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By Karen Bong
SIBU, Oct 21: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is determined to tackle the thorny issue of constant flooding in the low-lying Bukit Assek area as well as the challenge of developing Sibu through urban replanning to reinvigorate and strengthen the town.
He also emphasised that the state government and the private sector must work together to come out with the best plans to develop Sibu.
“I have already requested for the submission of a proposal (on what needs to be done) for Sibu, especially the area behind Sibu that is constantly hit by floods which must be fixed.
“So we have to plan but of course the private sector must come in and we have to find the best formula,” he said at the launching of the new wing of the United Chinese Association Sibu Division (UCA Sibu) building here today.
With a masterplan for Sibu focusing on urban renewal, Abang Johari pointed out the need to revisit the plans to incorporate needs of the future that will enable vibrant digital and green economies as well as environmental sustainability.
“Sibu Jaya was developed when I was the housing minister. Then it was restructured with a new model so now it is quite crowded.
“At the moment, we are building a road to connect Sibu Jaya to Lanang so the distance between Miri to Lanang including accessing the airport will be cut short,” he said, adding that development will move towards the Kemuyang area where the land is better.
On UCA Sibu, Abang Johari expressed confidence that its members of whom the majority are businesspeople, will continue to play significant roles to revive and boost the economy of not only Sibu but Sarawak as a whole.
“I know you will continue to do your part as the (Chinese business) leaders are visionary and they know what needs to be done and developed to meet the needs of the future.
“But what is important now is stability. Without stability, business and even lives will be affected,” he reminded.
Thus, Abang Johari said it is time for businesses to find solutions to further boost and sustain the economy post-Covid-19.
“The economic policies of the state must change and with the setting up of the Sarawak Economic Action Council (EAC), discussions are ongoing on enhancing the policies to develop Sarawak into a developed, if not the most advanced state in Malaysia, by 2030,” he added.
Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee, UCA Sibu president Ngieng Ping Sing and his committee members were among those present. — DayakDaily