Thursday, January 20

Relocating garages to Teku Road

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State government, Sibu Automobile Repairers Association working together to resolve 20-year-old problem

SIBU: Automobile workshops in choked residential and town areas which have been an eyesore may be history soon.

This is because the state government and the Sibu Automobile Repairers Association are now working closely together to see whether it is possible to relocate all these workshops to a piece of land spanning 31 acres in the outskirts of Teku Road.

Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh, who disclosed this plan during the association’s gathering on Saturday night, said he was determined to turn this piece of land into an industrial lot.

“I hope this will help solve the nagging environmental problem arising from the rapid development of the town. I am determined to help.”

Wong said he had in fact been trying to help the association resolve this nagging problem for years.

He lamented that an earlier plan to relocate to Lanang Road failed to materialise because the developer found the sinking land unsuitable for this purpose.

“The situation was frustrating; the developer had to return the deposit to hopeful car garage owners and diverted the land for other uses. We wasted five years,” said Wong, who is also the Minister of Environment and Public Health.

Stating that this was

a matter of urgent concern, he added: “I have discussed the matter with the

Chief Minister (Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud) and I have received the nod from him to see if the proposal (to shift to Teku Road) could be worked out with the association.”

Wong explained that the nagging situation had persisted for so long

because of the lack of industrial land.

“The land in mixed zone are too expensive, and I therefore  have turned to the outskirts in this search.”

He advised car garage operators to be patient as he would work out the proposal with their association.

Meanwhile,  association chairman Teo Ngiin Poh said the problem had plagued them for about 20 years and impatience among members had festered.

“I have been blamed for the delay.

“I am happy Dato Sri Wong is again with us to help see us through to better days ahead.”

More than 1,200 association members and their families took part in the pre-Chinese New Year gathering at Sibu Trade and Exhibition Centre on Saturday.

The association also gave out graduation certificates to 19 trainee mechanics from their member workshops.

They also gave out study incentives to students with excellent academic performances.