World’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat – What is Sabah CM Musa’s stand?

During my three-day political visit of Tawau, Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan last week together with DAP Pahang State Assemblyman Leong Ngah Ngah and DAP Sarawak Assemblywoman for Pending, Violet Yong, one of my consistent themes was calling for support for the tourist-promotion initiative of former Sabah Deputy Chief Minister/Minister for Tourism Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat (and which is bruited as one of the two main reasons for his shock resignation) – the world’s tallest Mazu (Goddess of the Sea) statue project in Kudat.

I am glad that there is growing public support for the project in Sabah as illustrated by the Sabah Daily Express report “CM urged to reconsider” which is reproduced below.

I had intended to meet up with the Federal Minister for Tourism Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor next week during the resumed meeting of Parliament to urge him to support the world’s tallest Mazu project, which will not only be a triple bonus to the tourism promotion campaign for Kudat, Sabah and Malaysia but will also be a symbol of the “Instant Asia” publicity which Malaysia is promoting worlwide.

There would be no need for me to meet up with Tengku Adnan if the Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Musa Aman and the State Cabinet announce their support for the Mazu project in Kudat, especially as land and public donations exceeding RM5 million for the Kudat Mazu project have been pledged, and parts for the construction of the 108-ft 10-storey-high Mazu statue are being shipped to Sabah.

What is the stand of Musa on the Kudat Mazu project?

Is the world’s tallest Mazu project on the agenda of the Sabah State Cabinet at its next meeting, and if not, is there any Sabah State Minister who is prepared to make a public pledge to raise it at the next Cabinet meeting?

CM urged to reconsider
Daily Express Sabah

Kota Kinabalu: Several Chinese associations in the State as well as the Sabah United Chinese Chamber of Commerce (SUCCC) have come out in support of the proposed world’s tallest Mazu (Chinese Goddess of the Sea) statue in Kudat.

The 10-storey high statue was already approved and was in the process of completion until ordered to stop by the local authority.

They said the structure also complements Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi’s Islamic Hadhari (civilisational Islam) concept of respect and tolerance for other faiths and which Malaysia upholds.

SUCCC President Datuk Seri Sari Tan said the project is good for Malaysia’s multi-racial and religious image and that those against it are the ones who are being insensitive towards others.

“I can assure that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman was never against the construction of the statue.

“The CM never objected to it although rumours are circulating that he was against it and former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong (Kah Kiat) resigned because of that.

“Those against it are a few narrow-minded people. They should stop objecting for the sake of objecting and think of the damage it can cause to Malaysia’s international image.

“They should also think of the good it would do for tourism in a place like Kudat which not that many people go to,” he said.

He said Musa is always known to be magnanimous and would surely not allow the persuasion of a few to override the legitimate interests of another community.

“I am sure he will clear the air once and for all,” he said, adding that it is better that the matter is resolved now and fast rather than be used as ammunition by the opposition during the coming elections.

“There is no need to wait for the opposition to enter the fray, more so when work on the project had actually long started.”

Sari was responding to the statement by DAP Adviser Lim Kit Siang, who is also opposition Parliament leader, who said he plans to meet Federal Tourism Minister Tengku Datuk Mansor Adnan over the shelved project.

Lim had said the project should be supported by the Federal Government because it would be economically good for Sabah and Malaysia by enhancing the nation’s tourism competitiveness.

Lim also said the project was consistent with Malaysia’s “Truly Asia” image as a tolerant and harmonious society.

President of the Sabah Taoist Association, Wong Kok Leong, said his Association supports the idea of meeting Federal Tourism Minister Tengku Datuk Mansor Adnan over the shelved project for the nation’s larger interests.

However, he stressed that his association’s view should not be misconstrued as a show of support for DAP.

“I am a supporter of the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government and I am speaking purely from the tourism promotion perspective. The statue project would definitely benefit the tourism industry, in particular,” he said.

Wong said the people of Sabah, particularly the Chinese, would be eternally grateful to Musa as well as Sabah BN and the Federal Government if the project is allowed to continue.

“Having said this, it is clear that approval would depend on the Government, particularly Musa (since it is purely a State matter).”

He also said he appreciates Chong’s persistent efforts to promote Sabah to the outside world.

President of the United Sabah Chinese Communities Association of Kota Kinabalu, Datuk Lau Kok Sing is confident that Tengku Datuk Mansor would be able to persuade the Sabah BN Government under Musa to allow the project to continue.

Managing Director of Popular Express Travel, Dewi Chen said: “As tour operators, we support the statue project because we are talking in terms of selling a new tourism product in Sabah.

“We consider this a good product to sell to overseas travel markets. It’s nothing Taoist, nothing political, but purely a tourist attraction. Like the Petronas Twin Towers, it’s straightforward and down-to-earth.

“We will not hesitate to support if there is a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian project that also helps our tourism as a whole.”

Chen believed the statue would be another selling point for Kudat as a tourist destination, in addition to its now famous Tip of Borneo.

Based on Chinese belief, she said the Mazu faces the sea because it is meant to protect marine life, sea travellers and people who make a living from the sea such as fishermen.

According to her, Macau has a Mazu statue which draws millions of tourists unlike 20 years ago when it was not a well-known tourist destination.

“I therefore hope the Federal Government will consider the proposed Kudat statue project favourably.”

  1. #1 by Godfather on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 4:38 pm

    Tengku Adnan ? The guy who said that the vast majority of female bloggers are liars ? A clown like that is unlikely to be willing to support a sea goddess.

  2. #2 by haroldz on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 4:55 pm

    i think he’s d one…
    mayb he’s trying to get some sympathy to repair his image..
    hope mazu will visit him in his dream…
    teach him some lesson..

  3. #3 by tiger on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 6:47 pm

    World’s Tallest Mazu statue in Kudat- Sabah CM n th cabinet must stand up in support of this project if the state Govnt is really care n serious to save Kudat being the poorest district in malaysia.

    For more than 4 decades Kudat has no better medicine to spure its economics to cure its highest hardcore poverty in malaysia than this promising Mazu project!! This tourism pruduct will definately attract lot of tourists all over the world to Kudat for generations to come . Why hinder it to b implemented? Everthing is ready except just the official approval but need our honourble CM just to says YES? or NO? But YES is the answer please Datuk- ASAP.For God will blesses those who are kind and caring for the hardcore poors !!

    No doubt this project was painfully cherished by Tan sri CKK. Many appreciated n respected His sincere efforts as he was seen to pay a great sacrifice to realise it in true spirit and in silence.!! His resignation as deputy CM cum minister of tourism sabah was a living proof of his deadly serious determination n belief to pave the way to save his highest poverty sticken Kudat- to eradicate the stigma being Number ONE poorest district in malaysia once and for all .
    I sincerely pray for a better tomorows for Kudat folks but not to continue to b called OLD FOLKS HOME again!!!.

  4. #4 by zack on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 8:05 pm

    World’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat – What is Sabah CM Musa’s stand?

    On his two feet la !!!

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 3 May 2007 - 10:21 pm

    I thought there were many who are opposed to Bolehland’s “biggest this, tallest that, longest this, shortest that” etc.

    Weren’t there many who are fed up of all these “achievements”?

    We now find some quarters championing this 10-storey high Mazu statue.

    If today Mazu, will tomorrow see others clamouring to build the largest, tallest, widest Ganesh, Sivalingam, Keris, temple, minaret etc etc. all with noble aims and with tourism and religious potentials? Where will it all end?

    One should ask whether there is any ulterior motives (e.g. political) behind all this? Are there any double-standards? Is there any sincerity? Is the cause noble?

  6. #6 by undergrad2 on Friday, 4 May 2007 - 4:44 am

    Zack: “World’s tallest Mazu statue in Kudat – What is Sabah CM Musa’s stand?

    On his two feet la !!!”

    I am on all fours with you here, zack.

  7. #7 by kurakura on Friday, 4 May 2007 - 8:21 am

    Uncle Lim,

    Even if it is built…Malaysia will not have the capacity to maintain it.
    The whole system is too rotten to cultivate good maintainence governance and culture.
    Even wonder why Singapore’s buildings are always in tip top condition? The answer is not so simple as setting up a committee to maintain the country. It takes capable people, law enforcement, vision,etc etc.

    2 cents.

  8. #8 by lailaihan on Friday, 4 May 2007 - 9:04 am

    STOP PRESS – 4 May 2007.

    Oh, look what happen ! Musa Khan has gotten his foot stuck in his mouth once again. Looks like playing God didn’t quite work in this case, when messing with greater powers.

    Today, he is [deleted] trying to explain in the papers that he never objected to the construction of the statue. Tan Sri Chong, being a lawyer, wouldn’t have just gone ahead with construction unless If the approving authorities, approved the project. So if isn’t Musa the CM who has a higher authority, who else would have stopped a project headed by a DCM.

    All these [deleted] in the papers yesterday, with Sari Tan playing wayang kulit for Musa, was just to help Musa cushion the embarrassment for the contruction of the statue to go ahead.

    “Cunning was the Fox but matched the Gods not.”

  9. #9 by sativa on Saturday, 5 May 2007 - 2:49 pm

    A statue could be viewed from many angles; religion, art, culture and who knows one day, 1,000s years from now some of our statues in Malaysia would become one of the wonders of the world. We don’t have a statue of liberty, we don’t have eifel tower, we don’t have the great wall of China that attracts millions every year. We have a 3-in-1 here. The statue would lure Taoist from all over the world to come and visit, others to come and take photos with the tallest Mazu and art and culture lovers. So WHAT is the BIG FUSS all about. WHAT is the religous freedom for, that our former leaders, forefathers had included in the MALAYSIAN CONSTITUTION. Is it only for ‘Tayang-Tanyang’ only.

    By having the statue built, it would show to the world how we Malaysian can leave side-by-side without prejudice, and practising each other religion without be-little-ling other religions.

    What is our SUHAKAM for. We take about this rights, that rights, left-and-rights. I think better throw them into the sea, if this is how we go about things and go back to the stone age. We want people to look up to us as Malaysians and we go to all extend to carry our own ‘bakul’. RTM1, 2 interviews tourist that are impressed with out country racial and religious harmony…but deep inside and behind us they are most probably laughing at us for being very, very blind and could not see the reality. I think, before this mazu issue is solved, I for one would be ashame to call myself a Malaysian in front of tourist and foreigners.

  10. #10 by tiger on Saturday, 5 May 2007 - 7:17 pm

    I am in all 4 with you. I am ashame of our leaders who know nathing about defending religious freedom in our counstitution. except may be KIT n Tan sri Chong. Just wondering how our country’s multi racial and religious harmony will survive if the Mazu statue is not allowed to proceed just becouse our leaders are infected with extream narrow minded aids!!!????

  11. #11 by DiaperHead on Sunday, 6 May 2007 - 2:45 am

    “By having the statue built, it would show to the world how we Malaysian can leave side-by-side without prejudice, and practising each other religion without be-little-ling other religions.” sativa

    “Leaving” side-by-side?? Sure we can live without prejudice so much so we are now leaving the country side-by-side, hand in hand, one step at a time.

  12. #12 by tiger on Monday, 7 May 2007 - 1:36 pm

    since cm says he never rejected the Mazu project except a matter of the present location is a bit of sesitive to muslim community,then CM now must suggests an alternative location in Kudat ASAP and acceptable to kudat community. I suggest TIP of BORNEO. Here majority of the communities are NON MUSLIM. What do you think Yb CM? Yb CM u must act now if u are sincere in respecting other races’ religious. make sure that your personal differences with CKK do not jeopadise national building like kudat

    The project was stop 4 to long without an explaination to th public why? You don’t blame more n more peoples are suspecting your motive in the wrong direction r u right?

  13. #13 by sampuna on Tuesday, 8 May 2007 - 1:11 pm

    Now,the Mazu project MUST move else where!What’s wrong with d govt?In the Star today,it was reported that d govt will compensate… the govt is sure rich :that’s a stupid decision!Wasting tax payers money just because some racist ulamas said something?Just use that sum of money to send those intolerent people off to some deserted island!

  14. #14 by route_48 on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:41 pm

    New site??? Well, since mazu is the Goddess of the sea, why not the Kudat seafront, after all the government is willing to pay for everything. During sunset the statue’s shadow could also provide a good shade for the public.

  15. #15 by angel on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 6:48 pm

    Location problem? Improvise, plant tall trees to block view from either sides. This way both will not hurt the others sensitivity and feelings. It would add more green lungs for Kudat too. Any better suggestion?

  16. #16 by how 2 do ah on Thursday, 10 May 2007 - 7:16 pm

    Anyone out there who could help with suggestions. How not to offend other religions with the statue built at the present site. This is no trick question. Lets use our brains for the good of all. Think, think, think. Malaysia Boleh, Sabah Boleh, Kudat pun mesti Boleh.

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