KOTA KINABALU (March 31): Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam supports the revival of the Mazu statue project in Kudat.
He agrees with former chief minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat that the proposed Mazu statue (Goddess of the Sea) would bring more tourists to Sabah and its northern district.
He personally feels that there is nothing wrong with building the statue, as it would benefit the people of Kudat and Sabah economically and draw millions of tourists to the state.
“This is a good plan and it would definitely add value to the tourism industry in this state,” he said after visiting the proposed Mazu statue site in Kudat on Friday.
Joachim added that if the project materialised, it would be another landmark for Sabah.
“I personally do not see any problem in the construction of this statue,” he said.
Also present during the site visit were Chong who is the advisor of the project, Executive Director of Kim Teck Cheong Consolidated Berhad, Datuk Dexter Lau, and local community leaders.
Last year, Dexter had discussed and requested that the government continue the construction of the Mazu statue.
Dexter said his party gave solid support to all parties involved in building the statue.
The project was first proposed by Chong in early 2005 and was approved by the Kudat Town Board in 2006. It was abruptly cancelled by the state government in 2007.
The cancellation of the project led to a bitter Chong resigning as the chief minister and filing a suit against the state government.
Chong had gone to see Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor several times on the project.
Hajiji told him that he had never objected to the erection of the statue.
The local community in Kudat have also expressed the hope that the government would agree to the construction of project.
If the project materialises, it will be the world’s tallest Mazu statue.
Earlier, Joachim witnessed the swearing-in ceremony of Kudat Town Board members.