By Peter Sibon and Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 31: With insignificant deposit left to develop the gold industry that had once flourished in Bau two centuries ago, there is a need to find new “gold”, notably with big data, to reinvent and further transformed Bau.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed that data given by the Geological Department showed that there were few of any sizeable and economical deposits of gold and antimony to pursue the industry that will bring benefits or returns.
“So we have to find another gold. Nowadays, they say that oil is very significant in the history of economic development but scientists today said no, it is the big data.
“It is no longer oil but big data in this new era of economic development. So with all the data of Bau including the history, culture and attractions, it will be the new gold for Bau that can propel sustainable economic activities,” he highlighted at the Bau Bicentennial Celebration: 200 Years History of Bau at Tasik Biru here today.
Abang Johari was responding to Tasik Biru assemblyman Dato Henry Harry Jinep who requested that the Sarawak government withdrew the mining lease around Bau of which a vast tract of land was still sealed under, making them impossible to be developed despite the cessation of gold mining activities.
This land, Henry emphasised, hold great potential to be developed as residential areas, tourist attractions including hotels, resorts and even golf courses to support the development of Greater Bau.
“The people of Bau wants the development to be environmentally friendly and sustainable so the area can be protected for generations to come.
“As such, we hope that the areas under mining lease around Bau can be withdrawn so that tourism industry can be developed,” Henry said.
Looking back at the 200 years history of Bau, Abang Johari pointed out that Bau must be integrated with the regional development of the first division with a good masterplan that has already been developed.
“This is because Bau is properly linked to Kuching with access to Batu Kawa, Matang, Lundu and Sematan which is linked to Pantai Damai in Santubong as well as Serian which connects to the interior and other parts of Sarawak.
“Therefore Bau, Lundu, Sematan, Kuching as well as Serian must be integrated to become one entity.
“As we step into a new year tomorrow, we must look for new gold in Bau,” he said.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jwong, Deputy State Secretary (Rural Transformation) Datuk Ik Pahon Joyik, Tasik Biru assemblyman Dato Henry Harry Jinep, Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu and Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh were among those present.— DayakDaily