Dr Sim: Urban renewal plan will transform Sibu into world class city


(From left) Izkandar, Chieng, Sim, Ting, and Tiang toss the ‘Yee Sang’ at the celebration gathering.

SIBU (Feb 17): A proper urban renewal plan will turn Sibu into a world class city, says Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian.

According to him, the Sunway Group Property and Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers’ Association (Sheda) Sibu had pledged their commitment to work alongside with the state government for the Sibu urban renewal plan.

Sim, who is also the Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government, said this at the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) Chinese New Year celebration at University of Technology Sarawak (UTS) here today.

The state government, he said, had engaged the Ramboll Group – an international engineering, design and consultancy company, to study and come up with the urban renewal plan for Sibu.

“The government allocated a substantial amount of money for this project and the consultancy alone cost more than RM20 million,” he said, while calling for the local consultants to seize this project opportunity, to work together and gain experience from it.

The urban renewal plan, he added, proved the government’s commitment towards state-building, in alignment with Sarawak’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS).

Thus, he sought the people’s understanding that it would take time for the plan to materialise.

“Sibu urban renewal plan is like building a new city, but a lot of people do not understand it.

“All those who say that the renewal plan can be carried out in three months’ time, they ‘tipu’ (lie to) you. They do not know what we are talking about.

“We are neither building a garden nor 500 houses, but we are building a city that is at least 500 acres.

“These areas are not new, they are all old existing areas. So, it is a big thing,” he said, while pointing out the city’s geographical location in a low lying and peaty ground.

“About 20 per cent of Sibu is covered with water and one of the solutions is to build canals for drainage management and to store water,” he added.

“I’m from Kuching and I will be envious to see that the Sibu people will one day own the waterfront houses and apartments because of this waterway,” he said, while expressing his enthusiasm on the project’s prospects.

“Under Sarawak’s PCDS, no one can stop us from reaching our goal of becoming a high-income state by 2030.

“We achieved it (high-income status) last year, but this is just the beginning. For the next six years in 2030, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is going to be RM282 billion,” he said, referring to the latest data from the World Bank’s Malaysia lead economist.

For that impressive growth, Sim said the state government is prepared to spend RM750 million a year to allow 25,000 local students to study for free in state-owned universities.

“Yes, it is a bit tough at the moment, but by 2030 and in future, we will see a different Sarawak and people will be jealous of us,” he said.

Present at the event were Sim’s wife Datin Amar Enn Ong; Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Datuk Michael Tiang; Bukit Assek assemblyman Joseph Chieng; SMC chairman Clarence Ting;  SMC deputy chairman Mohammed Abdullah Izkandar Roseley and event organising chairman councillor Kiing Teck Ho.