By Tedong Rantayy
MIRI, Feb 13: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg emphasised the State government’s seriousness in upgrading infrastructure in Miri as he sees this division as a hub for the Northern Region.
He described the work to develop Miri as wings on an airplane.
“Miri has two wings; one side of the ‘wing’ covering Bekenu, Niah and Baram,” he pointed out.
“There are plans on the pipeline to upgrade infrastructure towards Bekenu, Niah and Baram, such as roads will be built towards the Niah Cave side…allocations for the project have been approved, it’s just a matter of implementation,” he said last night at the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Miri-Sibuti Parliamentary Liaison Committee Chinese New Year (CNY) gathering at a hotel here.
Niah National Park is also expected to be successfully listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“We have submitted (the application) to UNESCO for the site to be listed. God-willing, it will be listed under UNESCO… and we have plans to upgrade that side’s (Niah National Park) infrastructures.”
On the Baram side, Abang Johari said, the State government will build roads to connect remote areas.
“We have planned, we have approved…it’s just a matter of implementations…Miri-Marudi-Marudi-Long Terawan…we are building roads..that means in one hour and 30 minutes you can reach Long Terawan just outside Mulu, and from Mulu going to Datuk Amar Awang Tengah’s (Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan) place—Gunung Buda in other words—the roads are all connected and this is done, and hopefully we will start by next year because this year we want the Public Works Department (JKR) doing tendering exercise to Highland Development Agency (HDA)…so we will cover all,” Abang Johari disclosed.
Abang Johari also highlighted several major development projects for Miri which will strengthen the city’s growth.
These projects include the construction of Miri Convention Centre.
The site for the convention centre has been approved by the State government.
“The State government has approved the construction of Miri Convention Centre which will kick start next year (2025), and this convention centre will be build as big as the one in Kuching,” said Abang Johari.
The Premier also targets improving public transport here, by changing old buses to new buses with zero fares.
“We will make the public transportation (stage bus) in Miri free. The bus fares will be fully funded by the State government under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), so that the people can travel for free….I believe when the mobility is convenient and free, it will also attract tourists to come here,” he told the 600-strong crowd at the dinner gathering.
Also present at the dinner were Abang Johari’s wife, Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Sarawak Premiers Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hiang who is also SUPP president, Minister for Transport Sarawak Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, Minister for Utility and Telecommunication Dato Sri Julaihi Narawi, Deputy Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (Tourism) Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew, Deputy Minister for Youth, Sport and Entrepreneur Development II (Entrepreneur Development) Datuk Dr Ripin Lamat, Sarawak State Secretary Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, former SUPP president Tan Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui and former Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam. — DayakDaily