CM: State capital to have more attractions

Abang Johari (left) gestures during the lantern show. Seen are Juma’ani (second right) and Wee (second left).

KUCHING: More tourist attractions can be expected here in the next five years.

They include a water show at the Kuching Waterfront as well as an English tea house and a cascading waterfall at Fort Margherita in Petra Jaya.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said he had appropriated funds to erect these facilities though he had not informed the Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) about it.

“There will be water sprouting from our river in front of the new DUN (State Legislative Assembly Complex), not just water but also music.

“And for Fort Margherita, we will build a tea house and a cascading waterfall with music in front of it (the fort),” he said at the Chap Goh Mei Festival 2018 at the India Street Pedestrian Mall here Saturday night.

Abang Johari pointed out that the ‘water sprouting’ facilities planned at the Kuching Waterfront would be something like the Spectra at Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

As for Fort Margherita, he said a tea house will be built in front of the fort.

He added that a cascading waterfall with music had also been planned to be built near the proposed tea house.

“The tea house is for the people and visitors to enjoy, like the westerners. Fort Margherita is the legacy of the Brookes, and so we want to build an English tea house.”

Abang Johari (seventh left) with Juma’ani (sixth right) and Wee (sixth left) toss mandarin oranges into the pond to mark the Chap Goh Mei Festival.

He said this would be “something unique” for the area along and across the Waterfront.

Earlier, Abang Johari said a master plan had been put in place to extend the existing Waterfront area all the way up to Brooke Dockyard and connect the entire Waterfront to Kampung Masjid and Kampung Bintangor via a walkway for locals and tourists to stroll around the city centre.

While efforts were being made to provide modern facilities to boost tourism in the state capital, he said the state government would also safeguard the heritage of the city.

One of the initiatives, Abang Johari said, is to turn the Reservoir Park and the area surrounding the Civic Centre and Sarawak Club into a Unity Park to “summarise all cultural buildings that reflect the unity of the people of Kuching”.

He added that all these would be realised in five years’ time.

“We have all the financial allocations. The only thing is implementation and planning takes time.”

He said the state government also aimed at transforming Padungan into a more vibrant area.

“We will preserve the main road (Jalan Padungan) as well as the old buildings but we will develop Padungan area into a modern centre.

“Once we have an LCCT (Low-Cost Carrier Terminal) with AirAsia, Kuching will be connected to all the major cities in Asia. That is our plan, but I think the unity of the people is the best attraction,” added Abang Johari.

Among those present were Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang and organising chairman Datuk Wee Hong Seng.

Abang Johari (sixth left), Wee (fifth left) and others at the tossing of yee-sang. — Photos by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

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