Thursday, March 6, 2008


Boosting tourism will be my aim, says Yahya


Boosting tourism in Petagas would be the main agenda of the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Petagas state seat, Datuk Yahya Hussin, if he is returned to represent the electorate for the fourth consecutive term. The Deputy Chief Minister said the plan was in motion with the opening last year of the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, located about 20 minutes from Putatan town. “This park is 280 acres big and is on par with any other in the world. However, we have yet to promote it aggressively because it is just a year old. It has received quite a number of visitors and I foresee a good future for this park,” he told Bernama when met at his residence here. The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park houses mainly endemic species found in Borneo, such as the Borneo Pygmy elephants, Proboscis monkeys, orang utans and the Sumatran rhinos as well as some exotic species. For the first 10 months since it was opened in February last year, the park received 150,000 visitors. About RM27 million has been spent on the zoo since its initial conceptual plan in 1991 until 2006. Yahya, who is also state Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister, said apart from the park, he also planned to have more commercial outlets opened, construct more low-cost houses, reduce squatters and ensure better road connections to ease the growing traffic congestion in Petagas. Commenting on the development of this constituency, he said similar to other suburbs in Sabah, Petagas had achieved much development since the BN took over the Government in the state in 1994. He said among the issues solved in this constituency were flash floods through the deepening of rivers, and the squatter problem at the airport development site by relocating the residents. Yahya, who is again involved in a straight fight with Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Salleh Tiasi @ Tiaseh, said his opponent had not shown consistency as he had been jumping parties and merely bringing up petty issues. Asked on the overall chances of BN in Sabah for elections, Yahya said he expected the BN to rule the state again as the opposition would be clearly rejected by the people. - Bernama