Friday, September 29

Southern tip of Sarawak to become tourism belt, says Abg Jo


Abang Johari points at a section of the masterplan model for Bau. From left are Tecktonic & Sons managing director Lee Chin Teck, Abu Bakar, Dr Sim, Anielia, and Harry. – Photo by Chimon Upon

BAU (Dec 30): The southern tip of Sarawak encompassing Bau, Lundu, Sematan, and Tanjung Datu will be developed into a tourism belt, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said tourism infrastructure must be developed in the area to benefit the people.

“If there are many tourists coming here to spend means there will be many services that will be required including production in this place, including agriculture, and the nature attractions of its caves and the history of Bau.

“That is why I have a comprehensive plan on how to develop the tourism sector. I had announced in our manifesto, we will improve the facilities, including flights that bring tourists to our state. I can assure you, we will solve this problem within these five years,” Abang Johari said when officiating at the Bau District Council’s 65th anniversary celebration at Tasik Biru Food Village today.

Hence, he said the council has to improve the quality of its services.

He said it could then receive taxes from the development of real estate and services available here.

“It has a cycle to increase the revenue; we adapt to improve our services to the people and this will enable the harmony and well-being of the community in Bau.

“If we want to do development, it is not only developed by the government – it must also involve the private sector. This is our new approach because the government cannot fund all the development that we have to do in the development process,” he explained.

He stressed the private sector has to inject funds and the government will facilitate to help develop certain areas, including Bau.

Abang Johari, who is Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman, also thanked Bau folk for giving the mandate to the coalition to govern for the next five years.

“God willing, in the next five years, we will have access to water, including outside the city, the rural areas, and we will continue to develop our infrastructure, including bridges, roads, water and electricity supply.

“Once this is done, we will increase innovation and talent development programmes to improve our services using technology,” he said.

On the recent state election conducted amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, Abang Johari said his critics have been proven wrong that cases would surge.

“I am thankful that now it has been two weeks past the state election, and, thus far, we still have two-digit Covid-19 cases.

“At the same time, we must remain vigilant of the new variant, Omicron variant, and we hope that the numbers will be under control,” he said.

The chief minister said he is hopeful that Sarawak will enter Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) if the number of cases continued to decrease.

“Following that, we hope that more economic activities will reopen,” he said.

Among those present at the event were Batu Kawah assemblyman Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep, Opar assemblyman Billy Sujang, acting State Secretary Dato Sri Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki, and Bau District Officer Anielia Siam.