Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maliau Basin’s best kept secret to be savoured by Malaysian PM

Maliau Basin, which is poised to be a World Heritage Site soon, has become the most enticing destination in Sabah. People from every part of the world, particularly nature lovers, love to come for the precious moments of savouring the pristine condition in Maliau Basin, also lovingly called Sabah’s Lost World. Maliau Basin is visited by tourists of different ages and from the entire globe.

Come this Saturday, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will be Malaysia’s first prime minister to visit this internationally-acclaimed area, and at the same time enjoy the golden chance of discovering Maliau Basin’s best kept secret.

On that day, he is scheduled to open the Maliau Basin Studies Centre and witness the signing of several memorandums of understanding between local and international groups involved in research in the untouched rainforests of Sabah. Najib is also expected to launch Project Safe undertaken by Sime Darby in the area during his visit to the 30 sq km basin off the east coast.

“Maliau Basin is our precious natural treasure and heritage that needs to be protected at all costs,” State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun told Bernama, here, yesterday.

“That’s why the Sabah government had nominated Maliau Basin together with Danum Valley as a World Heritage Site for future generations to enjoy the designated areas of unspoilt natural beauty.”

Over the past years, Maliau Basin has been the subject of the so-called “monkey or gold” debate—whether the area should be left as pristine as possible with only monkeys roaming the hills and plains, or to have its valuable minerals extracted for economic gain. However, the debate subdued when the state government stood firmly and shot down the idea or the possibility of conducting mining operations in Maliau Basin.

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