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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 4: The 10-acre urban park featuring gardens, open spaces and greenery that is slowly taking shape to transform the living environment of Kenyalang Park will be the leading example for similar parks to be developed in other major neighbourhoods in Sarawak.
Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian pointed out that the transformation of Kenyalang Park which is the first low-cost housing in Sarawak, will be massive in particular to enrich the lives of the local community.
The construction of the urban park undertaken by Kuching South City Council (MBKS) is ongoing and expected to complete in August 2021.
“This is a very exciting project for the community. Can you imagine waking up to see beautiful garden right in front of your house.
“The whole idea initiated by MBKS is to develop a community garden so that residents do not have to travel far to find a park,” he said during a site inspection to see progress of the construction which was broadcast live on MBKS Mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng’s Facebook page today.
As the value of urban park is becoming crucial for high quality of living environment, sense of wellbeing and social cohesion, Dr Sim hoped that more areas will be identified for similar development in the future.
More importantly, he stressed that the community garden was also to create a sense of belonging among the Kenyalang Park residents who will in turn share the responsibility with councils in looking after the park.
“It is a win-win situation for everybody. We want to move away from the traditional way of planning where we allocate a green space which people would use to plant plants or fruit trees which I don’t really mind.
“But the problem is the space is also abused as a disposal area of rubbish and unwanted things. As we move towards an advanced Sarawak, we want our home to be beautiful, prosperous and rich and not remain a third world standard,” he emphasised.
Whilst encouraging people to share and propose ideas to improve the living environment with MBKS, Dato Wee also hopes Sarawakians can enjoy longevity with quality life.
Meanwhile, Wee pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic which had affected the world since its outbreak early this year, had highlighted the importance of “open space” as a conducive environment to benefit the community.
On the first urban park project under the MBKS’ Community Rejuvenation Programme, he said it was not only a public project but one which continuous engagement with residents throughout the development.
“The needs of Kenyalang Park residents had been considered so we will encourage them to participate in future engagements and activities.
“We want this park to provide an open space for people to exercise, for leisure and appreciate Sarawak’s flora,” he added.
Any development project would definitely bring some form of inconveniences, therefore Wee urged the residents to be patient and to give their full collaboration and support as it strived to have this project completed.
“At the end of the day, we hope the urban park will be able to not only uplift and increase satisfaction of living environment of Kenyalang but also for Kunchingites to enjoy this beautiful facility.
“We will continue to provide updates on the progress of the project from time to time,” he reassured.
The 10-acre urban park will also link up the Traffic Garden and Recreation Garden which were previously stand alone places in Kenyalang Park.
It will be adorned with an entrance pavilion, bridges, crossovers, footpath linking surrounding residential areas, garden landscape as well as facilities such as toilets, sheds and lighting.