Project marks transformation of discarded quarry

Dr Sim (right) and Abang Johari browsing through a book souvenir.

KUCHING: The development of a sport cum community hall with innovative hub in Batu Kawa marks the beginning of the transformation of the discarded Ang Cheng Ho quarry, said Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

“Although some said that the discarded quarry is an eyesore, I call it the ‘The Last Undiscovered Jewel’ in Kuching. The quarry’s transformation into a people-centric park will be a major landmark for the people,” he said at the earth-breaking ceremony of the ‘Sports/Community Hall with Innovative Hub’ people’s project.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg officiated at the event held at the former site of Ang Cheng Ho quarry, Jalan Datuk Stephen Yong here today.

The Batu Kawa assemblyman added that the people in his constituency expressed their gratitude for the new public facility which will include a meeting room, discussion area, rentable office space, co-working space and pantry.

“The multipurpose and community hall can accommodate up to 1,000 people, be it for social or sport events. Most importantly, young entrepreneurs can utilise the innovative hub so that they do not have to travel far,” he said.

Dr Sim said that the open tender for the project was RM9.8 million and it will be built on around four acres of the 29-acre quarry with scheduled completion within 15 months.

The project together with other projects in the Batu Kawa area will not only be a catalyst for the local economy and tourism but to provide a better living environment for the people in the area, he said.

Dr Sim also said that he is very proud of the progress in his constituency and thanked the chief minister for his support, particularly in the various people’s projects.

“Batu Kawa has progressed with tremendous development because of our chief minister’s support. It is one of the three main residential growth areas in Kuching and the other side of the river is a huge potential for agriculture and a food basket,” he said.

In his speech, he also requested for a more affordable housing as the price of land has doubled since 2016 in the Batu Kawa area.

“We need to have more units of affordable housing so that the second generation and their children and grandchildren can be close to their grandparents to maintain the family unity and network,” he said.