Saturday, September 23

Miri aims to be ‘the most liveable resort city’


MIRI City Council (MCC) recently launched its new five-year corporate vision (2014-2019) to make ‘Miri the most liveable resort city’.

Its mayor Lawrence Lai said the new vision was launched by Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Adenan Satem during the Miri City Day dinner recently.

Lai said the first corporate vision for MCC was to make Miri vibrant and green when he took over as mayor in 2009, adding that both visions were formulated as part of the council’s effort to build a soul and identity for Miri.

“We would like to create our own identity. If Kuching is a garden city, Bintulu is more known as industrial city, Miri has been designated as a resort city.

“As for the Miri community, we can also do something to make Miri different and we would like to make it liveable,” he said recently.

Lai explained that the new vision had three strategic thrusts – clean and green, vibrant and safe as
well as community and culture.

“MCC started with the green initiatives with its campaign ‘Say no to Plastic Bag’ on every Sunday, with the days then increased to every Friday, Saturday besides Sunday. Since 2010, the campaign is implemented every day.”

Apart from the ‘Say no to Plastic Bag’ campaign, Lai said the council had also implemented other campaigns such as ‘Say no to Styrofoam’ by encouraging the community to use paper boxes, containers and cut down the use of anything that is made of plastic.

“We also hold green expo every year whereby we invite NGOs, government bodies and schools to promote green products.”

As a resort city, Lai said it is only natural for Miri to be safe as well as to have a lot of vibrancy and events, adding that Miri was among the first cities to hold street party in Sarawak.

“The party is held annually on the eve of Malaysia Day. It has been quite successful with between 10,000 and 20,000 Mirians joining each year.”

Besides that, he said another annual event in Miri is the Christmas parade which is usually held on the first Saturday of December.

“So far, the participants are getting more. We started with less than 10 churches now we have about 16 churches participating. Last year, we had 25,000 people so this year, we are targeting 30,000 people.”

On community and culture, Lai said with 30 councillors currently, MCC had restructured and consolidated the areas under its jurisdiction into 10 zones.

“Previously, we had 25 councillors so we divided Miri into 25 resident committee zones. Over the years, we felt the need to consolidate them into 10 zones which we feel more manageable.”

Under the new system, he said three councillors would take care of a zone to be the eyes and ears of the council apart from managing the traditional responsibilities of the council.

In terms of culture, he believes MCC is the only council in the country that owns a handicraft centre.

With the latest vision, he hopes that Miri will be a liveable city by 2020 when Malaysia becomes a high income nation.

“It is a mindset journey so we need the cooperation from the community. I know it’s not
easy but it’s a challenge to us.”