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Another zero value historic relic !

It was Pudu Jail, now the clock tower in Kota Kinablalu is the latest victim of negligence by our caretaker, government.

Sign online petition to save Atkinson’s Clock Tower from blocking by another BN project.

City folk criticize 16-storey complex

by Nancy Lai
September 20, 2010, Monday

KOTA KINABALU: Atkinson’s Clock Tower, the last structure that survived the Second World War, may soon be hidden from the view of residents in the city.

The historic structure at Signal Hill is expected to be dwarfed by the proposed 16-storey hotel and shopping complex planned to be built in front of it.

Kota Kinabalu residents such as social activist Datuk Patrick Sindu said the proposed complex would also destroy the peaceful charm and greenery surrounding the 105-year-old wooden clock tower.

“Why disturb an area that is already forested and expose it to landslides and erosion?

“And is Kota Kinabalu is in such dire need of yet another shopping complex and hotel that we have to sacrifice the green space that is just a minute walk from the downtown area?” he questioned yesterday.

Criticism about the 16-storey commercial complex has been raging in the social network site Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heritage-Sabah/129477990433190) for the past week and among those posting their comments was local independent heritage researcher Richard Nelson Sokial.

Sokial, an architecture graduate, said the two-faced clock tower named after Jesselton’s first district officer Francis George Atkinson, would lose its significance when dwarfed by the 16-storey complex.

“Visitors from around the world coming to Kota Kinabalu will laugh at us for allowing our last heritage building in the city to be compromised by yet another shopping mall,” Sokial said.

Another group of concerned individuals have launched an online petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/sabah100/petition.html) asking the state government to stop the development and to conserve the greenery of the area into perpetuity.

Members of the tourism fraternity, especially the tourist guides, are also unhappy with the fate of the historical structure.

Meanwhile another Kota Kinabalu resident in a letter published in a local newspaper yesterday (Sept 19), said the forested area near the Atkinson clock tower contained a series of steps linking the town area to the Kota Kinabalu observatory overlooking the city.

Lamenting that these “Rainforest Steps” that had largely been ignored and unmaintained by City Hall could in fact become part of tourist trail in the city.

The resident said the Rainforest Steps lead up “past some supberb old growth trees, including one of the most magnificent strangler figs to be seen anywhere outside a conservation area in Sabah.”

“How many cities in the world can offer a rainforest walk within a hundred metres or so of their banking district?” asked the resident.

The nkkhoo.com comment board with Facebook account.