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Open space still on – CM’s order stop August 3, 2007

Posted by wong jimmy in Open Space.
On Sept 14 after the cabinet meeting the day before the project on the open space in Sabindo was still on as piling works were carried out without the slightest indication that the project had been directed to halt temporary by the Chief Minister pending the State cabinet meeting yesterday.
It was learnt that Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) had already drafted a letter to inform the developer to halt its activity, but the letter could not be delivered as TMC’s President Tn Hj Salsidu Ibrahim had not signed it as he is away in Kuala Lumpur to attend a meeting.
However, according to Sri Tanjung Assemblyman Samson Chin who called Salsidu, the TMC President had phoned the developers to stop work.
TMC had received a letter from the Local Government and Housing Minister, Datuk Hajiji Hj Noor directing TMC to stop the project temporarily until a decision is made by the government.
Samson in his statement in the local papers on said Local Government Minister Datuk Hajiji Hj. Noor told him the Permanent Secretary had wrote a letter to TMC instructing the project to stop. A copy of the letter had been sent to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Pairin Kitingan and Datuk Chong Kah Kiat and also Samson.
Meanwhile Natural Justice Group vocal chairman Jimmy Wong said he was surprise to see piling works was still on  when he went to see the project site. About half of the open space parking lot had been fenced and piling works was being carried out.
“We have to be serious in this matters concerning open space,” he said showing a paper clippings of former Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said statement on Aug 27, 2003 that Sabah Government is as serious as the Federal Government in preserving open spaces including fore shore areas.
He also showed the Prime Minister’s statement when he was the DPM. In the August 17, 2003 statement in Bernama, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said vacant land provided for recreational purposes or other uses of local residents will now be gazetted and place under the jurisdiction of the state secretariat instead of the local authorities. The move is to prevent developers from developing such land for purpose, which were not specified in the approved structural development plan.
Jimmy said the Sabindo shop owners had 10 percent of vacant land when they bought the shop lots last time, but now it had been privatized and taken by others to develop more buildings.
“TMC is the local community’s trustee. TMC should protect the people’s interest and should not concentrate in collecting revenues only,” he said.
“In this issue, the Tawau people will not surrender and will fight to the end. The developer knew the 10 per cent land is reserve and cannot be develop, but it happen that the developer managed to have it develop,” he said adding that the signing of the contract was not transparent.
Jimmy said if the protest is successful, it does not benefit Tawau, but other district in the state as the vacant lands are disappearing fast.
The project site, one of five project sites in Sabindo was finally approved for endorsement in respect of the building plans and drawings during the Tawau Municipal Council (TMC) full board meeting in May this year (2005), but received disapproval from the community who were against the project from the start.
The project hit a snag and was stopped in the early 90s by former Chief Minister Datuk Pairin Kitingan during PBS time after it was objected by the Tawau Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The said project got untangles again and was re-approved in 1996 when BN came into power.
Earlier as the project was schedule to start, a joint letter of appeal written by the Tawau Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Tawau Bumiputra Chamber of Commerce, Indian Chamber of Commerce and Tawau Reporters Association had also been sent to the Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman requesting the project to be stopped with copies delivered to Hajiji and Samson.


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