KOTA KINABALU, June 24 — Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew has called for public facilities at the famed Tanjung Aru beach here to be upgraded even as the state grapples with the loss of its major tourism income.
Liew said that efforts must be made to maintain the cleanliness of the beach and Prince Philip Park, and improve existing facilities for the convenience of locals and tourists alike.
“The beach is very popular with tourists, particularly those from China and Korea, as Sabah boasts having one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
“It is vital to project a good image of Tanjung Aru Beach and Prince Philip Park for word-of-mouth marketing,” she said during her visit to the beach recently.
Declining to talk about the controversial multi-billion Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) project which has been a political hot potato here, Liew said that the park must have adequate facilities to cater to the visitors who visit the beach daily.
She specifically said that the public toilets needed to be upgraded, while calling for additional toilets to be built in the area, as well as shelter from bad weather.
The beach was recently reopened to the public after a controversial closure by its management TAED during the recovery movement control order (RMCO).
TAED has been granted management of the land and is set to develop a mixed development project on the prime Tanjung Aru land. Critics and conservationists have called for the space to be conserved to protect environmental interests and public access to the 2.5km beach.
Liew, who is also tourism, culture and environment minister, said mayor Datuk Nordin Siman would be looking into the works to be carried out soon.
The state government is paying serious thought and attention to efforts to kick-start domestic tourism for now. Under the Sabah New Deal, a financial allocation of RM22 million has been earmarked for revival of the tourism sector.
Of the sum, RM10 million will be utilised for upgrading tourism infrastructure, RM7 million is for offsetting the 50 per cent discount for entrance fees to tourist destinations, and the remaining RM5 million is meant to finance local hotel industry promotion incentives.