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CM: MPP should place emphasis on services, tourism and agriculture for betterment of municipality
Posted on : 14 Dec 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari (front row, third left) gives the thumbs up alongside Dr Sim (front row, left), Abdul Karim (front row, third right), Wee (front row, right), Hii (back row, right) and others as they pose for a group photo with the Semban ring ladies. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Dec 14): Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) should place emphasis on three sectors namely services, tourism and agriculture for the betterment of the municipality, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said these sectors gave the council an extra advantage over the city’s two local councils, Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) and Kuching South City Council (MBKS).

“The services sector is the common platform among the three councils but MPP has the potential in the agriculture and tourism sectors,” he said when officiating MPP’s 24th anniversary celebration which was held at the car park compound of Kota Padawan Mall here today.

In terms of agriculture, he said MPP can collaborate with the State Agriculture Department on managing this sector under the council.

“When you talk about agriculture, it has to be technology-based agriculture and it does not necessarily have to be done on a big plot of land.

“For instance, the Bidayuh community with sizeable native customary rights (NCR) lands can make use of Internet of Things to produce vegetables and cash crops.

“This has very good potential because you are near the airport. So all the basics are there and you can transport the products direct to the market,” he said.

He also touched on the high demand for Sarawak’s ‘midin’ vegetable in Singapore which is now priced at S$60 per kilo.

“We have been exporting ‘midin’ to Singapore so much so that our Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office (Statos) there has received a lot of enquiries about our local vegetables including ‘midin’.

“This means that the export value is there and the market is there,” he added.

On tourism, Abang Johari said MPP can facilitate the tourism industry under its jurisdiction.

“There are various natural attractions in areas under MPP such as the Annah Rais Bidayuh Longhouse, Semadang Kayaking sites and hot springs among others.

“These are the natural attractions available in Padawan and they are just nearby Kuching,” he said.

He reiterated that this sector, along with agriculture and services sectors are the sectors which should be given emphasis by MPP to develop Padawan.

“I’m sure MPP chairman (Lo Khere Chiang) and board members can look into this with a special committee to determine the future of the council, which is very bright,” he said.

He also extended his support for MPP to have a new office building to enable the council to continue to improve its services to the people.

“We want MPP to be a smart area so you need a smart, green technology building so I support for the new office building of MPP,” he said.

During the event, Abang Johari also launched the ‘Last Ring Ladies Mural’ which is the largest mural in Kuching.

The mural, which features the five ring ladies from the Bidayuh sub-tribe of Semban in their traditional finery, can be seen on the wall of Kota Padawan Mall which faces the main Kuching-Serian road.

Also present were Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee, Kuching South City Council (MBKS) mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng and Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) mayor Datu Junaidi Reduan.