1 Rapid Survey of Development Opportunities & Constraints (DOC)
for Tawau District
Dates of Survey –
30 March 1999
agriculture sector is still the main income earner for Tawau’s economy given the
large amount of fertile land and the many existing palm oil and cocoa
plantations and mills. Prices of oil palm too for instance are not severely
affected by the current economic downturn. It is also a source of income for
many of the small holders in Tawau. Although no river pollution has been
reported yet, a sound management of the oil palm plantations is crucial. The
question of the sustainability of the oil palm industry too needs to be
has the potential to be developed further. Already a public listed company has
taken the effort to promote cocoa products such as the
“Hoko” chocolate drink
and chocolate spread.
established aquaculture farm at Batu Payung makes the fisheries sector still the
main economic activity of the district. However, again careful management is
needed to balance between developing more wetlands into aquaculture farms and
forest is getting scarce and timber prices has gone down, the forestry sector
should look into other means of adding value to timber products such as setting
up more of the ITC.
transit point for tourist to the islands of Sipadan and Mabul, Tawau should take
the opportunity to further improve its services. Landmarks in Tawau particularly
the unique basin-hill like near Merotai should be promoted.
物易 Barter trading
trading is still a lucrative business in Tawau due to its proximity to
Indonesia. Therefore the proposed integrated port at Wallace Bay particularly
for barter trading should be encouraged as the existing barter trade jetty in
Tawau is getting congested. Furthermore Wallace Bay is within the barter trade
route and this will further strengthen the BIMP-EAGA concept.
The grid pattern of
urban Tawau provides ample
space for settlement without
causing serious traffic congestion. The waterfront of Tawau town too still has
plenty of development land that provides a beautiful esplanade.
With the new
airport under construction, it provides opportunities for new townships to be
developed along the Apas Road such as at Mile 24 and Mile 26.
The port at
Wallace Bay would also certainly encourage more development in undeveloped Pulau
Sebatik. Nevertheless, proper offices should be provided for the Police,
Immigration and Customs and Excise Departments.
squatter problem will continue to be a negative factor in urban development
unless it is resolved. One way of dealing the problem is to confront the problem
openly by accepting their existence, and thereafter, plans to resolve it can be
worked out such as either improving the areas or relocating them and eventually
legalizing them. Of course the other option is to adopt a policy of expulsion or
deportation which never really has succeeded. Whatever the action is, the State
alone cannot handle the problem. It needs support from the Federal authorities.
development pressures especially from the agriculture sector, there is a strong
need to maintain the existing protection forest. Coastal mangrove forest areas
and rivers too should be protected from excessive development particularly
also a need to protect the rivers in Tawau. Rivers like Sungai Tawau
particularly are important water sources for Tawau. No development should be
allowed along any riverbanks or the catchments areas.
The seas of
Tawau may be naturally silted. However further logging activities downstream and
together with the indiscriminate dumping of waste to the sea can further
deteriorate the sea. In the end, Tawau is deprived of beautiful beaches.
road up to the new airport is recommended as traffic congestion is expected to
build up. The traffic volume at the moment is already showing signs of potential
Roads to the
west to Merotai should be re-sealed and upgraded to avoid any unwanted
accidents. Roads should also be upgraded and improved all the way to Kalabakan
and connected to Sapulut. It takes a shorter time to reach Kota Kinabalu using
is another important infrastructure that should be given attention. The only
solution is to provide more funding for the concessionaires
Timatch Sdn Bhd to
build more treatment plants.
As Tawau is
increasingly becoming a second international gateway for Sabah and particularly
in relation to BIMP-EAGA, the port facilities need to be upgraded. A location
has already been identified (Pasir Putih). What it needs now is funding. A
specialized barter trading port at Wallace Bay should be encouraged.
It is about
time that Tawau has a proper waste disposal site. Furthermore Tawau is a
Municipal Council and has the largest population in the State.
1.3.3 ICZM Spatial Plans
the urban population from the trend seems appropriate given that most of the
population and development is concentrated in Tawau town whereas the rural areas
are being left out. After all there are not many major infrastructural
facilities in urban Tawau to support new developments. Even the new airport is
considered rural. Outer rural towns like Kalabakan, Brantian and Wallace Bay
should be given the much needed development.