CM to look into rehabilitating Tiong Hua Road slum area

Abang Johari (second right) discussing the issues of Tiong Hua Road with Chieng (second left) in the company of Kong (first right) and International Trade and E-commerce Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh (third right).

SIBU, May 3: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg sees the potential to rebuild the Tiong Hua Road area into a modern residential-cum-commercial area.

He promised he would seek solutions to rehabilitate the area which would involve rebuilding and the resettlement of residents.

The area which he estimated to be about 300 acres, may be turned into a modern residential-cum-commercial area with condominiums as well commercial lots, though he foresees that it would need a huge sum of investment for the redevelopment plan to take off.

He said this when queried by the media while officiating the School Rebuilding Project at SKJ (C) Kiew Nang in the afternoon yesterday.

He said the whole Tiong Hua Road area was a low lying area where excess water gets easily and constantly trapped. However, redevelopment of the area still had to be carried out because the stagnant trapped water may prove to be detrimental to the health of the residents.

Abang Johari visited Tiong Hua Road area earlier the same afternoon in response to a Bukit Assek Rebuilding Proposal submitted by Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) to him during his visit to Sibu during Chinese New Year.

During the visit, SUPP Bukit Assek branch chairman Chieng Buong Toon briefed Abang Johari about the major problems faced by the residents of the area and sought the latter’s assistance in rebuilding the whole area.

The Tiong Hua Road area is a big residential area bound within the perimeter of Hua Kiew Road, Ho Peng Road, Oya Road and Kampung Nyabor Road.

Abang Johari (centre) together with Kong (right) and Chieng (left) visiting Tiong Hua Road, which over the years has turned into a slum area.

It was one of the earliest settlement areas in Sibu due to its close proximity to town which provided much convenience for its residents.

However, due to the low lying and swampy nature of the land, houses in the area started to sink and some even collapsed over the years. Many houses in the area have been deemed unfit for occupation.

With most of the original house owners moving out, many of the houses there are rented to the urban and hardcore poor. Some abandoned houses are being illegally occupied or squatted in. The area has slowly turned into a slum area.

Abang Johari had a packed schedule in Sibu yesterday, campaigning for both Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates of Sibu, Datuk Andrew Wong Kee Yew and Lanang candidate Kelvin Kong.

After Bukit Assek, Abang Johari headed to SJK (C) Kiew Nang to officiate at the school rebuilding project after which he attended a “Majlis Malam Mesra Bersama Masyarakat Cina” at a hotel here. — DayakDaily