Thursday, May 29, 2014

More public consultations and feedback needed for DBKK "final draft"

KOTA KINABALU, May 23, 2014: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee said the DBKK "final draft" plans should be postponed indefinitely until more public consultations and feedback have been obtained.

"This is because there are some serious issues like loss of public reserve lands to commercial uses.

"Other than the controversial issue of the Tg Aru beach which is glaring and has aroused public anger, the plans also include the commercialisation of the KK central market Land and some native traditional kampongs," he added.

When asked about the Tg Aru rezoning issue where the Mayor has given assurance that the beach and Prince Philip Park will remain accessible to the public, Yong said that this is a form of land grab whereby the public and also villagers lose their land to private developers.

"The Tanjung Aru plans shows an entire swap of Land PLUS sea as zoned commercial for hotels and resorts. The Mayor needs to be more specific in what he meant by continued public access to the beach. For example, there is no public access to the sea fronts at Tg Aru beach Hotel and Sutera harbour. Only Hyatt in down town is continued access to sea front possible," he told.

He said some Aru trees at the prince Philip park have been cut down already.

"SAPP has made a protest on site on in 2012 and again September 8 last year 2013 (just before the proposed launching of the project by the PM on sept. 16).

"We were summoned by the police to have our statements taken on May 5 this year.

He further added that in the old town plans, the market areas were zoned "government public reserves" in blue colour. Now, it is proposed to be rezoned to commercial. We have been protesting against these loss of public lands.

"DBKK and the government can use the precedent and example of the Likas Bird sanctuary in 1997 whereby a government Rakan Muda field and sports facilities were shelved to make way for the Bird Park, when we discovered that there were rare birds nesting there with eggs. the daily Express highlighted the issue at the time.

"The point is that, even after DBKK has done some planning, the plans can be changed to make KK a more liveable City. Today, KK is one of the few cities with a Bird sanctuary near City Centre," Yong pointed out.

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