Warisan broke polls pledge with green light for Tg Aru project, claims SAPP

Artist’s impression of the Tanjung Aru Eco Development project.

KOTA KINABALU: A local opposition party has criticised the Warisan-led state government for the about-turn on its promise to scrap the Tanjung Aru Eco-Development (TAED) project.

When contacted here today, SAPP secretary-general Richard Yong We Kong said the announcement made by Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony yesterday that the government will carry on with the TAED project has raised concerns and caused disappointment among the people who had trusted them.

“Anthony’s fellow ministers in the Cabinet, namely Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew and Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Junz Wong, had repeatedly promised that the TAED project would be scrapped once they took over the state government.

“In fact, soon after winning the election last year, Wong proudly announced that the TAED had been cancelled.

“Now, not only have they failed to deliver on their promises, they have gone against their own word,” he said.

Yong said the state government, and especially Wong and Liew, had failed the people who voted for them because of these promises.

SAPP secretary-general Richard Yong We Kong.

Not only that, Yong said Anthony dealt another blow in the same statement when he said in order to ensure sufficient water supply to the mega-project, it is necessary to carry on with another mega project, namely the Papar (Kaiduan) Dam.

Yong said Anthony is implying that the TAED is so important that the state government will ignore all the objections raised by the people and go ahead with the dam, which Warisan had opposed when they were the opposition.

“For the infrastructure development minister to announce that mega projects such as TAED and the Papar Dam will proceed soon means the state Cabinet has discussed and approved these projects.

“Yet, both the Wong and Liew, who are also the state assemblymen for Tanjung Aru and Api Api, now have chosen to keep a strange silence on these two projects despite their crusade against both projects in the past.

“Wong and Liew owe an explanation and an apology for misleading the people on false hopes. It would be a mistake to ignore the public outcry,” said Yong.

FMT has contacted Wong for comment but he has deferred his response for now.

The TAED project, which is expected to cost RM7.1 billion, was conceptualised by the previous government and is supposed to be owned wholly by the state.

It is aimed at raising Sabah’s eco-tourism profile, attracting investments and addressing the problems of pollution and erosion that the Tanjung Aru area has suffered for years.

TAED will sit on largely reclaimed land and will have 4,500 apartments, 150 villas, 475 terraced houses, six hotels and 60,000 square metres of retail space.