Photos by mnsmarine and SL Wong
Pulau Tioman is now a duty-free island and plans are afoot to develop the island. Details are sketchy. Two MNS members who had visited the island (Aug 1-3, 2003) during a “Marine-friendly Snorkelling Programme” organised by the MNS Marine Group had this to say about the proposed development:
“Not too long ago, the island received its duty-free status. This status implies that there are plans for future commercial development on this island. One that has been announced is the building of an airplane runway that is big enough to land a 737 jet. Part of this runway will be reclaimed from the sea. A development program of this scale will definitely disturb the fragile balance of Tioman’s ecosystem. Any changes in the land area will affect the marine bio-diversity, and perhaps the traditional livelihood of the islanders.” – Sali Ramly.
“After lunch Julian (a guest speaker) was telling us about the airport that is going to be built by the government. It would be a pity if the corals got destroyed by this project. It is not a good idea. I think they should enlarge the other airport.” – Herman bin Yusrinal