KOTA KINABALU: The state-initiated Wuhan Fund has received RM1.5 million, exceeding its initial RM1 million target to assist victims of Covid-19 in China.
Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Christina Liew thanked donors for the generous contribution.
“Many people have donated a lot of money. Some are just giving the money to express support to the people of Wuhan (in China). We really appreciate it.
“We also would like to thank the Consul-General of China in Kota Kinabalu (Liang Caide) for being understanding of Sabah government’s policy (in banning direct flights from China in Sabah),” she told reporters after receiving a courtesy visit from the Sabah United Chinese Chambers of Commerce (SUCCC) here.
The charity dinner, dubbed “We Care, We Love”, will be held tomorrow and the guest of honor will be Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Liew, who is state Tourism, Culture and Environment minister, said the ministry was aware of setbacks resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak especially for the tourism sector.
“Do not be discouraged as the measures (on travel bans) are just temporary, most probably between three to six months.
“After that, other than Chinese and Korean tourists, the state government would venture into promoting Sabah to Europe, Australia, India and French markets, among others,” she said, adding that tourism players have to be prepared for a surge of tourists in the future.
Liew said the state government and SUCCC discussed about tourism and economic aspects during today’s courtesy call.
“It was a fruitful meeting as we exchanged views. They have also given a lot of ideas, while we informed them about the government policy,” she said, adding that SUCCC is giving their support to the state government.
On a separate issue, Liew was non-committal when asked whether the state government has decided to revive the controversial Sukau bridge project.
The project was described by a non-governmental organisation as threatening one of the last sanctuaries of the rare Bornean pygmy elephant.
When asked about a rumour on the project’s revival, Liew said: “Everything discussed in the state cabinet meeting was confidential”.
A non-governmental organisation Project Seratu Aatai had today urged the state government to reconsider approval of major development projects including Sukau bridge if it was serious about the Sabah State Elephant Action Plan 2020/29.