A Chinese company is looking at a massive 2.5 billion RM (about 0.8 billion US dollars) integrated tourism development project in the diving haven of Pulau Sipadan in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah, according to a Thursday report.
The company, Diving Best, is in discussions with the Sabah Economic and Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) to facilitate its proposed development of the large-scale tourism project in the Semporna area, according to a report of the local English daily the Star.
SEDIA chief executive officer Dr Mohd Yaakub Johari said they had met the officials of the company for the second time on Monday as a follow-up to the first meeting in June last year.
He said the China group had expressed strong interest in developing a large area in Sipadan into a tourism-based resort, commercial and high-end residential areas with a focus on marine activities.
Under the proposal, he said the project would be developed under five zones, a residential area, commercial development, a high-end resort, a diving school and an administrative centre at a total investment cost of 2.5 billion RM.
He said the company expected to attract one million tourists annually, provide 4,000 jobs, house a population of 12,000, and have a construction scale of 700,000 square meters with the project.
Diving Best is best known for its Sanya Diving Training Center in Sanya City in China's Hainan Province.
Sabah is well-known in China as an eco- and marine-based tourism destination, hence raising the interest of Diving Best to venture into the state.