Sunday, February 23

Trail to promote Sibu as city of cultures, festivals

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LEISURE WALK: (From left) Ngieng, Abg Johari and Tiong walk the lane at Sibu Heritage Centre to open the Sibu Heritage Trail.

SIBU: The Sibu Heritage Trail at the Sibu Heritage Centre here was launched yesterday.

Speaking during the launching ceremony, Sibu Municipal Council chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King said the trail was another initiative of the council to promote Sibu as a city of cultures and festivals and a gateway to the central region of Sarawak.

Sibu Heritage Trail consists of nine heritage sites including the Old Mosque, Masjid An-nur, Rosli Dhobi Warriors Memorial, Old Muslim Cemetery, Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum, Hoover Memorial Square, Tua Pek Kong Temple, Sibu Central Market, and Sibu Heritage Centre.

He said the whole loop measuring about 4km and took about an hour and half if one made brief stops at all the heritage sites.

“With its earliest settlement dating back to the 1800s, followed by the early immigration led by the late Wong Nai Siong, Sibu has grown by leaps and bounds into a major urban centre in Sarawak.

“All the heritage sites identified are of great significance in the development of Sibu town,” he said.

He said the council had printed brochures, which contained a walking map, old pictures, and information of each heritage site.

The brochures would be placed at tourist information centre, hotels, travel agents, taxis, and other locations in town.

He hoped that the local tourism players such as travel agents, tourist guides, and taxi drivers would help to disseminate the trail to tourists and visitors.

Tiong meanwhile said the council had been promoting tourism on its own initiative since the early days.

For example, Pesta Sibu was initiated in the 1980s and had since become a frequent celebration for the local communities, he said.

“Celebration 2000 was organised to usher in the new millennium in 1999, which was a turning point where the local communities started to see the potential of the concerted effort of the local communities to organise big events for the town,” he added.

Other initiatives included Borneo Tribal Extravaganza in 2000 and 2001, which was renamed Borneo Cultural Festival in 2002, annual Christmas Tree Decoration Contest; and annual countdown event.

Minister of Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg had the honour to launch the Sibu Heritage Trail, which was saw the presence of SMC deputy chairman
Daniel Ngieng, secretary Hii Chang Kee, Nangka assemblyman Dr Annuar Rapaee and Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce.