Saturday, March 23

One-stop centre (UTC) in Sibu soon


Works underway to convert part of Central Market multi-storey car park into Urban Transformation Centre

Sibu Central Market.

Sibu Central Market.

SIBU: Works are now underway to convert three levels of the multi-storey car park at Sibu Central Market into a one-stop Urban Transformation Centre (UTC).

It will be the second such centre to be set up in the state, after the one at the Bukit Mata car park in Kuching – which turned out to be a great success.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) deputy chairman Dato Andrew Wong said this federal initiative had been approved and it was expected to be completed before the end of the year.

Among the facilities would be a 1Malaysia Clinic (K1M) and a dental clinic.

“The contractor has started with the preliminary works while the major portion will only start next week.

“Although the contractor has signed a 60-day period to complete the works, we have stressed that the project be completed as soon as possible,” Wong told The Borneo Post yesterday.

He, however, did not foresee it to be operational by year end due to the many departments to be housed there.

“I do not see operational that soon as there are so many departments that have to be set up there, especially major ones like National Registration Department (NRD) and Immigration Department.

“I only see them to begin operation realistically by next January,” said Wong.

He said the UTC would benefit the people, in particular those from rural areas.

“As it is now, there are government departments housed at Fong Ming Road, Wisma Sanyan building and Sibu Islamic Complex.

“For the rural folk, this can be quite inconvenient as they need to take public transport like express boats or buses into the town.”

The one-stop centre will open seven days a week from 8am till 9pm, he added.

Wong said Sibu was very centralised and served many rural areas. People from Song, Kanowit, Matu-Daro and Dalat came to Sibu by public transportation.

“The UTC will save them a lot of time and money,” he added.

UTC Sarawak in Kuching was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak last February.

It housed all 47 government agencies, apart from a childcare centre, gym and youth centre, tourist counters and a K1M.

Miri may also have a UTC soon. Miri City Council (MCC) mayor Lawrence Lai recently said the federal government had given its approval for the setting up of a full-pledged UTC to serve people in northern Sarawak and Brunei.