Cameron Theme Park Developers say they have yet to submit an application to the State Government after the Pahang MB says he has not received it.
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Sim Leisure Group confirmed it had yet to submit an application to the Pahang state government on its proposed nature-based adventure park project in Cameron Highlands.
Nevertheless, it reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with the appropriate authorities and fulfil all necessary environmental and corporate obligations
The company said its recent media launch was purely a public announcement of an agreement signed between Sim and Sitiawan-based Hektar Muda Assets, the landowner.
“This sequence of events has been a standard process for the company tracing back to its similar nature-based attraction in Penang (Escape Theme Park), created ten years ago, which has gone on to become a beacon for tourism and an example for nature-based/education facilities within the country,” said Sim Leisure in a statement.
For reference, the Escape Theme Park in Teluk Bahang is touted as the first in Asia to adopt renewable energy features.
“We would like to reaffirm that ESCAPE Cameron Highlands is conceptualised as an eco-friendly, environmentally conscious and designed park, taking into high consideration the local landscape much like the facilities pre-existing under the Sim leisure stable of properties,” the company added.
The statement by Sim Leisure came in the wake of a recent comment by Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail.
“It is not true … don’t believe it, so far there has been no official application, and we have never discussed the matter in the Exco meeting,” said Wan Rosdy in a recent press conference.
The project had captivated public attention with its European-themed design and cool features, including a dry ski slope, touted to be the world’s longest upon completion.
Set for completion in 2023, the project will be done in stages and is expected to draw some 200,000 visitors within its first year.
Following its recent media launch, the project whipped up a firestorm of online protests, especially from Cameron Highlands locals who had been taken by surprise.
Meanwhile, Tanah Rata assemblyman Chiong Yoke Kong said the federal, state and local government should work together with the developer.
They should keep the public informed about the development plan openly and transparently. In other words, the public had been kept in the dark on any extra information about the project. They have the right to know if the development uses sustainable methods.Chiong Yoke Kong
Regional Environment Awareness Cameron Highlands (Reach) said while the project site is not a virgin forest, the development plan and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) must be made available.
“As environmentalists, we are deeply concerned as to how they will manage the steep slopes,” said Reach president Dilip Martin.
An EIA report is a prerequisite under Section 34A (6) of the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127).