Santubong Cable Car Sdn Bhd (SCC), which has been granted a concession agreement by the state government to build a cable car system to Mount Santubong, is not in a hurry to implement the project.
Its chairman Abang Nawawi A Drahman (pic) said this was because it was pivotal for all stakeholders, including the public who opposed the project, to accept the need for the infrastructure and how it would be built to ensure minimal environmental damage to the mountain.
He said the company was willing to discuss the matter with anyone who was interested and concerned about the proposed project and get their feedback.
To date, he said, all necessary paper work and feasibility studies had been done in the recent years except for the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report.
Santubong Cable Car Sdn Bhd (SCC) chairman Abang Nawawi A Drahman looking at the Concession Agreement signed with the state government in 2007 says his company is not in a hurry to implement the cable car project until all stakeholders and the public fully understand and accept the project.
“The State Planning Unit and Land and Survey Department have approved our proposed building plan and alienated 36 acres of state land including the mountain’s summit to be developed for the cable car through the concession agreement signed on May 9, 2007.
“The EIA report is only valid for a year. So, we can’t do the EIA until we are able to confirm a stakeholder from the government to team up with SCC in a joint-venture to run and maintain the cable car system.
“We’re still talking with government agencies and other tourism players on this,” he told reporters here yesterday.
On news report that another company, One Cable Car (Santubong) Development Sdn Bhd was keen to build a 6km-cable car system to the mountain, Nawawi said SCC was not worried about the competition.
He said the proposed route by One Cable Car was different from SCC.
“It’s illogical to have two companies build two cable car systems up to the same mountain summit. Since the state government has assigned the project to SCC, I don’t think the government would overlap the rights to build the project to another company,” he said.
Nawawi said SCC’s proposal, which was less ambitious than One Cable Car’s, had also been approved by the Tourism Ministry at the federal level and gave SCC to green light to make use Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd’s infrastructure loan.
“Our system will only cost about RM50mil,” he said.
It was reported that One Cable Car’s proposed system would cost RM100mil and part of a multi-billion ringgit project to make the Santubong peninsula into a beach and city resort in a decade.
In SCC’s plan, Nawawi said, it would use the land given to build a cable car system and then, eventually a new resort and water theme park at the foothills of the mountain near Sarawak Cultural Village.
“It is agreed that no big trees will be cut on the mountain. Some trees will have to be cut to make way for the eight pillars but minimal,” he said, adding that the alienated land was outside the Santubong National Park’s boundary.
Among others, he said, helicopters would be used to bring in the building equipment to reduce the need to clear the mountain’s vegetation and therefore, hoped that the public would be more receptive of the project in the future.
He said SCC already had a pool of experienced engineers to work on the project and would be working closely with a Swiss firm Doppelmayr, a leading company in developing cable car systems worldwide.