SIBU: Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian assures Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) of his strong support for it to have its own administrative building in Sibu Jaya.
Currently, the SRDC office is in Wisma Sanyan and according to the Local Authority Ordinance, the office of a council must be in its own jurisdiction.
“As I said previously, it (the office) should always be in the location where you run your ‘kawasan’ (area).
“Normally, if you are the council, you should enforce own rules in your own ‘kawasan’.
“(In this regard) the SRDC office is currently not situated in the ‘kawasan’ where they can enforce their own rules.
“I strongly support their (SRDC) proposal to have their own administrative building in their own ‘kawasan’. Various drawings have been shown; once they are done, submit them to the state (government) for funding. We need to look at the funding, but given that Sibu Jaya is situated at such an important location, with the (Sibu) Airport and Pan Borneo Highway nearby, I think we need to give them good administrative facilities so that they can truly build a community here that people in Sibu can be proud of – one (equipped with) facilities for recreational and religious use, for schools and also healthcare – all around here,” Dr Sim told reporters after officiating at the opening ceremony of Distrepark Sdn Bhd’s new sales gallery and also the planting of the 8,888th tree in this township.
Distrepark is the master developer of Sibu Jaya.
Adding on, Dr Sim viewed SRDC as one the major rural district councils that could be elevated to a municipal council, partly in view of the rapid growth in population there.
However, the minister also said for this to happen, there would be other criteria as well.
“Once, you reach a certain population level, it (district) becomes a municipality – just like Kota Samarahan (Municipal Council), which was previously a district council.
“There are criteria to follow, but with the 5,000 new houses coming up and the Pan Borneo Highway (development), as well as other low-cost housing projects around here, I am very sure that you (SRDC) would be able to reach the municipal council (status),” said the minister.
Meanwhile, SRDC deputy chairman Robert Lau disclosed that the proposed SRDC building would sit on a four-acre land, adding that the previously-estimated cost to build the four-storey structure was RM15 million.
In this regard, he expressed his hope for the Sarawak government to fund the project, in view of SRDC ‘not having that much money’.
Distrepark assistant general manager Eddy Puah and SRDC assistant secretary Hiu Kee Sing witnessed the opening ceremony.