” she said.
Noting that the TAED plan involved billions of ringgit in private investments, Long said it would be better for the state to manage the natural heritage instead of foreign companies.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal had put the project on hold, saying the state government was not ruling out scrapping it or scaling back, as the previous state government under Barisan Nasional had already spent RM60mil on it.
LEAP’s biodiversity manager Sylvia Yorath said the existing biodiversity, from the fig trees and Aru trees to the thriving sand crabs, would be affected if the project went ahead.