KOTA KINABALU: Tonight may be the last chance to take part in the annual custom of buang sial or removing bad luck at the famous Tanjung Aru beach.
Each New Year’s Eve, thousands of people throng the beach in the belief that a midnight dip in the seawater will wash away their bad luck.
But with Tanjung Aru due to be closed in March next year to make way for a development project, an environmental group is urging the public to gather there tonight for what they said could be their last buang sial midnight dip.
“We don’t know if we will have the opportunity to spend time at the Tanjung Aru beach with our family and friends anymore after this, especially after it is closed to the public come March.
“So we urge the public to go and experience their last memories and midnight dip there this New Year’s Eve,” said SM Muthu, a representative of Open Space Kota Kinabalu, which campaigns to protect and conserve all urban and residential green areas.
The beach, which is popular among residents and tourists alike, will be closed to facilitate the Tanjung Aru Eco Development project which aims to revitalise the 1.35km Tanjung Aru beach and Prince Philip Park.
The project features commercial and residential units as well as a marina and a golf course.
Divided into four phases, the project is expected to be completed near the end of 2019.
Muthu said environmentalists and concerned citizens had been trying to save the beach from being redeveloped.
“But if all else fails, I hope the people of Sabah have their last memories of the beach before it is taken away,” he said. – The Star Online