MIRI: To avoid controversy, the coming Miri City Day celebrations will be staged without using public funds.
The Miri City Council is seeking sponsorship from corporate and private companies and non-governmental organisations throughout Miri to organise all the events for the May 1 City Day anniversary.
Mayor Lawrence Lai told Sarawak Metro yesterday that the council would not use its funds.
“We have lined up exciting events to usher in the coming City Day celebrations on May 1.
“Since this will be the 10th anniversary of attaining city status for Miri, we are staging numerous exciting events in the city, including an international concert featuring famous local and foreign artistes,” he said.
“However I want to assure the public that our council will not be using any public funds or council money to stage these events.”
All the events would be organised totally from sponsorship from non-government sources, he said, adding that certain quarters had in past years accused them of wasting public funds for the City Day festivities.
“To avoid such controversies, we have secured the cooperation from private companies and big corporations to give us the necessary financial sponsorship needed to stage the big events that we hope can bring in more than 30,000 tourists into Miri to celebrate our 10th anniversary as city,” he said.
Lai said the City Day celebrations were not just about entertainment.
It had the potential to be a major annual tourism attraction that could bring in revenue from foreign tourists, he stressed.
“We want to make the City Day an exciting annual tourism extravaganza so as to generate revenue for the tourism-related sectors in Miri,” he said.
Lai said Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem would kick off the events and would be around to witness the international concert at the Miri City Fan Recreation Park that night.
Miri attained city status on May 1, 2005, becoming the second city in Sarawak after state capital Kuching.
Miri is the only urban centre in Malaysia that is a non-capital that had been accorded city status.