Tuesday, March 26

Sabah Parks mulling setting up cable car ride from Sugud to Inobong


Dr Jamili Nais

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Parks is discussing and considering the possibility of setting up cable car ride from Sugud, Penampang to Inobong, said its director, Dr Jamili Nais.

“We are mulling doing a cable car ride from Sugud to Inobong, featuring one of the best views of Kota Kinabalu. If that does not materialize, we are also considering (setting up a cable car) from the city centre, maybe, from our jetty to Gaya Island.

“But this is still under discussion and consideration,” he said during the industry dialogue session organized by Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Sabah Chapter here yesterday.

Dr Jamili said this when answering a question on the possibility of having a cable car service to Mount Kinabalu, which he replied was not doable.

He said a feasibility study had been done before on the proposal to set up a cable car to Mount Kinabalu, but the volume of passengers would render the service not viable economically.

Besides, he said the waste generated would be detrimental to the environment, while passengers could also suffer from acute mountain sickness due to the altitude.

On the overcrowding at the jetties heading for Tunku Abdul Rahman marine parks, Dr Jamili said there was no other way to solve this issue unless a limit was imposed on the number of visitors to the islands.

“Normally, tourists go to the islands at the same time, which can number 500 people on average daily up to 2,000 per day during the Chinese New Year. If you (tourism industry players) suggest to limit the number of visitors, I will be the happiest person around.

But I take the balanced approach by mitigating the problem,” he said.

Dr Jamili added that Sabah Parks adopted the 80:20 ratio in nature destinations, whereby only 20 percent of these areas could be developed while the rest were left intact.

For instance, he said only three percent of Mount Kinabalu is opened up for visitation.

“Tunku Abdul Rahman Park is unique because it is an urban national park. But we do monitor the impact,” he assured.

He said the Sabah Parks also took the carrying capacity seriously, including limiting the number of divers at 120 each day at Sipadan Island and the number of climbers to 135 daily at Mount Kinabalu.

In addition, Dr Jamili said Sabah Parks is opening up Tun Mustapha Park to divert development and visitors to the marine park and Pulau Tiga as well.