Sarawak govt takes over Borneo Highlands Resort, devt plans ongoing

Abdul Karim (centre) speaks during the press conference while (from left) Abang Abdul Karim, Snowdan, Ting and Dennis look on at Riverside Majestic Hotel in Kuching on March 21, 2023.

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, March 21: Borneo Highlands Resort is now wholly-owned by the Sarawak government after the legal battle with the previous developer ended recently, says Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MTCP) said plans to rejuvenate the resort have begun but it would take some time before the resort opens its doors to the public again.


“It will take a little bit of time because (the resort) has not been in operation for a while. The grass has grown very high. So a certain amount of allocation has been approved by Sarawak cabinet for Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) to be the one that maintains (the resort).

“Since Country Heights (Holdings Bhd) is no more around, somebody has to look after the roads, the grass and everything, so the resort has been entrusted to MPP,” he told reporters during a press conference after chairing Sarawak Tourism Steering Committee (STSC) at Riverside Majestic Hotel here today.

For the record, the resort which is about a 45-minute drive from Kuching city, is the only hilltop resort in Sarawak presently.

Since Sept 20, 1994, the resort was put under Country Heights Holdings Bhd in a joint venture (JV) with the Sarawak Land Custody and Development Authority (LCDA).

On Nov 2, 2020, the Sarawak government terminated the concession given to Country Heights Holdings Bhd through a letter after it failed to fulfil the agreement to develop the resort after more than 10 years.

On March 7 this year, the Federal Court dismissed the company’s application for leave to appeal against an order made by the Sarawak Superintendent and Surveys to forfeit three parcels of land that were meant for the development of Borneo Highlands Resort.

“Now, I think the State government will have to study what they want to do with that place because the legal problem just ended recently. If I am not mistaken, the legal battle took place (early March) at the Federal Court where the judgment or the decision was in our (Sarawak government) favour.

“Give a bit more time for the region to come up with a new outlook of what they want to do with that place but definitely, we will be consulted on that,” Abdul Karim added.

Also present at the press conference were Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew; Deputy Minister of Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan; MTCP’s permanent secretary Datu Sherrina Hussaini; Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chairman Dennis Ngau and Business Event Sarawak (BESarawak) chairman Dato Sri Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg. — DayakDaily