KOTA KINABALU: At least a thousand people are expected to turn up for a “picnic” along the Tanjung Aru beach, where a controversial development plan is meeting opposition from non-governmental groups.
The Occupy @ Tanjung Aru picnic tomorrow is organised by the Save Open Space Kota Kinabalu (SOS KK) group which previously started an online petition to stop the Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (Taed) project.
SOS KK coordinator S.M. Muthu said the informal gathering – aimed at pooling like-minded people to show solidarity in saving the beach – was expected to be the first in a series of activities it was planning to engage the public.
“We are trying to gauge the response.
“It is just a picnic. No one will be talking. In the future, we may need a permit if we get individuals to speak,” he said when contacted.
The project was mooted during the previous Barisan Nasional administration, and the then Opposition had campaigned against it during the last general election.
However, the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government decided later to stick with the project but promised that it would be a win-win situation with an area for the public.
An invitation to Sabahans to join the event at Prince Phillip Park, along Tanjung Aru beach, was shared via the change.org online platform. The picnic is expected to take place between 4pm and sunset.
“Wear yellow or green, bring your own F&B (food and beverage), and make it a Zero Waste event,” said the notice.
On the online petition, Muthu said over 28,000 pledges had been collected so far.
“We initially wanted to arrange for a meeting with the Sabah Chief Minister but that was unlikely considering how things went.
“So, we will send the petition to his office after we hit the 30,000-signature mark, maybe some time next week. Then, it is up to them (to consider),” he said.