Tuesday, 27 February 2018

(The Star) Miri to emulate Kuching Waterfront to lure tourists and investors

MIRI: The success of Kuching Waterfront has become an inspiration for other cities, with Miri being the first in line to use it as a model to transform its riverfront.

Sarawak Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin highlighted Kuching Riverfront’s beauty and vibrancy, adding that the ministry would adopt it as a model to develop waterfront in Miri City.

“The Kuching Waterfront has been turned into an attractive hub for business and tourism, as well as relaxation.

“It draws locals and foreigners alike on a daily basis, truly a bustling place day and night.

“We want to use the development model of the Kuching Waterfront to transform the waterfront in Miri City, too,” said Lee, who is also state assemblyman for Senadin here.

Lee said the transformation of the Kuching Waterfront where the Sarawak River runs through should be a model for riverfront developments in other cities.

Sarawak urban planners will do well by learning from this project, he added.

The Kuching Waterfront that covers an overhead bridge and the State Assembly complex among others is a popular tourist spot.

“Urban planners must allocate space for relaxation and leisure in locations along rivers and seashores.

“There is no point in creating cities full of buildings and infrastructure if the people living there do not feel happy,” he stressed.

He said planners must incorporate the aspects of healthy lifestyle and green initiatives in their projects.

The transformation of the Kuching Waterfront with the construction of the overhead bridge and floating mosque was initiated three years ago by the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem when he was the chief minister, and continued by the present chief minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg.

Under the effort, this stretch of the Sarawak River is now a sight to behold as the banks on both sides are beautifully lit for Kuching Waterfront’s commercial and leisure activities.

The overhead bridge that spans more than 300m is illuminated with modern lighting techniques.

British tourist Gerard Gilbert said he was with his tour group in Kuching enroute to the Mulu National Park in Miri.

“There are 20 of us in the hotel near the riverfront and I decided to take a walk while the rest of my friends are having dinner.

“I saw these colourful sights at the bridge and the waterfront area.

“It is very beautiful, looking a bit like The Bund in Shanghai,” he said.

The Kuching Waterfront spans about 2km, covering the golden triangle of Kuching teeming with businesses like hotels, restaurants and tourist shops.