Thursday, August 10, 2006

Pulau Gaya for a holiday?

By Arman Gunsika

KOTA KINABALU - Putatan Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Marous Mojigoh said drug activities and other social problems in Pulau Gaya will be eliminated if the island is fully developed into a tourist attraction.

He said Pulau Gaya off Kota Kinabalu could become a revenue earner if the government considers developing the island as a tourist destination, like Pulau Langkawi in the peninsula, thus ridding it of illegal immigrants, who are now squatting along the island's shoreline.

"If it can be turned into a tourist destination by building hotels, chalets and entertainment parks, the squatter houses and other social problems will be cleared," he said.

In this respect, Dr Marous also hoped the local authority would be cooperative and not "make it difficult for interested investors to come in and develop the island".

He said there have been several interested investors who came to present their respective proposals and it is just a matter of approval from the Sabah government. A bridge connecting the island to the mainland should also be built to further enhance the distribution of infrastructure on Pulau Gaya.

The tourism in Sabah is a major economic contributor but the private sector must take the initiative and "not just depend on the government to do something".

Pulau Gaya, which is only a distance away from Kota Kinabalu city, can be reached within five minutes by boat. It is notorious as a drug den and haven for criminals who often "raid" the mainland towns and escape by boat onto the island.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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