KUCHING: The master plan for the proposed RM20-million Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) Unity Park at Taman Budaya here is now already in its final draft.
According to Kuching North Datuk Bandar Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai, once the drafting is completed the master plan will be presented to the state cabinet for approval.
“We will present the Unity Park master plan to Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Abang Openg and also to the (state) cabinet for project evaluation. Once it receives the approval, we will commence the first phase of the project, most likely within the next two to three months,” he said yesterday upon being asked about DBKU Unity Park, which is a stone’s throw away from the city’s civic centre.
The proposal was announced by Abang Johari when he officiated at the launch of DBKU Agenda 2017 on Sunday.
Abang Johari was quoted as saying that RM10 million would be initially set aside for the implementation of the first phase of the Unity Park project. He also mentioned that the park as one of the two projects approved for DBKU areas this year.
According to Abang Wahap, the first phase of the project would involve the redevelopment of Taman Budaya including upgrading works on the lake.
“We will also restore the buildings in the park to turn them into restaurants, cafeteria, craft sales centre, the people’s gym and more (facilities). We hope the first phase of this project could be completed before the ‘City Day’ celebration (on Aug 1) next year,” he said.
Abang Wahap said the second phase, on the other hand, would take several years to reach completion as it would include the development of a gazebo reflecting the state’s racial diversity, as well as a ‘Butterfly Park’
“The announcement of the Unity Park is like a New Year’s gift not just to DBKU and the people of Kuching, but also to the people of Sarawak.
“Once completed, the park will be the city’s main attraction just like those in other major cities around the world like London and New York,” he said.
Meanwhile, DBKU commission member Datuk Wee Hong Seng regarded the Unity Park project as the ‘fruition’ of the ‘City of Unity’ status conferred on Kuching in 2015.
Kuching was proclaimed the ‘City of Unity’ by the 1Malaysia Foundation during the annual 27th ‘City Day’ celebration on Aug 1, 2015. This was declared by the chairman of the foundation, Dr Chandra Muzaffar at Stadium Perpaduan in Petra Jaya near here.
In this regard, Wee said Abang Johari had proposed that the existing Reservoir Park be enhanced to reflect this ‘very spirit of unity’.
“The proposed Unity Park would be on the present Reservoir Park. After we have been proclaimed as the ‘City of Unity’, Datuk Amar Abang Johari proposed for further enhancement on ‘unity part’ – the real meaning of unity.
“It is to let the people feel and understand the actual meaning of unity, and to maintain it,” he said when contacted here yesterday.
Moreover, Wee said DBKU had been meeting various stakeholders and local groups to get their feedback and suggestions on the proposed park.
“We will do more consultations as we work towards setting up this Unity Park for the state.”
Asked on whether the name ‘Reservoir Park’ would be or had been changed to Unity Park, Wee clarified: “No, it is still Reservoir Park, but we leave that matter (change of name) to the higher authority.
“Of course, the usage of the Reservoir Park will still be retained. The sight of people of different races jog or do exercises together is also a show of unity.”