MIRI: A Miri City Hall costing RM70 million will be built to strengthen the diversity of tourism attractions in the resort city and enhance its economic development.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the new administration centre for Miri City Council (MCC) would become another icon for Miri.
“There is no city without a city hall. Thus, the state government has agreed to build a city hall, estimated to cost about RM70 million. This city hall will then become an icon for Miri.
“We are developing the tourism related infrastructure as tourism has always been a priority in our economic development agenda for Miri,” he said when officiating at the Chinese New Year celebration organised by Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Miri-Sibuti Parliamentary Liaison Committee at Meritz Hotel here yesterday.
Meanwhile, according to Miri mayor Adam Yii, the budget for the city hall building in Miri is estimated to cost about RM92 million after factoring in the land cost of RM22 million.
Yii said the state government has agreed to bear the cost of building the city hall.
He revealed the city hall project will commence in April. With a construction period of about 18 months, the city hall is expected to be completed in October next year.
In an effort to further develop tourism in Miri, Abang Johari pointed out that air connectivity was a major hindrance.
Thus, he said the state government is developing on having its own airline to cope up with the issue.
“The business community in Miri have voice out their plight that there are hotels in Miri, but they are empty. So, the state government has to invest in the infrastructures, including an airline,” he said.
Abang Johari emphasised that with the availability of various business models today, the state government is thinking of renting planes instead of buying its own.
“We do not have to buy planes, but we need it. So, we can rent planes from one point to another point,” he revealed.
He also listed out several initiatives to be taken by the state government to boost tourism development in Miri including improving the Miri golf course.
“Koreans who love to play golf but cannot play in their country as it is usually cold there, they can come to Miri as we will have our own planes to bring them here and play 36-holes golf here.
“That is why I do not mind to invest in a Sarawakian airline, although some may say that the state government is being very ambitious,” he added.
“The attractions are there in Miri, the only problem is planes and that is why I am trying very hard to get our own planes,” said Abang Johari adding that the GPS government has a clear economic policy.
Present were Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president, organising chairman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin who is also Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Miri-Sibuti Parliamentary Liaison Committee chairman, State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker Datuk Gerawat Gala, Assistant Minister of Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil, Miri Mayor Adam Yii and representatives of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) component parties.