Nancy (second left) being briefed on the plans to develop the Desa Ilmu lake. At left is Noor Zari and at second right is Rubiah.

KUCHING: The lake at the Desa Ilmu residential area in Kota Samarahan is tipped to become a recreation hub.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said a suggestion was currently being studied to develop the area in the mould of the Botanical Garden in Kuala Lumpur.

“It will not only be a recreation spot, it will have a landscape that will attract tourists,” she said in a Facebook post today.

Earlier, she visited the 9.38-hectare area as part of her visit to identify tourism potentials in Kota Samarahan.

“The Desa Ilmu lake is tipped to the main recreation hub in Samarahan and it will be equipped with jogging tracks and a viewing gallery.

“Besides that, it  will be equipped with food stalls that will be done in a systematic fashion to enable tourists to taste the food available in Kota Samarahan while relaxing in the area.”

Nancy also visited the area near the Kota Samarahan Municipal Council that had been proposed for a landscape project to turn it into a tourist attraction.

She added that Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang, who accompanied her, suggested that a heritage centre be set up in the area.

The Batang Sadong MP, during her trip also squeezed in a visit to the Malaysian Cocoa Board’s Research and Development Centre in Kota Samarahan.

Commenting on the farm-to-table concept implemented by the centre in terms of cocoa processing and its products, Nancy said it could be an attraction.

“It too will open doors to tourism and culture industry operators to add the product into the existing tourist packages.”

She added that according to the centre’s manager, Dr Ahmad Kamil Mohd Jaafar, the centre would  be transformed into a Cocoa and Chocolate Tourist Centre.

Also present during her visit was Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Noor Zari Hamat.