Tawau, July 17, 2009: Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) Member of Parliament for Tawau, Datuk Dr Chua Soon Bui, said she was not in favour of developing the 200 acres of state land (the old Tawau Airport) for the sole purpose of Aerodrome by the Ministry of Transport.
"Firstly, we have to ensure that the land has been surrendered to the state government by Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to prevent a repeat case of what happened on the 5 pieces of recreation land approved for commercial development.
"The 200 acres of land is prime land within the town vicinity. I propose the local council (Majlis Perbandaran Tawau) to make a feasibility study of establishing buildings for both state and federal departments and agencies at the said site.
"It is the only last chance that the Tawau people could hope for a comprehensive development, within the town vicinity, to enjoy well planned public facilities of the state and federal departments and agencies at the same site. This will no doubt bring a lot of convenience to the people.
"At the moment, we see very cramped offices like the Land Office, Water Department, National Registration Department, where people waiting for services sometimes have to queue up outside the building, the Education Department, the Court House and so on. The public face daily parking problems when they visit the departments and agencies. Sometimes, the government staffs also encounter the problem of lack of parking space.
"All these contribute to aggravate the traffic congestion in the town centre where time and money is wasted unnecessarily. Those who are forced to park temporarily and illegally would be fined by the enforcement officers.
"The situation is especially serious in Fajar where most of the financial institutions, banks and hotels are located near the Tawau Municipal Council and the Court House. There are very limited existing facilities at the Tawau Hospital which urgently needs new specialist facilities for cancer patients, women and children, and related wards for Tuberculosis and A-H1N1 patients.
"With the increasing traffic volume in Tawau, it is high time to decentralize the state and federal departments and agencies so that the development will provide a one stop comprehensive service centre (like what is available at Putrajaya) to serve the people of Tawau in a conducive environment with ample parking spaces. It will also divert and ease some of the heavy traffic in town.
"It is also timely this year for the local council to submit the proposal for the 10th Malaysian Plan (RMK10) to be implemented by the year 2010. I urge the Tawau local council to start planning early, and to plan with transparency, by inviting suggestions and comments from the Chambers of Commerce, the YBs, political parties, guilds and associations, NGOs and the general public at large. It is also important to plan the infrastructures now, e.g. to expand the dual carriage road at North Road (Jalan Utara), to ensure ample supply of electricity, water, parking spaces and environmentally friendly parks. A planning for the provision of shuttle bus services between the town and the vicinity of complexes of departments and agencies is also vital.
"I hope the Prime Minister, YAB Datuk Seri Najib’s motto of “One Malaysia, People First and Performance Now” will also be implemented in Tawau so that Tawau can be transformed into a better town for all.