Abdul Karim: Ministry to restore and revitalise Kuching Civic Centre

Abdul Karim delivering his winding up speech for the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development in DUN Sitting on Nov 28, 2023. Photo credit: Ukas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 28: Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development (Mysed) has started implementing an action plan aimed at revitalising the iconic Kuching Civic Centre building to restore its prominence and splendor.

Expressing serious concern about its current condition, Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah revealed that a recent Civic Centre Lab was conducted and involved key stakeholders such as the Public Works Department (JKR), Land and Survey Department, consultants, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), and other relevant agencies.

“The lab was not only to discuss repairs and refurbishments of the building but also to explore a business model ensuring a positive impact for all parties involved,”he said during his winding up speech for the Ministry at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting today.

The ministry, he added, is also addressing the condition of Sibu Civic Centre which was badly damaged during severe storms in April 2023, with a large part of the building including the roof, glass windows, doors and various other components, adversely affected.

As the building is unsafe for public use, Abdul Karim outlined the Ministry’s proactive measures, including a recent site inspection meeting in Sibu with the Sarawak Civic Centre Fund Direction Management committee.

This committee, comprising representatives from JKR, Treasury Department, State Financial Secretary Office, Administrative Unit, and other relevant agencies, aims to identify areas for major refurbishment and estimate associated costs.

Mysed currently takes care of 12 civic centres throughout Sarawak with the maintenance and upgrading works managed under the Sarawak Civic Centre Fund Direction 2021 and the Financial Procedure (Contingencies and Trust Funds) Ordinance 1963.

As of October 2023, a total allocation of RM7.7 million has been allocated to JKR to execute various works, including painting, flooring, toilet repairs, roofing, ceiling, furniture and fittings procurement, and mechanical and electrical works.

“For the record, works for civic centres in Bintulu, Sarikei and Limbang are expected to be completed before the end of 2023, while the civic centres in Samarahan and Baram are still under tender evaluation,” he said.

Notably, Abdul Karim informed that four civic centres have secured Project Rakyat funding totalling RM18.7 million.

“Bau Civic Centre was completed in 2022 and the recent completion of Sri Aman Civic Centre in May 2023 has made a tremendous impact when it is used as venue for Sri Aman Divisional Gawai celebration and the welcoming of Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia this year.

“Meanwhile, Mukah Civic Centre is still in tender evaluation stage under JKR. The recent approval under Project Rakyat is Baram Civic Centre which received the Notice of Change from EPU in September 2023 with an approved allocation of RM2 million for upgrading works,” he added. — DayakDaily