Residents living in Taman Tunku and surrounding residential areas in Miri have reason to feel elated with the ground-breaking ceremony today for a RM15 million 5.5-kilometre dual carriageway project that will provide a new link from Taman Tunku and Taman Jelita residential areas to Miri-Bintulu Road.
Construction of this new access road, fringing the runway of Miri Airport, will be carried out by Rich Venture Construction Sdn Bhd and is projected to be completed within 18 months. Once completed, this new road will ease the traffic congestion of the present route in Taman Tunku.
Taman Tunku, Taman Jelita and other surrounding housing estates have a burgeoning population of 35,000 which may increase to 50,000 within the next five years.
Kumpulan Parabena Sdn Bhd, which owns nearly 2,000 acres of land on the left side of the Miri airport runway, has developed 900 acres since it started 27 years ago with the development of Taman Tunku township.
Taman Tunku is designed for 3,500 houses and the second phase undertaken by Rich Venture Construction Sdn Bhd will involve the construction of 750 units under the RV Housing estate. Rich Venture Construction Sdn Bhd is owned by prominent businessmen Hii King Chiong, Nicholas Ling Kie King and a few other business associates.
The ground-breaking ceremony was officiated by Sarawak’s Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud this morning. Despite the inclement weather, a huge crowd turned out for the ceremony.
On hand to welcome the Chief Minister were local dignitaries and prominent businessmen. Chinese lion dance troupes and representatives from various races dressed in their traditional costumes added a lot of flair and colour to the ceremony.
In his welcoming speech, Rich Venture Construction Sdn Bhd’s managing director, Mr Hii King Chiong, expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister for officiating the ground-breaking ceremony. He said that smart partnerships and synergy between the private sector and the government is the key to transforming previously isolated places into bustling economic hubs. He also commended the state government for its politics of development which has enabled Sarawak to progress so rapidly. Lambir asssemblyman Datuk Aidan Wing, in his speech, said that the new road will greatly benefit the 5,500 households in the area and would act as a catalyst for futher expansion of the township. Also present at the function were Dato’ Sri Peter Chin Fah Kui, Federal Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water and YB Larry Sng Wei Shien, Pelagus state assemblyman and Sarawak’s Assistant Minister for Youth Affairs and Training.
Sarawakians must reject politicians who perpetrate “anti-rich people” sentiments as this will only deter the state’s quest for greater progress, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said at the function.
He warned about certain politicians trying to inject such ideas and were vocal in criticising successful enterprises in Sarawak in their attempts to win the support of the people.
“There is no such thing as a very thriving economy without businessmen and entrepreneurs,” he said prior to performing the ground-breaking ceremony.
He said Sarawak would not have progressed so much without the support of responsible corporate leaders who were willing to invest in projects with slow returns.
Taib said these businessmen and entrepreneurs had successfully diversified Sarawak’s economy which was once dependent solely on natural resources such as timber, and oil and gas.
Taib said big business enterprises had ventured into new range of industries like wide-scale plantations and the service industry, thus spurring the growth of employment and the local economy.
Mr Hii King Chiong presented a memento to the Chief Minister before the minister performed the ground-breaking ceremony.
After the ground-breaking ceremony, Taib left the ground-breaking site. The crowds waited eagerly for the lucky draws to continue. With one Blackberry and nine Samsung handphones as prizes, the lucky draw created a lot of excitement.
To finish off the event, Rich Venture Construction Sdn Bhd gave away lots of food items and mineral water. The scene was chaotic, with the crowds jostling to get as many items as they could. I saw some walking happily away with about a dozen packets of food items. And there were also a lot of people who just carted away one whole box of mineral water each as the crowd was too big for the handlers taking care of the food distribution.
But it was a very successful event and the crowd went home with very wide smiles on their faces!