By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 12: The Sarawak government has commissioned an architect firm from Singapore to help in planning the urban regeneration of Greater Kuching.
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed that he had the opportunity to discuss the matter with a renowned architect-planner with vast experience in the Singapore Housing and Development Board.
“Just for comparison, Singapore has an area of 720 sq km, while Greater Kuching alone has 1,857 sq km.
“This does not include places like Sibu or Miri and Greater Kuching is two times the size of Singapore,” he said when officiating at the Singapore Business Delegation Networking Dinner at a hotel here tonight.
With Singapore and Sarawak only one hour away by flight, Abang Johari pointed out that there are areas where collaborations can be identified and sought in agriculture, services and high technology sectors.
Moreover, he added that the Sarawak government is also procuring two cargo planes just to transport agricultural and food products to Singapore.
“In the past, we transported our goods to Singapore using only one historical vessel called the Rajah Brooke which was run by Sarawak Steam Ship together with the Straits Steam Ship.
“Today, you just fly. Only one hour by flight. Let’s say it leaves Kuching at 6.30am, it will arrive in Singapore at 7.30am and the products can make it to the retailers by 8.30am. That is the logistics we want to provide the business community in Singapore and Sarawak,” he said.
The Sarawak Premier also gave assurance that the government will facilitate in whatever ways to make it easier for Singapore investors and companies to do business in Sarawak.
“The rest I leave to the business communities as you will know better on what to do and work together for the future of both Sarawak and Singapore’s economies,” he said.
Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Sarawak (Statos) chief executive officer (CEO) Chew Chang Guan, Sarawak Business Federation president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg and Singapore Business Federation Southeast Asia and Pacific director Tan Sock Joo were among those present. — DayakDaily