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Locals to fully run proposed island resort in Semporna

KOTA KINABALU: A booming tourism industry is nothing if locals do not benefit from it, said Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming.

Speaking at the Maritime Environmental Security Workshop 2017 yesterday, Pang said the local community must be involved in the development of tourism in the State, in order to generate income and improve their standard of living.

In line with the government’s plan to gazette 10 per cent of Sabah’s ocean as protected areas, Pang said management of the areas should include locals.

“To gazette the areas is easy, but we need a holistic approach on how to manage them. We, in the Anti-Fish Bombing Committee have been working in overdrive to present to the government a holistic approach that’s not only to stop fish bombing, but also on how to manage all the gazetted areas and the proper way to manage them.

“The direction we’re going to go in from now onwards is community-based management.

“The Malaysian government has set aside quite a good amount of financial assistance for cooperatives, and I have approached a community in Larapan, which is a small island off the north of Semporna.

“I think they (the community) know what is happening, and they, too, know that they cannot continue with the way they live and their practices. The problem is they do not have an option.

“Even though tourism is so prosperous, the ones making money are all the big guys and the impact of the tourism industry is not felt by the local communities. When that happens, there’s no way to change their (locals’) livelihood,” he said.

To ensure locals also enjoy the fruits of Sabah’s lucrative industry, Pang said the government was in talks to build a resort on the island of Larapan.

The proposed resort will be fully run by locals with about 50 rooms, which can accommodate a projected maximum of 150 patrons.

“Running at 100 per cent capacity with a maximum of 150 pax, we are looking at RM150,000.

“Even if the resort runs at 60 per cent capacity, which is much lower than what Semporna is now doing, it translates into approximately RM10,000 a day, or RM300,000 a month that will go to this community,” he said.

However, Pang said the initiative to improve locals’ lives would not stop there. Guidance will be given in order for the community to manage their resources sustainably.

Other than paying salaries, Pang said the money from the proposed island resort would also be channelled towards education to ensure a better future for the next generation.

He further said measures would be taken to entice locals into looking after the environment, through inspections conducted on houses around the island to check on the cleanliness of its surroundings.

“Incentives will be given to locals who manage to maintain a certain standard of cleanliness. The higher the level, the better the incentives.

“This is how I believe we should go forward and if this idea works, it’s going to be repeated on other islands because I want locals to benefit from tourism,” he said.

Meanwhile, Benny Chung of Borneo Spatial Planning in his presentation said locals have been given the opportunity to improve their livelihood through aquaculture.

“We provide them with training of farming techniques and we teach them how to breed fish fries to maturity.

“We also have other marine products like scallops and seaweed that we can introduce to supplement their income,” he said during his Alternative Livelihoods in the Semporna Priority Conservation Area presentation.

Together with Janet Goh and Khoo Mum Huah, Benny said the key to eradicating or reducing poverty of poor fishermen was by identifying villages that were willing to join the programme.

“Once we provide them with the equipment and materials, we will guide them on how to breed the fish.

“After these fishermen are willing to come and buy the fries and breed them, our cooperative will undertake the duty of buying back the fish so we can then export them to the Hong Kong market.

“We will then assess the farmers on a case-to-case basis and see how they can adapt. After one or two cycles, I think they can grow from small operators to medium operators and if they are keen with our training, they can even grow to a commercial scale,” he said.

Source : Borneo Post

Kuala Penyu tourism industry to bloom in five years

KUALA PENYU: The tourism industry in Kuala Penyu will change for the better in five years’ time.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister, Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said that various tourism development projects in the district are in the pipeline including five-star resorts and the Wong Tai Sin temple.

“I believe this area will be different in five years, take my words for it. The beaches are beautiful with sand and clear water, it can be better than Bali if the resorts are in place,” he told a press conference during a site visit with Wong Tai Sing temple, Hongkong committee members in Kampung Kemansian here.

According to him, plans are in place for several five-star resorts to be built in the district, which are awaiting for approval.

He said that the resorts’ guests would stay for at least three nights in the district as there are various activities and interesting places they can go and visit.

“On the first day, guests can watch fireflies and proboscis monkeys, on the second day, they can go to Labuan which is another destination that we are promoting and return to Kuala Penyu to go to Pulau Tiga on the third day.

“On the fourth day, they can take a train ride to Tenom from Beaufort to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the track, before participating in the white water rafting activity or visiting the agricultural park in Tenom.

“When the Pan Borneo Highway project is completed, travelling time from the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) will be shorten this making Kuala Penyu an attractive destination,” he said.

Looking at Kuala Penyu Assemblyman, Limus Jury’s initiative in promoting the district, Pang said that he is confident the district will be developed in five years.

“Limus travels around the world a lot and everywhere he goes, he will promote Kuala Penyu,” he added.

Source : New Sabah Times

Bamboo and ginger pioneers honoured at festival

TAMBUNAN: Two bamboo and ginger pioneers in this area received certificates of appreciation at the district level Bamboo and Ginger Festival held at Pisompuruan Square here last Thursday.

They are the late Peter Lupang Tingkalus, the bamboo pioneer, and Supilin Galingai, the ginger pioneer.

Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who officiated at the festival, presented the certificates to both recipients, with Mrs Cathrine Peter representing her late father in receiving his certificate.

The late Peter hailed from Bingkor, Keningau and was a Forestry Department employee who worked as a Forest Guard in 1936.

At the time, the number of bamboo plants in the Tambunan area had been greatly reduced due to uncontrolled bamboo consumption as it was used in almost all aspects of community life in the area.

After realising the problem and worrying about the extinction of bamboo plants in the area, Peter along with OKK Taliban had embarked on a preliminary effort to control the cutting and harvesting of bamboo trees by issuing special permits.

Special permits issued would be requested by the villagers on the condition that each one of the logged bamboos be replaced by planting 10 more bamboo shoots.

This step proved to be effective even until today as the local community could see the number of bamboo groups growing throughout the district.

The culture of planting bamboo among the population is still ongoing to this day and it is not surprising that in addition to being called ‘The Switzerland of the East’, Tambunan has also been proclaimed as the Bamboo Valley by a handful of outside communities.

Meanwhile, Supilin, born May 4, 1960, is a married man with five children from Kampung Tikolod Tambunan.

He started planting ginger in 1981, where ginger seeds were obtained from Yayang Sanat at Tamu Tambunan.

After a year of planting ginger, he saw that this commodity crop had a very high potential as the climate and condition of Tambunan’s landscape were very suitable for this crop.

He did not waste any time in making the decision to move from being a common cultivator to a grocery wholesaler to market the product outside the district around 1983.

The results were a turning point for the progress and development of the ginger industry in the district as more people began to cultivate ginger.

This was evident when many cultivators started opening and clearing forest areas to plant ginger on a larger scale.

The existence of a single ginger wholesaler at the time provided an advantage to ginger cultivators as they could sell their ginger directly to Supilin without having to worry about marketing and transportation problems.

Source : Borneo Post

Anjung Selera Tanjung Lipat redevelopment launched

KOTA KINABALU:  Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman yesterday launched the Anjung Selera Tanjung Lipat redevelopment project.

The 2.47-acre project when completed, will offer 51,130 square feet of tenancy space for Bumiputera entrepreneurs in the food and beverage, retail and services sectors.

It is a joint project between TERAJU under the Entrepreneur Development Programme and Modal lnsan Bumiputera Sabah with the Perbadanan Pembangunan Ekonomi Sabah (SEDCO) through its subsidiary, SEDCOVEST Holdings Sdn Bhd and Kota Kinabalu City Hall as owners of the land area.

The redevelopment is to be built at a cost of RM13.5 million commencing September 2017 and to be completed by December 2018.  It will also feature 112 car park lots to facilitate ease of traffic to the venue.

Musa earlier  chaired the Sabah Bumiputera Economic Council meeting yesterday.

He said the State Government aims to produce more human resource with high potential from among the senior management level of government-linked companies (GLCs) in Sabah.

To make this a reality, he said Talent Corporation Malaysia Berhad (TalentCorp) and TERAJU were now working together on the Sabah GLC Talent Development Program whhich was being done with the cooperation of the State Economic Planning Unit (UPEN).

Senior management would be placed at several identified GLCs to get exposure of best practices, expand their profession network, at the same time contribute to knowledge and technology exchange in developing and implementing high value projects, he said.

“Starting this month, two candidates of the Sabah GLC Talent Development Program have been posted to Khazanah Nasional Bhd and TERAJU,” he said.

Musa also disclosed that in the aspect of education for the Bumiputera community, Yayasan Peneraju Pendidikan Bumiputera is an initiative to strengthen the capacity building of Bumiputeras continuously.

Yayasan Peneraju had benefitted 1,611 Sabahans, he added.

The Chief Minister also presented cheques to the recipients of TERAJU’s funds.

Source: The Borneo Post

Tuaran Project Relaunched to Cash In On Booming Tourism

Tuaran: The Solaris Tuaran Market Place project along the Tuaran-Kota Belud route was relaunched here, Saturday, to cash in on the State’s booming tourism industry.

Its developer Subansa Sdn Bhd Managing Director Assalam Datuk Sulaiman Omar said the project comprises 106 units of two-storey commercial shoplots just outside Tuaran town.

He took up the opportunity to develop the project when the previous developer decided to opt out.

Assalam said he foresees huge potential and high prospects that will not only benefit investors but also the local economy.

“Our goal is to create a commercial development which will be completed in two years with a blend of tourism elements that are destined to be the next big thing for Sabah’s booming tourism industry, one of the largest contributors to the State’s revenue.

“The aggressive commitment by the State Government for the tourism sector makes our project more appealing as Solaris Tuaran Market Place would be the first and only commercial development in the market that includes the tour bus pit stop to cater the tour operators.

“It aims to give fellow travellers and customers a brand new unforgettable experience by injecting functionality of western style rest stop into traditional shop offices. Of course, blending all this with our local cultures,” he said at the relaunch by the Head of State’s consort, Toh Puan Norlidah binti Tan Sri R.M. Jasni.

Also present were State Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor cum Sulaman assemblyman, Tuaran District Assistant Officer Abdullah Sani Daud, Tuaran Council Executive Officer Sadan bin Hussain and other officials.

Assalam said some tour operators have agreed to bring in tourists to Solaris on a regular basis as there will be a market place for them to enjoy and buy variety of local products.

“A farmer’s market will also be incorporated within the development to create opportunities for local farmers in the district. We plan it to be operational daily to encourage the promotion of our local farmer products for both local and foreign consumers.

“We are also in the midst of talks with some retail brands to bring factory outlets stores to Solaris as well as bringing in local food and beverage players which have shown keen interest in setting up their outlets in the development project,” he said.

Assalam said they aim to turn the project into the people’s choice when comes to shopping and leisure, especially to the people of Tuaran and the surrounding areas. – Hayati Dzulkifli

Source: Daily Express