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By Nur Ashikin Louis and Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 5: The final report of Damai master plan, which will see substantial investment to develop the Santubong-Damai Peninsular into a resort city and transform the area into a bustling tourism destination, will be ready by next month.
Highlighting this, SEDC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Husain said that the Riverside Majestic Hotel and Damai Lagoon Resort is also undergoing refurbishment as the corporation has been tasked to take the lead in the tourism development push for Sarawak.
“(This also includes) the construction of a new hotel as part of the ART’s TOD at Pending in a joint venture with UDA.
“We also have plans for hotels in Miri, Marudi and Betong,” he said in his welcoming speech at SEDC’s 50th Anniversary Dinner which was officiated by Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg at Riverside Majestic Hotel here last night (July 4).
In Nov 2020, it had been reported that SEDC is preparing a tourism masterplan to develop the peninsula with some 40 new attractions and development initiatives have been identified including new resorts, theme parks, cable car, jungle trails and trekking facilities, wellness and health enclaves, marina and commercial and residential properties.
Aside from the tourism and hospitality sector, Abdul Aziz was also proud that SEDC has been entrusted by the Premier to plan and undertake various small and mega projects including the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) utilising Autonomous Rapid Rail Transit (ART) running on hydrogen, Petchem Park in Bintulu, methanol plant, multifuel stations and the new foray in renewable energy projects such as green hydrogen and biofuels production.
“SEDC’s foray in the quarry and mining sector is also bearing fruits and will play a significant role in providing materials for the State infrastructure projects.
“In the agriculture sector, we have acquired Carmor Plains in Northern Territory to complement the Rosewood Station resulting in higher productivity of the cattle farm. Our new ventures include a corned beef processing factory next to the new abattoir, and a feed factory for the production of feed for cattle and poultry,” he elaborated.
Abdul Aziz emphasised that since its establishment in 1972, SEDC aspires to be one of the best organisations in the country, known not only for quality products, but also services and commitment towards work.
Last year, he said that the board has approved the implementation of its transformation plan to enable SEDC to meet the new challenges in its quest to help the government in its plan to steer Sarawak to become a developed State by 2030.
Although the transformation will inevitably require expenditure in improving facilities including the digital infrastructure, Abdul Aziz reminded that the most important ingredient is in the changing of the mindset and work culture of its workforce.
“They need to be aligned and synchronised with the corporation’s vision, objectives and our strategic plans.
“I want to say that the road ahead will be challenging, as the changing economic landscape and unpredictability will continue to rule. However, I am confident, with the continuous support from the Premier, the Sarawak government, SEDC Board members and our committed SEDC team, we can inspire ourselves to rise to the next level, thus inching one step closer in realising Sarawak’s vision to become a developed state by 2030,” he added.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Transport Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Julaihi Narawi and State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nassar were among those present. — DayakDaily