Thursday March 21, 2013
Taib: Move to give mega projects to entrepreneurs bears fruit
By STEPHEN THEN and CINDY LAI
MIRI: Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has said that his move to give mega development projects in Sarawak to selected capable entrepreneurs to handle has proven to be “the right move” as can be seen by how much development these entrepreneurs have produced in the state.
The Chief Minister yesterday said that the confidence he placed in these capable entrepreneurs in the days when he first took over the state leadership about three decades ago, had produced results.
“During the early days when I was planning how to develop the state, I knew it was going to be a big challenge.
“I knew then that in order to turn Sarawak into a thriving economy, I will need the help of hard-working, enterprising and innovative entrepreneurs.
“In any development of any place or country, it requires the effort of people with vision and energy.
“Developing Sarawak was a huge challenge, but if we look at the situation in the state today and we will realise that the confidence that we (state government) placed on the entrepreneurs has proven to be very fruitful.
“In Miri, and also throughout Sarawak, we can see the results.
“In Miri, I must say that I am very impressed with the way Datuk Lau Siew Wai (Miri Housing chairman) has helped to transform Miri during the early days.
“Forty-five years ago, when efforts were made to develop more houses for Miri, Lau came forward and told me that he wanted to start building more affordable houses in Miri. And then he sold them at contract prices, some even without profits.
“I don’t know how he managed to survive, but he did.
“He also built a secondary school and later on ventured into building more houses, shops, and now a hotel.
“Soon, he will build a theme park. Miri has indeed prospered by leaps and bounds because of the help from enterprising people like Lau.
“From a town of only about 100,000 people, Miri today has a population of more than 350,000 already and is still growing.
“I am grateful to the team of people who have played a big role in the development of Miri Resort City, people like (Tan Sri) Dr George Chan (former deputy chief minister), Lau and the others here.
“Thanks to them, we have transformed Miri and its hinterland and we are still looking for new areas to grow and develop,” he said.
Taib was here to simultaneously declare open the Parkson Grand outlet, Meritz Hotel and Golden Screen Cinema at the Bintang Mall complex. The complex was built by Lau.
Taib called on more business people to play bigger roles in churning out new opportunities for Miri.
He wanted greater effort to develop the tertiary education and training sectors and also the service sectors as well as eco-tourism.
Lau, in his speech, thanked Taib for his vision in turning Miri into the second biggest urban centre in Sarawak.
Later, Taib witnessed a signing of memorandum of understanding between Miri Housing and Help University to facilitate training courses here.