BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: The Minister of Home Affairs, Yang Berhomat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong, yesterday morning expressed his satisfaction on the encouraging response and outcome of the `Bandar Ceria’ initiative, which was launched on October 2 and hoped that members of the public will continue to support the initiative by hosting more events in the coming months, Brudirect reported.
Held every Sunday, when the busy capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan closes its roads to traffic for four hours from 6am until 10am, the Bandarku Ceria initiative has seen an increasing number of public participation including people cycling on the streets safely without cars, joining morning exercise as well as hunting for bargains at the stalls set up around the city.
The Minister of Home Affairs in an interview at the sidelines of the ‘Welcome to the Fold’ 23km cycling event highlighted, “The response on Bandarku Ceria has been very encouraging.”
“Initially the agencies concerned that comprised six ministries had to come up with activities for Bandarku Ceria. After two months, we can leave it for the public to utilise the initiative and host activities and events. Like today, we have the `Welcome to the Fold’ bike event where the organisers invited the public to participate.”
“We try to encourage these kinds of activities to continue on. The government only facilitates in terms of road closure from 6am to 10am and provides facilities for vendors to sell their products. The public are encouraged to optimise the use of the facilities in Bandarku Ceria,” he added.
The minister also revealed that activities are already lined up until the month of March next year for `Bandarku Ceria’ where Pusat Ehsan Al-Ameerah Al-Hajjah Maryam is expected to host a big event.
Meanwhile Wong Kim Wei and his family who were at the event yesterday also lauded the positive feedback on the initiative.
“This is a good initiative to bring some vibrant activities every Sunday to Bandar Seri Begawan. In the beginning, I was a bit sceptical about the initiative but after seeing so many people here today on the streets and Taman Haji Sir Muda Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien, I would say it is a success,” said the father of three children.
He also hoped that more interesting events can be organised to attract bigger crowds especially youths to the heart of the capital.