Monday, June 20, 2016

Sabah Wildlife Dept considering relocating Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to Penampang


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Wildlife Department is looking into the possibility of relocating the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park to Penampang if sufficient land in the district can be found, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun disclosed recently.

“In terms of tourism, this is our contribution to Penampang but the people there have to be receptive to the idea and the leaders there must come and tell us how to make it happen,” said Masidi as the ministry wants to create a tourism product for Penampang to enable them to benefit from the booming tourism industry in suburban Kota Kinabalu.

Presently, the wildlife park is located along the old Penampang-Papar road. “Penampang also has some good land and good paddy field scenery with potential as tourism attractions,” said Masidi during the Sabah Association of Tour & Travel Agents (SATTA) bi-annual dinner cum launching of the inaugural SATTA Almanac 2016 at a hotel on Saturday.

He said Kinabatangan, Kota Belud and Klias have become popular destinations for Europeans and Chinese tourists because the natural beauty has been preserved, unlike Penampang which needs better land development planning.

He said he had discussed the matter with the Penampang District Officer because the irresponsible hill cutting in the district garnered highest number of complaints; an eyesore for visitors.

“I am not criticising the people there, I am just reminding myself and all of you that we need to have planning that serves the future needs of our State. We cannot just take everything now and leave nothing for the future, if one is serious about leaving a better industry for our future generation, I think we need to invest starting now,” said Masidi.

“I would like to apologise for my comments on why the visitors don’t go the Penampang simply because most of the beautiful paddy fields have vanished, now converted into housing estates.

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