TAED On Hold Following Warisan Win; Sabah Football In Dire Straits

2329

THE AUTHORITIES HAVE TO LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE THIS TIME, UNLIKE BEFORE WHERE PUBLIC VIEWS WERE ENCOURAGED BUT THERE WAS NEVER ANY INTENTION TO REALLY LISTEN AND FOLLOW UP ON THE SUGGESTIONS OR OBJECTIONS

COMMENT: Did we hear him right?

Now the Mayor Yeo Boon Hai is talking. Before, he was rather quiet on the subject.

The fact that he is still around is remarkable.

Didn’t he promise he would resign if the 30 per cent of the space at the Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED) project for public use was not gazetted by a certain time?

It was never followed up of course. It was just an empty promise. He should not have even bothered to impress the public.

In the recent report updating on the project, no agreement was signed between City Hall and other parties, no mortgage of any title, the title is still intact, he claimed.

Let us hope this is the right information on the current status of the project.

The Tanjung Aru Eco Development project which would require massive sea reclamation. – Photo credit TAED

The Executive Director of TAED, Victor Paul, would be in a better position to know as he was calling all the shots and not the Mayor. (It has since been reported that Victor has resigned from TAED).

VICTOR PAUL

Borneo Today (BT) was pretty consistent objecting to the reclamation work which would bring about an extra 600 acres on top of the 200 acres on land, thus destroying the beautiful God-given shoreline Sabahans have come to appreciate as their heritage.

We, like the other local conservation groups never objected to the development on land.

While the reason given was said to be the erosion of the beach and an artificial beach was needed, those who opposed the reclamation – among them old time Tanjung Aru residents – knew it was not the case; it was nothing but about real estate.

It was good to hear from the Mayor that he too was agreeable now with this approach not to do the reclamation work in any way.

YEO BOON HAI

We can understand the pressure he had to face from the previous government, as there was little room (then) for civil servants to give their professional views as it would not be tolerated at all.

Let us hope the civil servants in ‘New Sabah’ will do what is right and good for the state and advise their political masters accordingly without fear or favour.

If it is not right, say so, there is no need for groveling and hand kissing anymore.

So we move on.

Tanjung Aru beach needs to be paid attention to as soon as possible as it is so run down. Yet it still can attract huge crowds to watch the sunset every evening. The sunset on certain days is awesome, simply stunning.

The authorities need to focus on the sewage system as a priority, so that untreated sewage does not get discharged into the sea anymore.

As the city grows and open spaces will be not be so readily available, the beach and its surrounding areas need to be preserved as the city’s green lung.

Spectacular sunsets at Tanjung Aru beach attract loads of tourists and camera buffs. – Photo courtesy of Sabah Tourism Board

New York has Central Park and London its Hyde Park, we need something equivalent. Rebrand it and call it Taman Warisan (Heritage Park) as suggested by some people.

We have said it before, come up with jogging tracks, bicycle tracks, other amenities like booths and of course public toilets and all that.

Grow more trees and flowers, maybe water features here and there would not be too bad an idea.

Expand the area towards the rugby field, making it bigger to accommodate the city’s growing population; let us think 20 or 30 years down the road.

The authorities have to listen to the people this time, unlike before where public views were encouraged but there was never any intention to really listen and follow up on the suggestions or objections.

TAED was definitely unfriendly to the public, besides lacking in transparency; it seemed like a big scam to benefit a few greedy people and the well-heeled foreigners.

The beach is our heritage and belongs to all Sabahans, don’t even doubt that.

Artist impression of Tanjung Aru beach once developed. Will the Warisan government scrap TAED altogether or will it call for the project to be downsized to avoid reclamation and protect the beach for the public?

Let not greed cloud our thinking.

And just gazette it under the Heritage Ordinance; short of that people will not be so forgiving.

WHEN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL WAS INTRODUCED, WE WERE GOOD INITIALLY; THEN THE 1994 MATCH FIXING SCANDAL PRACTICALLY KILLED THE FANS INTEREST IN THE GAME. SO WHAT NOW FOR SABAH FOOTBALL?

When was the last time Sabah did well in football? The players’ household names?

Ask anybody now who the players are, we will be hard pressed even to name one.

During the Malaysian semi pro era we had quality players and Sabah was feared by most teams.

The 1996 Sabah squad that won the Malaysian League title for the first and only time.

When professional football was introduced, we were good initially; then the 1994 match fixing scandal practically killed the fans interest in the game.

Since then our fortunes have been mixed at best.

Now it is time to bring back our glory days, can we?

We have to believe everything is possible of course.

However as it stands our football is in the dumps, both financial and performance wise.

James Wong is legend to the hordes of Sabah fans in the 70s and 80s but today, sadly, not many know of Malaysia’s lethal goalscorer. – Photo credit TheStar

With the former Chief Minister, Musa Aman, also the SAFA President nowhere to be found, things cannot be said to be in order. The fly understands that Musa has deserted the Rhinos.

Debts are said to be in the millions, and we heard from a reliable source that wages of players could go into arrears for the last few months.

The right course of action is for all current SAFA officials to resign immediately to share the responsibility of the mess they have created.

If we want to go to the next level and revive what we once had, we have to accept this is a serious business; professionals are needed to come in and not self-serving people who are there for quick fame or even fortune.

Scott Ollerenshaw (Left) with Alistair Edward

Competitions like inter district and inter zone at junior levels to spot young talents must get off the ground as soon as possible. What has become of Sabah’s football academy?

It would not be a bad idea to get those who are awarded big contracts to sponsor these tournaments as part of their corporate sports responsibility.

Also to discourage the culture of dependency, waiting for handouts all the time, officials at all levels must source their own funds.

Maybe there is no need even for the Chief Minister to be involved in SAFA as practised by UMNO, as he has other urgent things to worry about.

Development in football is everything; it must be separate from the pro league which in this time and age must be run like a business.

If it is well managed and transparent, what is stopping football fans from buying shares in the club?

If the old way of managing football in the state persists, which is very amateurish, then don’t expect anything at all.

The Johor Darul Takzim team has done well because it is run like a real professional team.

They have set the benchmark; we have a lot of catch up to do.