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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 31: The Sarawak government has no immediate plans to take over Borneo Samariang Water Park near Petra Jaya here which closed down on March 17, 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah explained that the government cannot just simply take over the water park since it was established as a private intiative on private land.
“My hope is that the operator would take the initiative to rehabilitate and revive the water theme park.
“We understand that its operation ceased due to the Covid-19 pandemic and there are also other facilities facing similar challenges,” he told a press conference after officiating at the soft opening of the leisure pool at the Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre in Petra Jaya here.
Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development, believes that the water park should be reopened to benefit the local community and the surrounding areas as many people are eager to visit the park for a splashing good time.
“The leisure pool at Pandelela Rinong Aquatic Centre already received some 10,000 people when it reopened to the public on May 23.
“Water activities like swimming are in high demand, especially during school and public holidays,” he added.
Recognising the significance of the water park as a public attraction as well as proper sport facilities for both recreational and competitive purposes, Abdul Karim pointed out that Sarawak is actively constructing more sports amenities.
“The sport village (in Petra Jaya) is nearing completion, while the construction of a cricket pitch is underway and work on a wushu training facility recently commenced.
“This is because we (Sarawak government) recognised that sports facilities are important to cultivate talented human capital,” he said.
By encouraging children to participate in sports and promoting physical and mental well-being through increased access to sports facilities for citizens of all ages, he added that the goal is to foster a healthy society.
Deputy Minister of Youth and Sport Development Dato Gerald Rentap Jabu and the ministry’s permanent secretary Morshidi Fredrick were among those present. — DayakDaily