Abang Johari inspects the guard of honour during the 35th Kuching City Day celebration. Behind him from second left are Junaidi and Wee. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Aug 1): The Sarawak government has identified an area in Siol Kandis, Petra Jaya here to be gazetted as a nature reserve, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Premier said plans are in progress to gazette the estimated 108 acre-area between Pustaka Negeri Sarawak and Bukit Siol.

“We have identified this area under the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) to be gazetted as a nature reserve so that it becomes a green area where the people can go for recreational activities in a clean environment.

“This will be another nature reserve to add to the others like Stutong (Sama Jaya) Nature Reserve, which is under the Kuching South City Council (MBKS), Bukit Lima Nature Reserve in Sibu, and Piasau Nature Reserve in Miri.

“So, all our cities will have a nature reserve and in turn we protect our nature and the green spaces will be beneficial for the community and the environment,” he told reporters after officiating at the 35th Kuching City Day celebration at the Kuching Waterfront today.

Abang Johari said the new nature reserve will have indigenous trees and plants that are native to Sarawak planted throughout.

“The Sarawak Forestry Corporation and Sarawak Forest Department will work together to develop the area and plant the various species of indigenous trees and flowers here while we will also appoint a landscape expert to design this nature reserve.

“This is so that when the community visits the nature reserve, they will be exposed to the many different trees that produce timber such as belian, nyatoh, and bako, for instance,” he explained.

In his speech, the Premier said the Sarawak government will continue to channel funds along with the private sector to develop and beautify Kuching.

“We will upgrade infrastructure such as public facilities, such as the Kuching Waterfront, and also other areas in Petra Jaya as well as MBKS,” he said.

He also gave his assurance that the government will inject funds to solve flood issues around the city.

“We hope that by 2030, we will have the infrastructure including those that will enable us to manage floods.

“This requires a large amount of funds and we will work together with the federal government to upgrade the drainage system.

“We will take responsibility to allocate funds and, God willing, as long as our revenue increases, we will give back to the people,” he said.

Among those present were Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Deputy Utility and Telecommunication Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Kuching North datuk bandar Datu Junaidi Reduan, and Kuching South mayor Dato Wee Hong Seng.