‘Reopen Tg Aru to public’

No progress: Pressure is mounting on the state government to reopen Tanjung Aru beach for public use.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s iconic Tanjung Aru beach should be reopened to the public immediately as it is fast becoming a wasteland, says a civic group.

The Tanjung Aru Action Group (TAAG) said it was appropriate for the beach to be reopened to the public as the proposed Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) project was still in limbo despite being proposed in 2016.

The group’s spokesman Jan Chow said they inspected the beach recently and there was no sign of any development, while the site had been reduced to a “wasteland”.

The road to the beach area was still closed to the public with signs “Temporarily Closed for Maintenance” put up by TAED’s management, preventing visitors from entering, she said in a statement.

“There was also rubbish scattered everywhere, literally turning what used to be a beautiful public beach into an eyesore.

“It is a glaring example of how our natural assets are being ruined by poor planning that also lacks transparency,” Chow said, adding that the temporary closure had been in place for more than five years.

“There is not a single sign to inform the public of the proposed TAED, including the name of the developers, the architect, the main contractor, the date of commencement or completion of the project. This is required by the relevant authorities.

“Besides this, to this day, the development plan has still not been shown to the public despite the fact that it involves a public beach.

“By right, any development on a public beach should be shown to the public.

“This is to ensure that the proposed development project will really benefit the people of Sabah and not just a privileged few, and that it will not have any adverse environmental impacts,” she said.

Chow said the present government should immediately return the beach to the people.

TAAG was also considering filing for a judicial review to compel the state government to reveal the full details of the proposed project, she added.

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