Saturday, October 1, 2022

A new lease of life for civic centres in Sarawak

Secara Rawak

KUCHING: Civic centres in the state, some of which are a tad run down, may be in for a new lease of life.

A restructuring of the system is presently underway, according to Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“Civic centres are now under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development. And we are still doing a total restructuring of the system.

“Our biggest problem is the maintenance of these places and staffing because civic centres used to have staff  borrowed from other agencies.

“So, my ministry as well as the one looking after civic centres are still doing a restructuring of how many staff they need and the kind of costing for the maintenance of these dilapidated centres,” he said.

He was asked about the repair and upgrading works of Kuching Civic Centre in a press conference following  the launch of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Sarawak Fair here yesterday.

“Quite a number of labs on this matter need to be done as well as getting feedback from all the civic centres in the state,” he said.

He also noted that in the previous years, the allocation given for the maintenance of civic centres were also not sufficient.

“When you look at why civic centres were set up,they were used to host events and programmes.

“In other places apart from Kuching, these centres still play a crucial role like the ones  in Bintulu and Sibu,” he said.

Abdul Karim felt  the Kuching Civic Centre became less prominent because events are now often held in hotels.

“But then it does have some role to play. We are still looking into how we would want the Kuching Civic Centre to be still flourishing, being utilised for weddings, galleries. We are still looking into that,” he said.

Kuching Civic Centre was officially opened on Aug 1, 1988 following the proclamation of Kuching as a city.

Regarded as one of the major landmarks in the city, it offers a 360-degree panoramic view of Kuching and its surroundings.

It also houses the now closed Sultan Iskandar Planetarium, with its white-domed structure that opened on January 19, 1989 and was the first planetarium in Malaysia.

Previously, civic centres in the state came under the Welfare, Community Well-being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Ministry.

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