PETALING JAYA: Parti Warisan Sabah has told the state government to protect the Atkinson Clock Tower in Kota Kinabalu and stop the construction of a commercial building next to it.
Speaking to FMT, Warisan vice-president Junz Wong hit out at the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) for giving the green light for the project – an 18-storey hotel and shopping mall.
There have been concerns that the project will overshadow the clock tower or damage it during construction.
“There are enough shopping malls in KK,” Wong said. “Why do we need another one? How many malls are actually thriving?
“DBKK should have a bit more foresight. The Atkinson Clock Tower has historical and heritage value. It’s irreplaceable.”
Wong said it was silly to even suggest relocating the tower from its current location.
He said heritage buildings should be left as they are and DBKK should focus its efforts on maintaining them.
“DBKK should be safeguarding the area around the clock tower and promoting it as a tourist attraction.”
Wong also urged the state government to emulate Singapore and Penang in their preservation of heritage sites.
“It would be best for the Sabah government to set up a body comprising of state officials, local council representatives, NGOs and heritage experts to ensure heritage buildings in Sabah are protected and preserved.”
Recently, news that the development of the hotel and shopping mall had been given the green light reignited concerns over the fate of the 112-year old wooden tower.
In 2011, plans to develop the area next to it were shelved after protests from the public.
The clock tower was built in 1905 in honour of Francis George Atkison, the first district officer of Jesselton, the old name for Kota Kinabalu.