KUCHING: There is still no decision on the proposed cable car initiative which would bring visitors to the peak of Mount Santubong, said Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain.
While there is resistance from environmentalists on the proposed initiative, SEDC is still looking at the proposal, he said.
“This is not our (SEDC’s) proposal. It was proposed by somebody else, but we have been asked to look into it because the project has been there for the last 10 years and we will see what is the best way to attract people to this Damai Peninsular. We want to know (whether it) is the cable car or some other thing,” he told reporters during the walkabout at the Sarawak Culture Village (SCV) in Santubong here today.
In the master plan, SEDC will look into the issue in the hope of coming up with a decision on the proposed project, he said, noting that there are environmentalists who said that having cable cars going to the top of the mountain is not good for the environment.
“To some extent, I do agree with that; but we have to find some alternative ways to get this place (Damai Peninsular) to be more attractive and easily accessible to the people. Is cable car one of them? I will not be very sure until we finish or finalise our study,” he said.
Abdul Aziz said the master plan will take into account not only the environmental issue but also the heritage, social impact and benefits to the people.
“We need a very comprehensive study because we do not want to do something and find that it is not right; it would be very difficult to retract once we have done a development that could spoil the environment,” he said.
On how bad COVID-19 has affected SEDC’s tourism-related business, Abdul Aziz said its hotels and resort’s occupancy rate has fallen to below 10 per cent, but added that the resort has benefited somewhat from local tourists, especially during the weekends.
“We hope to capitalise on local tourism after the CMCO (Conditional Movement Control Order) is lifted,” he said, adding that before the implementation of this control order, the corporation was able to get good revenue from its hotel businesses, especially from the food and beverage operations, as well as the resort side.