KOTA KINABALU: The proposed 32m Mazu statue (Goddess of the Sea) in Kudat would benefit Sabah and its northern district, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam.
He said there is nothing wrong with building the statue, as it would benefit the people of Kudat and Sabah economically, and draw millions of tourists to the state.
"This is a good plan and it would definitely add value to the tourism industry in this state," he said after visiting the proposed Mazu statue site in Kudat on Friday (March 31).
Joachim, who is also state Local Government and Housing Minister, said that if the project materialised, it would be another landmark for Sabah.
"I personally do not see any problem in the construction of this statue," he said.
Also present during the site visit was former chief minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat who is the advisor of the project and local community leaders.
This project was first proposed by Chong in early 2005 and was approved by the Kudat Town Board in 2006.
However, the project was withdrawn in 2007 after the then chief minister Datuk Seri (now Tan Sri) Musa Aman halted its construction.
There had been several attempts to revive the project over the years, but it never went through due to reasons including objections from certain religious quarters.
The executive officer of Kim Teck Cheong Consolidated (KTC) Berhad, Datuk Dexter Lau, had proposed for the revival of the Mazu project to the state government last year.