Uggah: Betong holds high potential as tourism hotspot

Betong Metro Polytechnic director Suhaili Aleh (right) presenting a gift to Uggah (second right) in a group photo.

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KUCHING, June 9: There are lots of potential tourism products in Betong just waiting to be discovered, opined Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

Uggah in a statement today said the time had now come for them to be properly identified, developed and promoted.

Singling out Bukit Sadok, Uggah said the site of the fortress manned by legendary Iban hero and Sarawak nationalist Rentap, as one such potential product.

“Rentap had no knowledge of any war tactics yet he had chosen the very strategic Bukit Sadok hilltop as the site for his fortress.

“The formidable fortress was only captured by Raja Charles Brooke after a third attempt in October 1861, but Rentap had managed to escape in time.

“The first and second attempts to capture the fortress were made in 1857 and 1858 respectively,” he said when officiating at the Betong Metro Polytechnic Industrial Advisory Committee (IAC) meeting held in Betong, today.

According to Uggah, the State government had last month approved a sum of RM15.9 million to build a replica of Rentap’s fortress together with supporting facilities in Bukit Sadok.

“This will be the best way to remember this historical site and to honour the legendary Rentap, including to provide opportunities for local communities to improve their socioeconomic wellbeing by promoting and engaging with their culture,” he said.

On other potential products, Uggah pointed out that these included a number of traditional longhouses, the Iban colorful culture and traditions, river and jungle trekking, including the numerous river and fish conservation programmes or locally known as the ‘Tagang System’ as well as the Malay Kampung in Spaoh which offers home stay programme.

“An airport is also being built at Bebuling in Spaoh for both freight and passenger services, and the Pan Borneo Highway will put  Betong in the path of tourists,” he added.

Uggah also expressed his hopes that Sarawak Tourism Board could lend a helping hand in identifying and providing proposals on how best to develop and promote these potential tourism spots. — DayakDaily