SIBU, July 23 — Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg tonight said he has instructed Deputy Premier Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian to work with the state Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts to come up with a master plan for the Sibu urban renewal programme.
He said this is a new approach of the state government to solve the flooding problems in the town.
“There is a possibility that the process of urban renewal programme has to be done for Sibu and we are going to engage international consultants to re-look how we want to improve Sibu,” he said when closing the Borneo Cultural Festival here.
He said the state government is looking not only at Australia and recently Singapore, but it is also comparing the features of Sibu with those of other places on how to solve flooding problems.
“As we know Sibu is prone to flooding and we want to have a new approach on how to control flooding and there is a possibility that to manage water we have to look at the model of Amsterdam, the Netherlands,” the premier said.
He said while Amsterdam is located below the sea, Sibu is below the river.
“Therefore, there has to be a study to be done between Amsterdam and Sibu,” he said, adding that there is a possibility that Sibu can be like Amsterdam in future.
Abang Johari also said the state Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Ministry and its partners will create heritage trails to connect historical sites and other hubs in Sibu.
“Sibu has plenty of historical places, for example, the Sibu Town Square, Lau King Howe Hospital building and recreation centres like in Bukit Lima,” he added.
Among those present at the function were Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister Datuk Sri Fatimah Abdullah.