Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Kota Marudu to be green tourist attraction – Max

KOTA MARUDU: Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili envisions Kota Marudu as the centre for green tourism in northern Sabah.

He said the district is blessed with many natural resources, marine life, fauna and beauty that were not only crucial to the preservation of the environment but also gave a unique distinction to the coastal district.

“Kota Marudu is blessed with good soil for agriculture. We also have the second largest mangrove area in Sabah with about 10,000 hectares, sea shores, 60 species of almost-extinct birds, mammals and reptiles and is less than two hours’ drive from Kota Kinabalu city.

“The Marudu Bay which is rich in marine diversity has been a subject of study on eco-resources management, including by Universiti Pertanian Malaysia. We must exploit our resources, beauty and uniqueness to make Kota Marudu a center for green tourism which will benefit the district in terms of conservation as well as creating economic growth in the area,” he said.

Towards this end, Dr Maximus, who is also the Kota Marudu MP, called on the district office to set up a Tourism District Council to expedite the development of Kota Marudu as a potential tourism centre.

He said there is much potential to develop tourism in the district and noted that efforts had been made by individuals to set up homestays for visitors who were attracted to visit Kota Marudu, including nature lovers.

He was speaking at the launch of the two-day Kota Marudu festival which was previously known as Pesta Jagung (Corn Festival) Kota Marudu.

The festival, which has been celebrated and is synonymous with the district since 2001, had been renamed in line with the state government’s decision that festivals in district should not only highlight one agricultural product.

Dr Maximus added that like the previous festivals, the Kota Marudu festival highlighted not only the cultures of the many ethnic groups found in the district but all the agricultural products of the district.

He also said that the festival was a good avenue to promote Kota Marudu’s tourism attractions and that for it to become a green tourism centre, the people’s participation was also crucial, namely in conserving the natural resources.

Among the features and programmes held in conjunction with the festival were exciting activities participated by the community and visitors such as traditional sports, the Kota Marudu Sabah Open 4x4 Amateur Challenge 2015, the Marudu Bay festival, cultural shows, Classic Chinese Song Competition, lantern contest, Festival Queen Contest, colouring contest for children, and displays at booths by various agencies and the private sector, including those showcasing the various agricultural products and produce and farm animals.

This year, the Green Foundation (Yayasan Hijau) set up under the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water also held a mini carnival involving 400 secondary school students to teach and promote to them green lifestyle with simple green practices and use of green technology or approaches.

Dr Maximus said the effort by the foundation to reach out to the grassroots community in Kota Marudu was important for Kota Marudu to become a “green” district.

“Making Kota Marudu environmentally-friendly is part of the plan to develop the district as an economic hub of northern Sabah through sustainable development,” he said.

Dr Maximus also highlighted the many improvements and development that had taken place and are in progress in the district.

“Kota Marudu will be able to progress further with the planned Pan Borneo Highway which will include the coastal road that links to Kota Marudu. The festival today is also to celebrate the progress we have undergone,” he said.

He said the government had already approved and allocated RM36 million to develop the first phase of the dual carriage way for Kota Marudu, which is now at the stage of undergoing land acquisition.

“Some 500 units of shop lots have been completed and 700 more are nearing completion which when all completed will see robust economic growth in Kota Marudu,”he said.

Dr Maximus was also encouraged to see that the community in Kota Marudu were keen to participate in the Feed-in Tariff mechanism for solar photo voltaic since it was introduced in Sabah in 2014.

The Feed-In Tariff approval holders are allowed to generate electricity through Solar PV at their own premises, which will be connected to the grid and sold to Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) based on the FiT rate.

Under the commercial category, two facilities have been installed with 1MW capacity in Kota Marudu, while 20 individuals are participating under the individual category for 12kw capacity.

Under the community category with capacity of 48kw and below, three NGOs, namely, Persatuan Pengajaran Agama Maitreya Sabah, Chinese SDA Church and True Jesus Church are participating in the programme in the district.


Source - The Borneo Post