KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has no intention to demolish the walls of Kundasang War Memorial Park but is making improvement to it for the sake of safety, said Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun.
He said an engineering inspection has revealed a section of the wall in the Contemplation Garden had cracked due to earth movement in Kundasang.
“The engineers said it is necessary to provide granular materials such as sand at the base and the back of the retaining wall to facilitate water drainage,” he said.
“It is important to reduce the structural weight of the wall. To do this, it is necessary to remove the existing masonry wall,” he said at a press conference yesterday after presenting prizes to the winner of state-level Forum Remaja competition at Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Hall in Likas yesterday.
Masidi said the wall is in imminent danger of collapsing and rectification work is necessary for the safety of visitors.
He said the monument is important and every care will be taken to preserve it but the safety of the public is even more important.
He said a site inspection of the memorial park was made yesterday by senior government officers who were led by Datuk Michael Emban, the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, together with Datuk Matius Sator, the permanent secretary of Ministry of Local Government and Housing.
The purpose of the visit was to inspect the upgrading works being done on the Memorial, specifically on a section of the wall in the Contemplation Garden, which are expected to be completed by mid-August.
It is learnt that a group from a political party will be holding a peaceful protest in front of the Memorial this afternoon (June 16) against the improvement works.
They believe the improvement works will damage the the historical place.
Masidi said the Kundasang War Memorial was built with donations of relatives of men and women from Australia, British, New Zealand who died during World War Two. The State Government also donated for the historical place.