Mazu statue can be tourism boost, says Sabah minister

By TIN Media | Sabah Published 1 year ago on 27 March 2023
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A Sabah minister has given indirect backing for the revival of the proposed statue of Mazu, the Chinese goddess of the sea, work on which was abandoned in 2006.

The statue, when completed, would boost Kudat’s tourism sector, much like the Tip of Borneo, said Christina Liew, the Sabah minister for tourism, culture and environment.

“Whatever conflicts in the past can be resolved amicably to benefit the people of Kudat and its economy,” she told the Borneo Post after visiting the site yesterday.

Liew said she would bring up the statue project to the state government and the chief minister for consideration and approval.

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The Mazu statu? would have been the world’s tallest at 33m (108ft) when completed. It was proposed in 2005 and was to be built on private land facing the sea, at a cost of RM5 million.

The project was started by former chief minister Chong Kah Kiat, then chairman of the Kudat Thean Chou Charitable Foundation.

However, in 2006, a stop-work order was issued based on objections by the Muslim community, on the grounds that the site was too near the town mosque, more than 700m away.

About six weeks later, the state mufti was believed to have issued a fatwa addressed to then Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, specifically directing that the construction work on the statue be stopped for being contrary to Islamic teachings.

In 2011, Musa offered a new site for the project in Pantai Bak Bak.

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Some 408 carved granite pieces for the statue, in 21 shipping containers, were reported to have been kept at the container yard then.


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