Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sipadan incident: Dive operators show support to Sabah Parks

By Jaswinder Kaur

KOTA KINABALU: Under fire over the damage of a section of the coral reef on Pulau Sipadan, Sabah Parks have received support from local dive operators.

In a statement posted Saturday in on-line dive magazine Fins, the operators said: “The construction of permanent facilities represents a major ongoing financial commitment by Sabah Parks and the Sabah Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment to ensure adequate infrastructure to preserve Sipadan's environment. We are grateful for this support."

An angry Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had taken Sabah Parks to task for allowing a barge laden with construction material to dock at the island, damaging corals the size of at least two tennis courts. He has ordered a halt to all construction on the island and an investigation into the project.

Acknowledging that "error by the contractor" had led to destruction of the corals, the dive operators said it is easy to be swept away by the "emotional impact of the moment", but the most constructive course of action is to concentrate on the future.

Courtesy of New Straits Times

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