SIBU: Once known for its timber industry which flourished in the 1940s and 1950s, Sibu, which relies primarily on commercial activities, now needs to get on the right track not to be left behind in Sarawak’s attempt to become a high income and developed city. State by 2030.
With a total area of 8,278.3 square kilometers, Sibu Division comprises three districts, namely Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit.
Many infrastructure projects in these areas have been implemented by the state government and there will be many more to come as part of Malaysia’s 12th plan to further expand development in Sibu, a Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said. (Photo)
In Sibu district, the projects to be implemented include the upgrading of Kong Yit Khim road as a two-lane road connecting Durin and Lanang bridges as well as a new 9 km road connecting Kemuyang to Teku Pasai road. -Siong.
These projects, including the RM100 million road project connecting Sibu Jaya to Kong Yit Khim Road, which is currently under construction, will connect Sibu with the hinterland to make it a more vibrant city in the future.
Sibu wants to realize its vision of becoming the development center of the central region of Sarawak by 2030 and the mission of leading the central region towards sustainable economic, social, cultural and educational development through a smart partnership between the government, the private sector and community.
Besides infrastructure development, there is also a focus on economic activities to enable Sibu to realize its vision, one being the development of the shipbuilding industry which had generated RM279 million in exports for Sarawak in 2018, 349 million RM in 2019 and 168 RM. million until October 2020.
“(This is) a testament to the high quality and technical capabilities of our local shipbuilders,” said Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, who is also the Minister of State of Sarawak. International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development.
There are 40 shipyards operating in the area, producing tugs for log towing, barges for hauling logs, anchor managers, offshore support vessels (OSV), ferries and express boats, often exported to the neighboring state of Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and United Arab Emirates.
According to Awang Tengah, his ministry has completed the RM 11.7 million Rantau Panjang Phase I modernization work and is currently undertaking the development of an additional 8.4984 hectares for the Rantau Panjang Phase II project, which is expected to be completed by now. the end of 2022.
That alone, however, would not be enough to compete with the neighboring Bintulu division which is growing very rapidly thanks to the oil and gas industry and could replace Sibu as the third largest city in the state in a few years to come. .
Another ongoing project is the construction of the Sibu Industrial Park which covers an area of 60.70 hectares in Sungai Biput, which is designed for general industries to meet the demand of local SMEs (small and medium enterprises) as the industrial park is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
The establishment of a modern large-scale commercial pig farming zone (ZFP) has already been proposed in Sungai Selabi in Selangau district.
Former Sibu Rotary Club President Dr Gregory Hii Sui Cheng said Sibu, which has a vast hinterland, also has great potential for modernized agriculture for the production of food that can be exported.
In Kanowit, the former settlement of the Rajang Area Security Command (RASCOM) used here to relocate villagers at the height of the communist insurgency in the 1970s will be redeveloped into the Ngemah Development Area (NDA).
The encampment covering the regions of Nanga Tada, Nanga Ngungun, Nanga Jagau, Kabah and Ngemah will be equipped with complete infrastructure to improve the socio-economic status of the population.
Commercial agriculture to improve the economy of the people of the region apart from the development of infrastructure such as roads, electricity and water supply to honor the sacrifices of the villagers who had to be relocated as part of the efforts of the struggle against the Communists in the 1970s will be carried out under the 12th Malaysian Plan.
Sibu Urban Renewal Committee Chairman Datuk Chieng Buong Toon expressed hope that the government may consider creating Sarawak’s first metropolis by incorporating the divisions of the central region of the state into the development master plan. by Sibu.
This is viable because the combined population of all divisions in the central region reaches one million people.
The divisions of the central region, namely Sibu, Mukah, Sarikei and Kapit depend on each other, and Sibu is right in the middle and they could all “come together” and form the first metropolis of Sarawak which will have the capacity to become. a food bank and a key industrial sector that ensures food security not only for Sarawak but also for the nation as a whole.