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By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Sept 7: There’s a new cat in town!
This new cat statue can be found at Jalan Padungan before turning into Jalan Central Timur. It is situated at the opposite side of the popular White Cat Monument at Padungan Roundabout.
The new cat, which is about 10 feet tall, has a black and white coat and looking very mischievous in an attempt to climb up a tree by the roadside.
Kuching South City Hall (MBKS) mayor Datuk Wee Hong Sent, when contacted, said the new cat was a private initiative.
“It is a good effort even though it is not MBKS’ initiative. So now we have two cats at the Padungan Roundabout. The White Cat at Chinatown Gate and this new one,” he said.
Wee, the newly-minted mayor, called for more private initiatives in such nature to build up Kuching to be a fun city.
“We need more involvement from the private sector for this kind of initiatives to make Kuching not only a liveable and green city but also a fun one.
“I commend the effort of the private businessman who built it and hope that other businessmen in Kuching would also have the bigger picture of making Kuching a more attractive and fun place in mind, when they are expanding or investing into new businesses,” Wee told DayakDaily.
He believed that over the years, like the MBKS White Cat and other cat statues in Kuching, this new cat that is as cheeky as the cartoony character “Sylvester the Cat” may become the next landmark feature for Kuching.
At the same time, Wee also reminded businessmen to apply for permission before erecting any statue or monument.
“While we appreciate private initiatives in helping us to develop Kuching City, we must also be reminded to observe the council by-laws. For any structure to be erected, permit must be applied through the council for approval.
“A permit will be given when we approve the application,” said Wee.
Although the origin of the name Kuching is lost in the mists of time, the sound of Kuching is the same as the Bahasa Malaysia word for cat, which is “kucing”, which is how the city became known as Cat City.
Apart from the two cat statues at Padungan Roundabout, other iconic cat statues in Kuching included the Kuching North City Hall’s (DBKU) Family Cat Statues at the intersection of Jalan Padungan, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Abell; the Chan Chin Ann Cat Tower at Jalan Padungan Utara and Jalan Padungan intersection; the playful Bronze cats at Kuching Waterfront near James Brooke Cafe and Scrap Metal Cat Sculpture at Kuching Waterfront near Open Night Market. — DayakDaily