Tiong outlines urgent matters that need addressing by SMC

Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing

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SIBU, Sept 7: Illegal expansion and renovation of housing, as well as upgrading of drainages, are urgent matters that needed to be looked into by Sibu Municipal Council (SMC).

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said other urgent issues included the limited industry areas and legalising licences for entertainment venues.

“SMC must look for sustainable long term solutions to alleviate people’s worries in order to build a better tomorrow for the city,” he said in a statement following a courtesy visit on the newly minted SMC chairman Clarence Ting yesterday.

The Bintulu MP said during the meeting, they reached a consensus on many aspects of suggestions and solutions mutually beneficial for all parties concerned.

“Firstly, many homeowners in Sibu have taken to expanding their living spaces without official authorisation from the city council.

“As these unilateral expansions have been carried out and lived in for many years now, we did not advocate for any legal action to be taken against them at this juncture.

“However, it is prudent to apply the proper laws on such subsequent expansion projects,” Tiong opined.

He raised on the need to educate the public on the proper procedures to apply for approval permits to make changes to their dwellings.

“Through this method, the council may be able to recoup some income related to assessment tax.”

He also called on Ting to look into the issue where several companies had occupied land adjacent to them, including public land.

“This has caused inconvenience to the public. I hope the Council can communicate with the companies cordially without further undue public inconvenience,” he stressed.

They also agreed to visit several residential areas to get a better picture of the drainage system, including whether the design of the drains were built according to specifications to allow for smooth flow.

“Some areas are suffering from blockages, which worsens the city’s appearance with accumulating garbage and providing breeding grounds for aedes mosquitoes.

“I stressed that the council must vet in detail, the contractors hired to upgrade the drainage system and practise strict supervision during the projects to ensure their quality,” he said.

Other topic of discussion included having SMC coordinate with law enforcement agencies to better monitor the increasing number of unlicensed entertainment venues in the greater Sibu area.

“We should look into ways to legitimising these entertainment in order for the authorities to maintain social order and security and recoup government revenue due to it.

“As a larger regulatory model, we also discussed establishing areas for entertainment venues as a way to boost tourism as well. As long as there is a proper implementation of correct concepts, there is a win-win situation for all involved,” Tiong said. — DayakDaily