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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 12: The Sarawak government will help the Indonesian government to build its new capital Nusantara, located about 400km from Kapit and 500km from Kuching.
Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said he has informed Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his recent study visit to the island republic that the Indonesian government has sought help from Sarawak on the development of Nusantara.
“Your (Singapore) Prime Minister was asking me about Nusantara and whether we (Sarawak) will help them. I said ‘yes, the Indonesian government has asked us to help them’.
“It (Nusantara) is just about 400km from Kapit and 500km from Kuching. You can just fly over there to Indonesia,” he said.
With many opportunities ahead in Kalimantan on the east of Borneo Island that is likely to draw some 30 million people from Jakarta and its greater metropolitan area, Abang Johari emphasised that Sarawak and Singapore can work together in lending a helping hand to Indonesia on building its future capital Nusantara.
“That’s the future we are in. And as far as Sarawak is concerned, we welcome anybody who wishes to collaborate with us, bearing in mind that we (Sarawak) are also heading towards higher economic growth to become a developed State with a high income economy by 2030,” he added.
The Sarawak Premier highlighted this when officiating at the Singapore Business Delegation Networking Dinner at a hotel here tonight.
Abang Johari also noted there was an increase of Singaporeans buying houses in Sarawak under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme.
“You know our houses are cheap. It takes only one hour for you to get here (by flight). Actually, it is shorter (nearer) than Johor (where) you have to bear with the long queue to pass through the immigration checkpoint.
“Once here, you can stay in your own house and enjoy our kolok mee and at the same time go angling at sea,” he added.
Abang Johari pointed out that Sarawak is currently upgrading its tourism infrastructures including resorts as well as public transportation system with Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) System using hydrogen which is expected to be ready by 2026.
“We want to connect the resorts to Kuching city. That is our plan. (When operational) Sarawak could possibly be the first in the region to deploy the hydrogen-based rail-less train-like system,” 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