Its against the law to build the 16-storey shops cum hotel complex to be built next to the historic Atkinson Clock Tower in Kota Kinabalu. But Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (SHTDA) will proceed with the hotel project. Sabah State Museum Director, Datuk Joseph P. Guntavid said, the project was found to infringe both the Antiquities and Treasure Trove Enactment (Amendment) 2007 and the Cultural Heritage Enactment 1997. He said the State Museum believes that it is cultural suicide to allow a project of such magnitude to take place next to the iconic and protected Atkinson Clock Tower. This is due to close proximity of the building, which is only 6.3 metres to the wooden tower.
Photo via flickr by waitee: Atkinson Tower taken on 9 May 2007.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said he was compelled to raise the Atkinson Clock Tower issue at the State Cabinet meeting on Sept. 8 because he felt certain factors had not been properly taken into consideration when brought to the Cabinet last year for endorsement. Among others, he felt that the legal implications of the development plan or project that was going to be constructed in the vicinity of the 105-year-old clock tower may have been overlooked.
On Rubin's claim that he (Masidi) was being double-faced by not bringing up his objections during the Cabinet meeting that endorsed the project, he said: "My previous statement on the tower is very consistent with the Cabinet's stand. The decision to review the project was the Cabinet's decision."
"I (also) want to clarify that it is not the State Cabinet that approved development plan. It only endorses it before it goes to the local authorities.
The power to approve the development plan is the local authority and in this case, it is City Hall," he said.
Besides, Masidi said technically the joint-venture project between the SHTDA and the developer was not approved because the EIA has not even been approved.
Rubin had on Saturday said all SHTDA projects that had yet to be implemented must go on or else the agreements would be terminated. Earlier, Rubin defended his statement based on the green light given by the State Museum on the proposed project through a letter signed by its former Director, Datuk Jamdin Buyong in 1996. Rubin made no mention on whether he or the developer had sought the views of the Museum lately since there had been a lapse of 15 years since the agreement was signed by predecessor Datuk Chau Chin Tang.
The State Museum categorically denied Thursday a claim by Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (SHTDA) Chairman Datuk Rubin Balang that a proposed 16-storey shops-cum-hotel complex to be built next to the historic Atkinson Clock Tower, here, has its blessing. Its Director, Datuk Joseph P. Guntavid, said in a statement that as the guardian of historical sites and monuments in Sabah, the State Museum had, in fact, strongly objected to the proposal. This, he said, was even expressed by the museum vide a letter dated Aug. 12 to the project consultants, Chemsain Konsult Sdn Bhd, after the latter sought the museum's views. The museum objected to the hotel-cum-shopping complex project because it went against the existing laws with regard to ancient monuments and historical sites.
Further, Guntavid revealed that the museum only had the opportunity to view the development plan and its comments sought on Aug. 19 after the development plan had already been approved by the City Council. He said there had been no formal meetings by relevant parties to seek the museum's comments during the process of the formulation of the plan, despite the fact that a heritage site was involved. He suggested that the project either be scaled down or relocated elsewhere.
Source: Daily express
Another point and shoot games by the politician and authority? Why no one want to admit that they already making a mistake? Why don't any of you be a gentlemen? The project still not going on, why don't just try your best to canceled the project? Maybe someone in the story already getting paid for the project? The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should take action and investigate if any corruption involved. This is a Heritage we were talking here not just some housing project. They're already to many mall in Kota Kinabalu. Why don't all of you focus a little mall project in Kota Marudu instead. Like all of them will listen to blogger like me. Hahahahaha.....
Any of you had been to this Heritage site? Just asked for the "Atkinson Tower" to the local. The tower not far from gaya Street tamu exactly.