KUCHING: The city must preserve its harmonious and peaceful character while undergoing rapid development, says Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
He pointed out that doing this would be in line with the aspirations of youths who would inherit the visitor-friendly city.
Speaking when launching Kuching Festival’s Food and Trade Fair and Garden Show at Kuching Park on Saturday, he urged city dwellers to interact continuously with each other and develop new friendship within their neighbourhoods, schools, work places and social gatherings.
“Otherwise the society will be loosely connected and Kuching will lose its character and friendliness,” he said.
He explained that it would be a social tragedy if the young became individualistic and anti-social in future.
Regarding Kuching Fest (themed ‘Youth, the Future of Our City’ this year), he pointed out that it was one suitable social avenue for people from all walks of life to interact and foster goodwill.
“Kuching Festival should not be politicised. We must look upon it as a process to preserve the oneness of people in Kuching,” he said, adding that companies and schools should also organise relaxed meetings, picnics and sports to cultivate friendship and make newcomers (rural people who migrated to Kuching) feel at home and happy.
Presently the city had a population of about 630,000 and this would continue to grow with rapid rural-urban migration as more people sought jobs, he said.
Earlier, Kuching City South (MBKS) mayor James Chan said the council acknowledged the importance of youths because they formed the backbone of the city and country.
He said the nation required an equal mix of enthusiastic youths and experienced people in its social system in shaping the country’s future.
“To realise this vision, the council, under the Healthy City programme has been carrying out various productive activities that are beneficial to youths,” he said.
Chan said the people should be proud of the city’s achievements of being a safe, clean, beautiful, healthy, vibrant and liveable city. He urged everyone to play their part in preserving and strengthening the city’s unity and cohesion.