Abang Johari wants Kuching to be among the top Malaysian cities

Abang Johari (third left) signs a plaque for a time capsule, placed near MBKS Theatre, which would be sealed for 30 years starting today, Aug 1, 2018.

KUCHING, August 1: Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg has an ambitious target to turn the state capital into one of the most attractive cities in the country.

The chief minister envisioned a future Kuching that is beautiful, vibrant and healthy to live in. The state government has big plans to meet this objective but public cooperation and support are very much needed to realise the dream, he added.

“When we talk about what makes an attractive city, we must look at the healthy state of the city such as clean air, beautiful landscape, green environment and planted trees.

“There have to be a right balance between order and variety, where the city is alive, filled with modern infrastructure and buildings, public places, as well as heritage and historical sites,” Abang Johari said at the city of Kuching’s Pearl anniversary jubilee celebration at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) theatre here, Wednesday.

He added the state needed to provide good landscaping and environment for the people, including sufficient housing, social facilities, and infrastructure, while keeping an eye on population density and traffic congestion, bearing in mind the rapid rural-urban migration, especially to the state capital.

Abang Johari said among the plans to make Kuching attractive included urban renewal programmes, where old neighbourhoods in the city undergo transformation into modern and vibrant business hubs.

He identified areas such as Padungan at MBKS’ area of jurisdiction, that would experience commercial and residential uplift including in terms of public facilities and spaces.

He envisioned how Padungan’s transformation would connect to the city centre and heritage trail at the old Kuching district under the jurisdiction of Kuching North City Hall (DBKU).

“With the iconic Darul Hana Bridge connecting the Kuching Waterfront with the Malay villages across river, we will beautify the trails along the State Legislative Complex, the Astana and Fort Margherita to enhance tourism in the area,” said Abang Johari, while envisioning the area to be complemented with musical fountains ala Sentosa, Singapore.

At the event, he praised DBKU and MBKS for embracing technology to improve their communication with and service delivery to the people.

“We must work together to transform Kuching into the most healthy and beautiful city in Malaysia,” he continued.

DBKU mayor Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai said sustainable urbanisation is key to successful development. The council has embarked on its Kuching City CBS Enhancement Plan towards realising the plan to leapfrog Kuching city towards the status of one of the cleanest, most beautiful and safest cities in Asia.

The five-year plan guides DBKU in dealing with rapid urbanisation issues such as high population density, inadequate infrastructure, lack of affordable housing, flash floods, air and water pollution, slum creation, congestion and poverty.

MBKS mayor Datuk James Chan said the council will work in tandem with the government to promote Kuching’s vibrancy, as well as marketing tourism attractions through its Friendship Cities programme and international events.

Both councils aimed to implement more environment-friendly policies especially on plastic bag usage and smoke-free zones, stricter waste management control and monitoring, as well as maintaining cleanliness across the city. — DayakDaily