KOTA KINABALU: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) created history when it sank one of its vessel as a tourism and artificial coral reef attraction near Manukan Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park yesterday.
Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said the purpose of decommissioning the 52-year-old KM Kuraman vessel into the ocean was for ecosystem, namely in coral reef growth and marine life.
With the new ‘asset’ in the sea, Masidi said it would indirectly attract tourists, especially shipwreck diving or ‘Wreck Dive’ in the country.
“KM Kuraman was decommissioned and sunk into the seabed at Tunku Abdul Rahman Park to serve as a new tourism attraction and ecosystem for coral reef and shipwreck diving activities.
“With this new ecosystem, we believe it will diversify the existing biodiversity in this park,” he said after officiating at the sinking of KM Kuraman at Manukan Island, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park yesterday.
Also present were MMEAFirst Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som and Sabah Park director Dr Jamili Nais.
Meanwhile, Mohd Zubil said that he was saddened that KM Kuraman had to be decommissioned after 52 years in service but happy to see the ship being used for a good cause.
“Yes, I’m sad to see this ship will not be with us anymore but also happy as it will play an important part in our ecosystem here in Tunku Abdul Rahman Park,” he said.