Sarawak govt plans to design Kuching as competitive, healthy city

17 Oct 2018 / 17:54 H.

KUCHING: The Sarawak government is planning to design Kuching to be a competitive and healthy city, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
He said a city that is competitive and healthy is vital for economic progress because it attracts investments and talents besides creating a desire to make life better for everybody.
"We have realised the need for proper city designs for towns and cities in Sarawak. For a start, we are planning to design Kuching to be a competitive and healthy city. Kuching has grown to be a big and thriving city in Sarawak that it is today through the foresight and efforts of my predecessors," he said when officiating at the Alliance for Healthy Cities Global Conference and General Assembly 2018 (AFHC 2018) here today.
However, Abang Johari said, it is a challenge for the current government to elevate Kuching City to the next level of development.
"We are now coming to the limits of city development as presented by the existing infrastructure of Kuching City. The existing public transport system consisting of buses, taxis and private cars is beginning to create regular traffic jams at particular junctions and times, a situation which is stressful because we are not used to traffic jams of any form here.
"For the future growth of Kuching City, we need to rethink our public transport system. We may need to introduce the bus rapid transit (BRT) and the light rail transit (LRT)," he said.
He said the idea was not only to solve existing traffic problems, which were relatively minor but to prepare the basic infrastructure of the city for significant growth in the coming years, with an expected doubling of its population and growth of its economy.
"A healthy city is a successful city but a successful city may not be a healthy city," he said, adding that the challenge for the state government is to build successful and healthy cities in Sarawak.
"We are embarking on this journey. While the journey is not easy because there is too much politicking, the path ahead is clear," he said.
Hence, he said, there is a need to find ways and means to overcome obstacles and politics and get into the business of healthy living. — Bernama

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