Saturday, April 20

Zoo, agro park set to draw tourists to Tebedu


Manyin pats a parrot named Max, one of the attractions at the KLB Garden. On his left is Abdul Karim.

TEBEDU: The 13-acre KLB Garden, an agro park and mini zoo will be main tourism attraction for Tebedu.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin said the arrivals of domestic and foreign tourists will spur economic spinoffs and make Tebedu, especially the nearby Bandar Mutiara, more lively and vibrant.

He also mulled a tie up between KLB Garden and soon-to-be established Sarawak Science Centre, to stimulate greater interest among the younger generation in science and nature.

Speaking at the official opening of KLB Garden yesterday, Manyin said he just came back from study visits to science centres in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to fine tune the setting up of Sarawak Science Centre.

“It is our desire to set up our own Science Centre in Kuching which I believe will be a great benefit to our young generation. I believe KLB Garden can complement and work together with the Science Centre. I believe this tie up will also be a great tourism product apart from being a good educational venture,” said Manyin, who is also Tebedu assemblyman.

Manyin said he was informed by KLB Garden manager Kueh Kwang Siang that more than 1,000 visitors have visited the place since its soft opening on June 27.

“We would like to say thank you to Kueh for the financial sacrifice he has made to develop this place. We in Tebedu welcome it because KLB Garden provides a good platform to promote Tebedu as well as provide job opportunities to the people,” he said.

Also present at the ceremony were Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Serian Deputy Resident Mastapha Julaihi, government officers from Serian and Tebedu, and also invited government officers from the Indonesian border town of Entikong.

KLB Garden is named after Kueh’s father Kueh Lai Boo, who was a prominent businessman in Tebedu and has contributed to the development of  the area for more than 60 years.

It has a vast animal collection consisting more than 100 different species of animals including native Borneo animals such as deers, parrots, cows and goats, as well as exotic animals like peacocks, porcupines and rare fowls.

It is also planted with more than 20 different tropical fruits and more than 100 different species of flowers and plants.

Entrance fees are RM8 for a child aged 5 to 12 and RM16 for adults (those aged 13 and above). Free entrance is given to infants aged below four years old and senior citizens.

Visitors can also experience hand feeding animals like otters, goats and more during their visit. More information on KLB Garden can be found on its Facebook and Instragram pages.

Its management representative Clifford Kueh said they aimed to make KLB Garden as platform for students of all levels to conduct scientific experiments and learn more about flora and fauna.

He explained the concept of KLB Garden is a combination of education with environment, to make it a unique eco-tourism site for visitors.

“Camping sites are also provided for those who want to stay in and enjoy the adventure,” he said.

Meanwhile, Abdul Karim praised the management for obtaining permit for the animals and plants from the Forest Department prior to commencing operation, saying this showed seriousness in their venture and their strong adherence to the law.

“This is a good place for our young people to appreciate nature. I know this is a private initiated programme, but rest assured if you need any assistance from ministry in terms of promotion, we will find a way to work together with tour agencies to bring more visitors here,” he said.