KUCHING, Feb 1: It may seem like a lot of money to spend RM30 million on the creation and maintenance of a flagpole, but if the monument is managed properly, it can attract tourists and stimulate economic growth, says Habitat for Indigenous and Urban Programme (Hidup) chairman George Young Si Ricord Junior.
He also stated that Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah was correct in asserting that there is nothing wrong with having the tallest flagpole in Malaysia if it can serve as an iconic monument to commemorate Sarawak’s 60th anniversary of independence.
Yesterday (Jan 31), when asked to comment on the RM30 million 99-metre-tall flagpole project that has been making the rounds recently, Abdul Karim claimed that it is a ‘non-issue’ as the Sarawak government would not simply plan to build such infrastructure without a reason.
“Sarawakians everywhere should appreciate this unique opportunity to commemorate the autonomy rights of Sarawak and the return of its original rights to the 1963 Malaysia Agreement position.
“It is most appropriate to record the resolve of the Sarawak government together with the Federal government’s commitment to ensure the erosion of Sarawak’s unique position does not happen again,” Young asserted in a statement.
“The benefits of having a monument to commemorate the autonomy rights of Sarawak can outweigh the costs associated with its creation and maintenance,” he added.
“No doubt RM30 million for the creation and maintenance of a flag post may seem like significant financial outlay.
“However, if properly managed, the long-term benefits of the monument can outweigh the costs associated with its creation and maintenance.
“In addition, the monument can serve as a tourist attraction, drawing people to the area and promoting economic growth,” he explained. — DayakDaily