By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Aug 19: The Sarawak government has approved a 20-acre site near Semenggoh Wildlife Centre at Batu 12 Jalan Kuching-Serian here for the development of a new Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) complex.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the RM60 million proposed new MPP complex funded by the government is a gift to the staff of MPP for their hard work.
“It is very challenging for MPP to do such a good job given the size of the areas it has to serve that covers both urban and semi-urban areas, as well as meeting the demands of an ageing population, urbanisation, demographic change and population growth.
“I hope with the new building that will provide a better working environment, MPP staff will be motivated and work harder to deliver better services to communities and serve the people better,” he said when addressing the MPP 26th anniversary celebration dinner at a hotel here tonight.
Dr Sim, who is also Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government, emphasised that there was much more that needed to be done by local authorities including MPP in building a more sustainable city and future for Sarawak.
“As we move forward, we need sustainable development and environment and that’s why (achieving) the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) becomes increasingly important, more so given the threats of global climate change.
“We need to build smart cities, digitalisation, smart traffic lights, smart garbage collection and more smart infrastructures. We need to work closely and keep up with the changes of times, otherwise we will be left behind,” he said.
Dr Sim also commended MPP for their tremendous efforts and exhibiting high level of resilience in the face of Covid-19, recovery from the pandemic and revival of the economy.
“The spirit of unity shown in times of crisis as we coped and endured the past two years of hardships brought by Covid-19 gives me the confidence of the future of Sarawak and that we will able to develop Sarawak to become the richest with high GDP (gross domestic product), prosperous and strong by 2030 through the Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy (PDCS).
“To share this prosperity, that’s why the Sarawak government is embarking on setting up the sovereign wealth fund,” he added.
Earlier on, MPP chairman Lo Khere Chiang admitted that there were a lot challenges and work constraints faced from various communities within the jurisdiction, especially on delivering good and quality services from time to time.
“Some of these experiences are interesting and some are very challenging that I have been going through.
“But I must thank my Minister (Dr Sim) for his commitment and advice to make the key decision for my council to bring benefit to the people of this area and enable me to address the need of our diverse and multicultural community,” he said.
Having served as MPP chairman for almost 12 years, Lo added that it is his dream and aspiration together with the workforce of MPP to improve the council’s service delivery on its core activities.
He also intends to continue efforts to engage with residents, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community associations and community leaders to bring improvement and make MPP area clean, green and better place to live in.
Deputy Minister for Public Health and Housing Datu Penguang Manggil, Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap, MPP deputy chairman Senator Dato Ahmad Ibrahim, and Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) chairman Dato Peter Minos were among those present. — DayakDaily