Sunday, January 13, 2008


Commotion over Tourist Night Market project in Bundusan

A commotion broke out at the controversial ’Tourist Night Market’ project site in Bundusan Plaza yesterday when some disgruntled shop operators tried to stop the contractor involved from carrying out the construction of the structures for the stalls. The shop operators especially pointed out to the contractor that since the project is currently being reviewed by the Penampang District Council (PDC) following a strong objection from them, he must not continue with the construction work, until there is a final decision from the District Council. However, the contractor ignored their objection and just proceeded with the construction work. The police had to be called in when tension flared with both parties engaged in a heated argument that almost turned violent. Meanwhile, DAP called on both Penampang MP Donald Mojuntin and Kepayan Assemblyman Datuk Edward Khoo to look into the objection by the Bundusan Plaza shop operators who are against the implementation of the project. They should intervene immediately and resolve the issue, DAP Kota Kinabalu Branch Chairman Dr Hiew King Cheu said yesterday in commenting on the latest development in the project. Dr Hiew said he and DAP Sabah treasurer Frederick Fung rushed to the site upon receiving distress call from the shop operators there. “In view of the fact that the issue has escalated to a critical stage now, it is only appropriate that the MP and the Wakil Rakyat concerned, Donald Mojuntin and Edward Khoo must immediately intervene to resolve the issue before it spins out of control. “They (Mojuntin and Khoo) should do more than just clearing their names that they are not a party to the project. They must be seen to be truly concerned and safeguard the public interest instead of giving mere ‘lip service’. “They must conduct a thorough investigation and to make public its outcome on how such a controversial project was approved by the District Council without any consideration given to the interest and wellbeing of the shop operators and tenants in Bundusan Plaza,” Dr Hiew contended. He maintained that the District Council should have first consulted the shop operator and tenants there before approving the proposed project. He also pointed out that the approval was a “lop-sided one, with little benefit to the District Council. A majority of the shop operators and tenants there have strongly objected to the said project, citing that it was bound to create a lot of problems that might ultimately affect the business and livelihood, he said. As it is, they are already losing 70 over parking spaces to the project, he added.