SEMPORNA: A plan to build Malaysia’s first and biggest oceanarium resort of luxury chalets in Mabul, in the east coast of Sabah, is facing a wave of opposition.
Environmentalists, villagers and dive operators warn that the proposed project on a 33ha parcel of shallows will bring disaster to Mabul marine life and may also degrade the eco-sensitive coral reefs of Pulau Sipadan, a 20-minute boat ride away.
Application for a 99-year lease for the parcel facing south of Sipadan was first put in by a local company based in Kota Kinabalu in September last year.
The Semporna Assistant Collector of Land Revenue approved the application early this year and the Sabah Cabinet endorsed it last month, according to state officials.
They said the project was supposed to be undertaken by a local and Japanese joint venture based on an environment-friendly building concept.
Work will only commence after a thorough study of the environment impact assessment report.
The sources added that the oceanarium would be surrounded by five villages of more than 200 sea-view bungalows and semi-detached villas, with side pools and spa villas as well as staff and scientist quarters.
Continue reading (incl. pics) at: Concern over Mabul resort plan