Saturday, October 31

Ministry drawing up master plan for ‘Halaman Heritage’ — Ik Pahon

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Datu Ik Pahon Joyik

KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism is drafting a master plan to guide development in the proposed area known as ‘Halaman Heritage’, in the heart of the city.

Its permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik said this long-term planning would include aspects that were deemed essential for the preservation of the city’s beautiful inheritance.

“Halaman Heritage, which was mentioned by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, would include the new and old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) complexes and Fort Margherita, apart from areas around Kuching Waterfront,” he said when contacted yesterday.

“Under ‘Halaman Heritage’, which is set to be declared next year, all historical buildings and sites in the Old Kuching would be preserved. All developments must fulfil the criteria stipulated in the master plan.”

Ik Pahon said he believed that ‘Halaman Heritage’ would be able to boost the tourism industry.

He opined that tourists would have a better and enjoyable experience with improved environment and facilities.

On a related matter, Ik Pahon said the state would be able to achieve its four million tourist arrivals for this year as statistics for the first 10 months stood at 3.2 million.

Taib had said during the opening of Plaza Merdeka on Wednesday that ‘Halaman Heritage’ could be declared as early as next year in time for the state’s 50th anniversary of independence within Malaysia.

He said there was a need to revitalise Kuching city into a new and modern city while preserving its charm and numerous inheritance from the past.

“What we can put at ‘Halaman Heritage’ is up to us by coordinating development that can satisfy the criteria of having Kuching as the heritage capital of Sarawak,” said Taib.

He believed that there were enough justification to preserve the old while modernising the city, with its core heritage site surrounded by Carpenter Street, India Street, churches, mosques, museums and a myriad of Old Kuching City buildings to become one with the people.