KUALA PENYU: The Central Board has approved a four-star hotel and a five-star hotel with about 800 rooms combined to be built in Kuala Penyu.
Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming said Kuala Penyu would undergo major transformation in a year or so.
“At present, the proposal to build four-star and five-star hotels have been approved by the Central Board.
“In time to come, more hotels and resorts will be coming up in Kuala Penyu,” Pang said at the groundbreaking ceremony of Wong Tai Sin Temple, Sabah here yesterday.
He said Kuala Penyu was poised to become one of the main tourism destinations in Sabah in the next five years with the establishment of the famous Wong Tai Sin Temple here.
Pang believed that tourists from around the world, especially those from China, would flock to the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kuala Penyu to receive blessings.
“I hope everyone will do their part in making sure that the temple is erected in the 1.5 to two years in order to spur the economy of Kuala Penyu,” he said.
Pang said the establishment of the temple was a historical moment for Sabah as this would be the third Wong Tai Sin Temple outside Hong Kong, after Macau and Vancouver.
“The Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong is a popular tourism destination with 6 million visitors recorded a year.
“Each year, the temple receives donations amounting to HKD500 million.
“I believe the Wong Tai Sim Temple here will enhance the tourism products of Kuala Penyu.”
On behalf of the people of Sabah and Kuala Penyu, he thanked Dr Lee Yiu Fai, Monastic Supervisor of Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong, for giving his approval and blessing to build the temple during the latter’s visit to the district a few months ago.
Pang also thanked Kuala Penyu Assemblyman Datuk Limus Jury for having the wisdom and taking the initiative and effort in making the temple a reality, as well as the government for approving the project.
Limus, a Dusun whose religion is Buddhism, has donated five acres of land for the purpose of building the temple.
“Limus, you will always be remembered fondly by the Chinese community as well as the people of Sabah and Kuala Penyu in many years to come for putting a monumental landmark in Kuala Penyu.”
He said the temple’s modern design that resembled a turtle was also Limus’ request.
“To the Chinese, turtle is a symbol of longevity and stability.
“I hope the Wong Tai Sin Temple will bring not only peace, tourists and development to the district, but more importantly, longevity to the people of Sabah and Kuala Penyu.”
Meanwhile, Limus said visitors who come for the Wong Tai Sin Temple here would spur the economy of the local community.
He said the district would greatly benefit if the temple could attract half or even a million of the 6 million visitors who went to the Wong Tai Sin Temple, Hong Kong annually.
He also spoke positively of the charity work to assist the underprivileged people that was carried out by Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong using the donations they collected.
Also present were Deputy Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly Datuk Dr Johnson Tee, Karamunting Assemblyman Datuk Charles O Pang, Sabah United Chinese Chambers of Commerce (SUCCC) president Tan Sri Andrew Liew Sui Fatt, Beaufort Chinese Chamber of Commerce president Datuk Seri Panglima Chong Nyuk Yong, SUCCC deputy president Datuk Ling Tiong Chai, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Sabah life honorary advisor Fred Lee, Wong Tai Sin Temple, Sabah life honorary advisor Chok Ming Chong, organizing chairman Yeo Boun Kiat and event chairman Fung Tack Fui.