KUCHING (July 13): The Sarawak government will commission a Singaporean architectural firm to help plan the urban regeneration of Greater Kuching, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.
The Sarawak Premier said the decision was made after discussing the matter with the renowned architect-planner with vast experience, including with Singapore’s Housing and Development Board.
“We need help in planning the urban regeneration for Greater Kuching because, just for comparison, Singapore has an area of 720 square km, while Greater Kuching alone has 1,857 square km.
“That means Greater Kuching is two times the size of Singapore,” he when officiating at the Singapore Business Delegation Networking Dinner here yesterday.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari also revealed Sarawak has signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with two Singaporean companies to help realise the state’s vision of becoming a major player in food production.
He said the MoUs with Sky Urban Solutions and Alternative Selection Pte Ltd were signed during his recent trip to Singapore.
Sky Urban Solutions is the pioneer of vertical farming in Singapore, while Alternative Selection Pte Ltd is the first wholesaler and retailer of alternative gourmet, organic, allergen, and preservative-free speciality foods in Singapore.
“Crops could be grown in Sarawak and then sent to Singapore to be distributed to other parts of the world and we can use technology to meet the quality or standards of the food needed.
“Singapore (on the other hand) will be the distribution centre,” he said.
He pointed out as the United Nations had estimated the world’s population would reach eight billion in November, there is an opportunity for Sarawak to increase its food production to meet global demand too.
He said Sarawak and Singapore could complement each other by producing and exporting food throughout the world.
Abang Johari assured food products sent to Singapore from Sarawak would be fresh as the flight time is just around one hour.
“We are also procuring two cargo planes just to transport agricultural and food products to Singapore in order to supply the people there with the best products we have to offer from the state,” he said.
Abang Johari also said the state government would work to ensure it is easier for Singaporean investors and companies to do business in Sarawak.
“The rest I leave to the business communities as you will know better on what to do and work together for the future of both Sarawak and Singapore’s economies,” he said.
Among those present at the dinner were Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah; Sarawak Business Federation president Datuk Abang Abdul Karim Tun Openg; and Singapore Business Federation Southeast Asia and Pacific director Tan Sock Joo.