Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Johari Tun Openg (left) signing the plaque to officiate the 30th Anniversary of Kuching City and Kuching Festival Food Fair 2018 at Panggung MBKS, Kuching. Looking on is Dato James Chan Khay Syn (second right). PHOTO: SITI NUR AINA

KUCHING: The State government is willing to spend money to transform certain dilapidated areas in the city under its urban renewal plan.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Johari Tun Openg said that in order to turn the dilapidated areas around Kuching into urban areas, the State government was also willing to work with private sectors that have the experience in tranforming those areas.

“These areas can be found in both north and south of the city,” he said during the launching of the 30th Anniversary of Kuching City and Kuching Festival Food Fair 2018 at Panggung MBKS (Kuching South City Council) in Jalan Padungan on Wednesday night.

He added that the government has been sending its ministers and also the council’s mayors to other countries to learn how other countries develop their cities into a modern one.

“For instance, we have renewed certain areas in Padungan where we transform the area from normal conventional to a modern and vibrant city centre that brings life to the city.

“While in Kuching North, we want to establish a heritage trail that connects to Padungan as it will become a tourist attraction for us to beautify the city,” said Abang Johari.

With that, the government will be spending a large amount of money to transform the city including the areas across such as on the development and improvement of Malay villages into an urban Malay centre.

“Most important thing is we must keep our city clean and healthy with clean air and greener environment,” he said. 

Abang Johari also expressed his gratitude to both the local authorities of Kuching city, DBKU and MBKS, for their endless effort and work in developing the city for the past 30 years until the city received its acknowledgement as being clean and given the title, City of Unity. 

Meanwhile, MBKS mayor Dato James Chan Khay Syn said that MBKS’ works have been in tandem with the government to promote the city’s vibrancy, tourism through Friendship cities and international events, and the sharing of Kuching’s good practices with other cities.

“Some of the good practices include creating awareness on proper waste management to sustain the city’s cleanliness, promote hygiene and food cleanliness as a means to sustain and promote Kuching as a food paradise, foster closer community interactions with the popular Kuching Festival on culture, youth and sports and encourage healthy activities by allowing non-government organisation (NGO’s) to use the council’s facilities for fundraising to help the needy and charities,” he pointed out.