KOTA KINABALU: The delay over the construction of the Bajau Sama Cultural Centre in Tuaran near here will soon be a thing of the past, thanks to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
Tangau, who is also Tuaran MP, has requested the relevant bodies including contractors to look into expediting the project.
He considered the issue solved, saying works are expected to be completed this August.
“The main priority here is to ensure the project can be finished according to schedule.
“So today I have asked the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, Sabah Cultural Board and the Tuaran District Office to fast track the approval of the centre’s Development Plan (DP).
“What’s important is that not only must the project be completed within the time frame but also fulfill the objective of its construction which is to promote the art and culture of the Bajau Sama,” he said today.
Tangau was speaking after visiting the construction site and a briefing session with contractors and all related agencies.
The centre, costing about RM7.5 million, is being built on a 1.4-hectare land in Kampung Lok Batik in Tuaran.
It was reported in a local daily that the centre was in danger of being a white elephant project after it turned out that it was built without a DP approval and that the land it sits on did not have a title.
A Tuaran District Council official had told the daily that the DP could not be approved because the status of the land is still under Land Appllication (LA).
Tangau said, according to the initial schedule, the building should by right have been completed if not for factors such as the Movement Control Order (MCO).
He added that the developers also faced difficulties in obtaining building material such as sand.
“They were then given an extension and now they have two months to complete it,” he said.
Towards this end, Tangau said the building will be one the state’s outstanding landmarks when completed, particularly for Tuaran residents.
“I hope the project will go smoothly after this visit,” he said.