KUCHING: Sarawak is taking steps to strike a balance between developing the state and ensuring a sustainable environment for the people to live in.
In stating this caretaker Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg underscored the need to be eco-friendly and people-friendly.
“That is why I have instructed the Forest Department to work with Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) (in our effort) to gazette a nature reserve near the Bukit Siol area.
“It will be a nature park and we will plant trees that are found in Sarawak, and houses cannot be built in this area because we will gazette it as a green area,” he said during the DBKU’s Friendly Neighbourhood (JKM) dinner at USCI Hotel on Saturday (Nov 27).
He said in addition to the nature reserve that will be developed by DBKU in Petra Jaya, other parts of the state that have been gazetted as nature reserves were the Samajaya Nature Reserve in Kuching, Bukit Lima Nature Reserve (Sibu), and Piasau Nature Reserve (Miri).
“The nature reserve near Bukit Siol in Petra Jaya will also be connected to recreational places near the Sarawak State Library.
“And this will become a green area where there is a place for us to carry out recreational activities,” he said.
On another note, Abang Johari congratulated DBKU for winning various awards, saying this is the result of close cooperation between residents and the commission.
“With the workshop you have organised, you can discuss the problems faced by the community and find solutions to address them. This means it is a down-top approach,” he said.
He then said from the results of the discussion, DBKU could introduce policies that would benefit the people.
“This is the importance of KJM. It must be a prerequisite for the future that is to have unity among the people.
“The state constituencies (DUN) under DBKU are very close, and our unity is very strong, as a result of which we can develop this area,” he said.
Abang Johari, who is also Satok incumbent, said that DBKU would continue to develop it nicely, but this could only be done if he were given a fresh mandate in the coming state polls.
Meanwhile, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Islamic Affairs & DBKU) and Pantai Damai incumbent Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi said the DBKU’s KJM initiative started 20 years ago, the first one being in Taman Fitrah.
“Today, the number of KJM has reached almost 50 KJM and DBKU is still receiving applications for the establishment of a new KJM.
“This clearly shows that the KJM initiative is very effective in getting the involvement of the community to jointly support the development aspirations of the Sarawak government under the leadership of the chief minister,” he said.
He added this year DBKU faced challenges to fully organise its activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic but that it managed to be carry them out while complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
“This year, DBKU JKM has organised a total of 151 programmes out of 297 planned, which is an achievement of 51 per cent, and this shows an increase compared to the previous year which recorded an achievement of 32 per cent.
“This increase proves that DBKU JKM continues to move actively with the presence of community members who are always ready to work together in realising every activity or programme that has been planned,” he said.
On another note, he said this year DBKU had again received great recognition in the form of awards.
“DBKU won the Chief Minister’s Environmental Award (CMEA) 2019/2020 under the local authority category, which it won for the sixth time after the award was introduced in 2007.
“The second one is an international award where Kuching has received the World Health Organisation Regional Director’s Award for the Commitment to Physical Fitness Through Effective Partnership category through DBKU’s participation entitled ‘KJM’s Physical Activity Programmes’,” he said.
Also present were Law, State-Federal Relations and Project Monitoring Assistant Minister and Samariang incumbent Datuk Sharifah Hasidah Sayeed Aman Ghazali, Demak Laut incumbent Dr Hazland Abang Hipni, and Tupong incumbent Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman.