KOTA KINABALU: A 5-star luxury resort costing an estimated RM1 billion will be built in Melingsung, Papar and further catalysing Sabah’s hospitality and service industry.
On behalf of the State Government, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor thanked Sinyi Group and its partner InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and Resorts for choosing Sabah to build the resort in Sabah.
“Your decision to invest in this property demonstrated a larger strategy of not merely building a facility to fill rooms with visitors but also making a strategic investment in Sabah.
“What is most important for Sabah is that such investments also produce a multiplier effect to boost the economy,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony at the project site near here today.
The Chief Minister said the 450-room resort would not only create more than 500 employment opportunities but also contribute to the growth of the tourism sector.
“We also want to see that such investment is measured by the effect it will have on local enterprises, in addition to seeing that their impact will ripple through the local communities to benefit them,” he said.
He said the Sinyi Group and the IHG Hotels Group and Resorts have chosen the right location to build the property as the area is expected to boom with the construction of the Pengalat-Papar bypass and the upgrading of the Lok Kawi Road.
As far as water supply is concerned, Hajiji said he had launched the RM379 million Kogopon Water Treatment Plant upgrading project three months ago to boost production capacity to 80 million litres daily (MLD) for the Papar district.
“This will address water shortage in southern West Coast Sabah, targeting to benefit some 160,000 consumers in Putatan, Kinarut, Lok Kawi and the vicinity.
“This project will increase water supply coverage to cater not only for potential businesses here but also for industrial demands, particularly the Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal (SOGT) and the Sabah Agro-Industrial Precinct (SAIP) under the Sabah Development Corridor up to 2040,” he said.
He said the Prime Minister is expected to launch the multi-billion Hydroelectric Project at Ulu Padas in Tenom early next month.
The project, which is expected to be completed in 2027 will produce 180 MW of power to cater for the long term. He said the State Government is also studying the feasibility of building a dam to produce 6,000 MLD of water to cater to demand for the next 80 to 100 years.
“On tourism, I need not say more on Sabah’s attractions. Suffice it to say that Sabah has long been a sought-after destination for visitors worldwide. Now that normalcy has returned to the tourism industry post-Covid-19, visitor arrivals have steadily risen to 1.9 million from January to September this year.
“With Sabah targeting 2.2 million visitor arrivals for 2023, I am pleased that we have now achieved 86 per cent of the target. Drawing from Sabah’s performance over the past nine months, Sabah is on the right track to achieve the target set for the year 2023,” he said.
He said the addition of the InterContinental Resort is another positive development for Sabah, which is already seeing several hotels being built, ranging from 5-star to budget hotels with a 26,822-room capacity in anticipation of the influx of more visitors to Sabah.
“I believe this partnership between the Sinyi Group and the IHG Hotels Group and Resorts, a global hospitality company, will bring the service sector to greater heights. Your commitment aligns seamlessly with our Hala Tuju Sabah Maju Jaya development plan to ensure that we do the very best for Sabah,” he said.
Hajiji said Sabah welcomed investors to look into investment and business opportunities not only in the tourism sector but in other sectors as well, such as downstream food processing, capitalising on the emerging Blue Economy concept of sustainable use of marine resources.
“Others include the energy sectors such as solar, wind energy, hydro and storage technologies, among others, as well as oil and gas and production of green technology- based products and biomass downstream products,” he said.
The Chief Minister reiterated Sabah is prepared to look into proposals for new industries from the right investors.