SIBU: Noting a multitude of developments taking place in the state, especially in Sibu, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak described the expansion and upgrading of Sibu airport at a cost of RM136.9 million as both timely and a special Malaysia Day gift to the people of Sarawak.
Its completion within schedule and budget chronicled yet another BN government’s promise being fulfilled, he said.
Opening the upgraded Sibu airport yesterday, the prime minister said the government always ensured that every developing city and town had sufficient and relevant facilities to support its growth.
This, he said, was vital to ensure continuous, greater, and sustainable economic development.
“We see Sibu, for example, as the gateway to the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) and it (Sibu) is on the verge of recovery and embracing a better future.”
All these, he continued, showed the eagerness of the federal government to see greater development in the state.
Najib pointed out that the state recorded 3.8 million tourist arrivals last year, which was an increase of 16 per cent from the previous year.
Out of this, 62 per cent were foreign tourists and the rest domestic travellers.
“These tourists brought an inflow of RM7.2 billion to the state, which is 13.5 per cent of the state Gross Domestic Product.”
Najib said ever since Merdeka in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the government had never stopped developing facilities and infrastructure which the nation needed to push forward.
He also stressed that the good relationship and close cooperation between the state and federal governments was important for development.
“The federal government never rejects any requests from the state government.”
Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was also present, said the expansion project was a reflection of the federal government’s appreciation of the sensitivities and aspirations of the people in the central region of the state, and also to upgrade their socio-economic status.