Sabah cancels Sukau bridge project

SANDAKAN, April 21 — The Sabah government has decided that the proposed construction of the bridge across the Kinabatangan River at Sukau will not be going ahead.

The decision was announced by Datuk Sam Mannan, Chief Conservator of Forests, during his speech at the South East Asia Rainforest Research Partnership (SEARRP) dinner held at the Royal Society in London, on Wesnesday.

“In making this decision, the Chief Minister of Sabah (Datuk Seri Musa Aman) has taken into  consideration all the concerns and opinions expressed related to the bridge, including those from Yayasan Sime Darby, Nestle, scientists and NGO groups, and also the opinion of someone who knows the territory better than anybody else — Sir David Attenborough,” Sam said in a statement, yesterday.

In early March, the Guardian UK published an article headlining Sir David Attenborough’s concerns over the proposed bridge that would span 350 metres across the Kinabatangan River, threatening one of the last sanctuaries of the rare Bornean pygmy elephant.

“If I may say so, that headline broke the camel’s back.

“It made us understand that the issue of a proposed bridge across a protected area for wildlife is now the number one environmental concern, not just in Sabah, but globally too, because of the extremely precarious situation of the rich wildlife therein.

“Now, I am pleased to say that balanced development has prevailed.

“We are not going ahead with the bridge,” he said. — Bernama

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