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‘Sipadan should be made a World Heritage Site’

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Keadilan Sabah has urged the State Government seek the gazetting of Sipadan Island as a World Heritage Site as was done in the case of Mount Kinabalu.

Its Deputy Chairperson Christina Liew said such move would enable the island to be permanently preserved and protected from undesirable elements.

“If the Government is really sincere about preserving Sipadan as our natural heritage, then Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman should exercise his influence to propose gazetting the island as a World Heritage Site.

“Otherwise, we have no assurance that potential dive resort operators will not move in and build structures on the island again at some point in future under amended rules,” she said, Monday.

Liew was commenting on Musa’s statement last Thursday confirming that the five dive companies operating on Sipadan have been told to remove all man-made structures on the island by the end of this year.

He said this was necessary for Sipadan to continue remaining the world’s Number One dive destination.

Under the ruling, resort operators would have to operate from Semporna or any of the nearby islands surrounding Sipadan so long as they don’t let the tourists stay overnight on Sipadan.

While welcoming the order to vacate the island, she said the Government must formulate strict polices and enforce measures for the protection of Sipadan Island and its surroundings “to make sure there is no illegal fishing or fish bombing activity when the island is left uninhabited eventually.”

She also hoped that there would be more vigilance against fishbombing activities throughout Sabah which are affecting reefs all the same.

“What is the point of dismantling all the existing chalets in the resorts in the name of preserving the island’s environment when there is no control over fish bombing, including in the island’s vicinity?” Liew asked.

Source: Daily Express

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