Kota Kinabalu 9/11/2012: The red tape that is hampering Sabah's efforts in getting World Heritage Site status for the Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon and Danum Valley is on the part of the Federal Ministry of Culture, Arts and Information headed by Datuk Seri Yais Yatim.
Daily Express understands that while Sabah is trying very hard to push for the status, the Director General of the Heritage Council under the Ministry had declared she would only endorse it if the State is agreeable to placing these Sabah environment icons under their administration and management upon listing.
Sources in the know said that the State Government vehemently opposed the suggestion because this would be going against the Malaysia Agreement, in particular the stipulation that land is a state matter and one that is very sensitive.
"Agreeing to the condition will mean indirect federalisation of State land,"
said the source, leaving the State Government helpless to attacks by the opposition eager to portray the Federal Government as colonisers.
Meanwhile, in the earlier report, the Federal Minister who has been urged to be more pro-active in the Heart of Borneo (HoB) initiative involving Indonesia, Brunei and Malaysia is the Environment Minister and not the Tourism Minister.
"We are facing slight procedural challenges (in this effort) É please cut the red tape,"
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun
"If British had the interest of the natives in mind by creating NCR, how could our own government not recognise the NCR? This is unacceptable,"
Datuk Yong Teck Lee