Perennial issues such as flooding need to be resolved in Sibu as these correlate with the strength of the local tourism sector, says Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
“This is the biggest challenge we are facing in promoting tourism here.
“The flood problem is acute to the extent that tourism operators and tourists have to think twice about visiting Sibu,” he said at the United Chinese Association Sibu Division’s Chinese New Year gathering.
Tiong added that tourism in Sibu would improve and become more integrated with the country’s tourism and arts industry if the flooding problem could be resolved.
“The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is committed to promoting local tourism by identifying suitable tourist attractions and improving them,” he said.
Currently, the riverbed survey on Sungai Rajang and Sungai Igan was in progress to obtain the required data for dredging works and an effective flood mitigation programme, he elaborated.
Tiong also called for public infrastructure in Sibu to be upgraded and improved.
He thanked United Chinese Association Sibu Division president Lau Ing Siong for his comments on the development prospects of Sibu.
“It is fair to say that the crux of Sibu’s long-term development stagnation can be centred on improving public infrastructure,” said the Dudong assemblyman in response to Lau, who earlier spoke about Sibu’s development.
Tiong said the association had played a key role as a representative of the Chinese community in forging unity among the people and improving their well-being.
At the event, Tiong announced an allocation of RM50,000 to the Federation of Chinese Associations Sibu and RM10,000 each for the youth group and women’s group. — By ANDY CHUA