KOTA KINABALU, May 25 — The state government will consider allowing public access to the popular Tanjung Aru beach following complaints from the public of various restrictions imposed.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that he had no objections to the requests of the public as there was so far there was no overall development plan for the iconic beachfront.
"We will put your suggestions to TAED. We have yet to come to a decision on the plans for the whole Tanjung Aru, but in the meantime, we can consider it,” said Hajiji.
TAED refers to Tanjung Aru Eco Development Sdn Bhd, the state-owned company in charge of managing the prime land.
Hajiji said this in response to Tanjung Aru assemblyman Datuk Junz Wong during the state assembly sitting when asked about public complaints regarding access, maintenance and parking charges among others.
The complaints recently centred around blocked access to Third Beach, which used to be a hotspot for picnics, bbqs and sunset-watching. But the area has also fallen into neglect as there is little to no maintenance causing strew litter and overgrowth.
TAED has blocked off vehicle access to Third Beach, citing safety reasons and poor water quality.
Wong said that Tanjung Aru is still a public beach and should not be denied access.
"We are not against development, but it is a public beach and there must be access to the open space,” he said.
TAED, a state owned company and project has been set up sinc 2016 under the Barisan Nasional government to redevelop the iconic beach since 2016 has come under heavy scrutiny since it was first set up.
Public criticism over the years include lack of transparency, mismanagement, restrictions, environmental concerns, lack of maintenance and cleanliness and parking claims.
More recently, claims were that Third Beach was becoming a wasteland while TAED collected income from parking fees and hawker space.
TAED has defended its actions, claiming that imposition of the parking fees were very reasonable and other revenue from the hawker activities was for upkeep and maintenance expenditures.