SMC deputy chairman Bujang Abdul Majid (left) presents a token of appreciation to Abang Johari while Ting looks on.
SIBU (July 23): The Sarawak government would be coming up with a new approach to attract tourists to come to Sibu with the setting up of a historical trail, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
According to him, Sibu has several historical places that could be connected to other hubs.
“Tourism industry needs an approach – infrastructure that is friendlier to draw tourists to visit (Sibu).
“We in the government have suggested to review the development in Sibu, which has heritage and a unique background. Certainly, this heritage will be preserved. I believe our tourism minister and his colleagues will set up a heritage trail for Sibu, where historical places will be connected with other hubs.
“Sibu has several historical places such as the Dataran Sibu (Town Square), with Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum and recreational places such as Bukit Lima in the vicinity. That will be one of the trails that can attract tourists to Sibu.
“This is a new approach for us to position Sibu, which must have a master plan. I have instructed Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian to work together with the Ministry of Tourism on how we want to revisit Sibu,” said Abang Johari when officiating at the closing of Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) tonight.
He added: “There is also a possibility that Sibu has to undergo urban renewal. We are going to engage international consultant to look at how we want to improve Sibu.
“Not only do we look at Australia, and recently Singapore, but we also want to look at places where the features of Sibu as well as that place can be compared.”
Abang Johari also mentioned the need to manage the waters here; to look at the model of Amsterdam in Holland.
“Amsterdam is below the sea. Sibu is also below the river.
“Therefore, there has to be a study done to make Sibu like Amsterdam.
“When I officiated an event in Sibu Jaya (recently) , I said there is a possibility that Sibu can be like Amsterdam in future,” he said.
The Premier also touched on the importance of other languages such as English and Mandarin.
“Beside our own Bahasa Malaysia and our ethnic languages, we have to also command other foreign languages such as English and Mandarin which are very very important to lure foreign tourists from China and other Mandarin-speaking people throughout the world.
“In Canada and America, you have the Chinese community there. In Asia of course, there are many Chinese. And if we can also speak Mandarin to other Mandarin-speaking people, we can also attract tourists from those countries where the Chinese are in great numbers,” he said.
He thus urged the tourism industry players to use the latest technology to promote their products.
He also touched on S Pay Global (Sarawak Pay). He said by working together with Union Pay payment through S Pay Global could be done for any e-commerce transaction.
Also present were Abang Johari’s wife Puan Sri Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang; Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahmah Hamzah and wife Datin Sri Zuraini Abdul Jabbar; King of Puro Mangkunegaran Sukarta, Indonesia Sri Paduka Mangkoenagoro X, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting; Deputy Minister for Public Health, Housing and Local Government I (Public Health and Housing) Dato Penguang Manggil; Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts II (Creative Industry and Performing Arts) Datuk Snowdan Lawan; Deputy Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government II Michael Tiang, Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting; Senator Robert Lau and Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Kuching Raden Sigit Witjaksono.