By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Dec 9: Sarawak will be the first state in Malaysia to roll out free public buses running on electric power or e-Bus for all locals and tourists starting in January next year.
Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting emphasised that the e-Bus will provide convenient transportation alternatives for all riders.
“It will cover some important routes in Kuching city including Kuching International Airport, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Old Kuching Heritage Trail, private medical centres, educational institutions, shopping malls, MBKS Stutong Community Market, Kuching Sentral Express Bus Terminal, and Malaysia-China Friendship Park.
“Besides the standard features such as priority seats and wheelchair-friendly, the e-Bus leverages on digital technology where all units will be equipped with free Wi-Fi internet access, real-time broadcasting content control system, live view of passenger counter, live view onboard CCTV system, mobile apps friendly and GPS tracking system,” he said.
Ting highlighted this in his text-of-speech read by the permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) at the third and last Sarawak Tourism Coordination Committee Meeting for the year at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) here today.
Motac, he added, was actively pursuing many projects to establish and upgrade more tourism products and attractions under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) and 12MP.
“Under 11MP, my Ministry has completed some potential tourism projects totaling about RM265,927,000,” he informed.
The projects include improvement works at Kampung Boyan to Fort Margherita (water cascading), Miri’s Wireless Walk, Bakam Point, Petroleum Museum, ICQS Sungai Tujoh, Dalat Waterhouse, a new building for Sarawak Museum Campus and Heritage Trails, Existing Bungalow for Wallace Centre, Fort Lily Betong, Fort Emma Kanowit, Fort Brooke Julau and tourism facilities at Niah National Park.
Ting also pointed out that the Borneo Culture Museum, which has been completed, will be opened in April 2021.
“The Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 2019 has been passed by the DUN (State Legislative Assembly) Sarawak to make better provisions for the preservation and conservation of antiquities, monuments and sites of cultural, archeological, architectural, artistic, religious or traditional,” he said.
Among other new attractions in progress, he revealed, include the Santubong Archeological Park and Wallace Centre, Dalat Waterfront, the cascading waterfall at Fort Margherita and Eco-Panorama.
“The upgrading of Wind Caves and Fairy Caves, upgrading of the fort industry – Fort Emma, Fort Lily, Fort Brooke, Fort Sylvia and others,” he added.
Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) chief executive officer (CEO) Sharzede Salleh Askor, Motac Malaysia Sarawak director Suriya Charles Buas and Sarawak Arts Council CEO Sharkawi Amit were present. -DayakDaily