KUCHING: The government is still searching for the most cost-effective method to resolve the issue of re-locating vehicle repair workshops in the state.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said yesterday that there were currently two options under consideration.
The first option is to do it on a private sector basis, and the second option is to build a special building.
Dr Chan, however, said the proposed building would have to be built far away from the city centre, and this would inconvenient the public.
“They (workshop owners) say it is easier if they could have it nearer to town, like in Singapore. When the population is very concentrated, instead of having only one workshop on the ground they have four to five floors.
“In Sibu they suggest whether it is possible to have a multi-storey type of workshop,” he said.
Although it could be done, Dr Chan, however, said cost was the main cause for concern.
“I will put it up and see whether it is possible to get it done in the cheapest and most affordable way. I hope to be able to get federal agencies to help thesepeople to build their workshops,” he added.
According to him, they were about a few hundred such workshops in Sibu and a few thousand in Kuching.
Many are operating from homes, roadsides and in residential areas.
“People do complain about them, but they are willing to move and they are very cooperative. The problem is they have no place to go. So now we are trying to find a place for them,” said Dr Chan.
He added that the issue had been bandied about for a long time but finding a suitable plot of land proved difficult thus far.
“In Miri, we have been able to resettle them to nearby workshops and industrial area, but it is harder to find land in Sibu and Kuching that is near to the town area,” he explained.