Friday March 1, 2013
Jetski patrol to be common sight along Sarawak River, says Johari
By YU JI
KUCHING: Marine police officers riding jetskis on Sarawak River and its tributaries could become a common sight soon.
Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said plans were being worked out between state planning authorities and the federal enforcement agency.
“I’ve discussed the matter with the (marine) police. We want to build a base (station) for them near (the future extensions of) the (Kuching) Waterfront. They will be taking care of water traffic, since we are adding much more transportation along the river,” he said.
Speaking yesterday at the launch of “My Beautiful Sungai Bintangor” at Kampung Masjid here, Johari said the waterfront would be extended, linking the village-within-the-city with the Waterfront via Brooke Dockyard.
According to plans unveiled last year, the area along Kuching south would be connected via a pedestrian bridge to the opposite bank.
The addition of water transportation along Kuching’s many rivers has been talked about by Johari since he resumed the Tourism Minister’s portfolio in 2011.
The state government has also commissioned a catamaran, which is being built by Sibu shipbuilders, to ferry tourists between the hotels along the Waterfront to Kubah Ria, where the new Sunday Market is situated, and the con- vention centre.
Several new jetties have since also been built along Sarawak River, mostly between Kubah Ria and the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching. The old ones along Kuching Waterfront have been upgraded.
“It is the job of the Government to provide this kind of basic infrastructure. Other plans we have (in the pipeline) include upgrading the existing bridges (in and around Kampung Masjid). What we urge is for the local heritage to be kept.
“This village for instance is one of the few (left within the city centre), but will your next generation sell the land? Of course the Government can’t interfere, but we hope you keep and develop it yourselves.”