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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

(NST) Gunung Ngeli set to become Sarawak's new tourist hot spot


PETRA JAYA: The historic and iconic sites of Gunung Ngeli tucked in the Simunjan district is set to become the latest tourist attraction in Sarawak.

State Tourism, Arts and Culture assistant minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the state government is looking into developing an information centre after conducting a study on biological diversity at the area.

The multipronged effort, said Kim Shin, will not only stimulate Sarawak’s tourism industry but also an initiative to conserve forest and protect wildlife in the state.

“A proposal to build tourist facilities at Gunung Ngeli was initially submitted for the 11th Malaysia Plan but it was not approved.

“Nevertheless, the state government is committed to realise this effort and hope that the proposal would be considered for the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“As a start, the Simunjan district council has started creating nature as well as setting-up a herbal park to conserve species of wild orchid and tongkat ali,” he said.

Kim Shin (Sarawak United Peoples’ Party-Senadin) was responding to a question by Awla Idris (Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu-Simunjan) during the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Sitting here today.

Awla had asked if there are any initiatives undertaken by the state government to develop Gunung Ngeli into a tourist destination in the state.

Gunung Ngeli had a coal mining operations ran during the from the Brooke era up to the Japanese occupation between 1874 and 1931.

Kim Shin said developing the area into a tourist hot spot will also help to generate more income for the locals especially rural folks in Simunjan.

“The spill over from this initiative would have also have direct impact towards the handicraft sectors in the state as well as boosting the income of homestay operators,” he said.