Sibu, now Sarawak largest town, will have to wait for its turn to become a city, after Kuching and Miri.
According to the state Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Wong Soon Koh, the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) is still in the process of enlarging its area of jurisdiction.
“If we enlarge it, this will fulfill a requirement for city status because that status among other things, is measured in terms of the size of its population and municipality areas,” he told reporters yesterday.
The town, known nationwide in the 1970s and 80s for its timber industry, has a current population of more than 257,800 people and an area of 8,278 square kilometres.
Wong made his remarks after visiting the site of a RM8.425 million project to provide treated water to some 2,000 people residing in west bank areas of Bawang Assan, Sungai Bidut, Engkilo, Empawah, Sungai Sadit and Paradom.
A Ministry of Rural and Regional Development’s National Key Results Area (NKRA) project, he said it is now 34.73 per cent completed and is expected to ready by February next year.
Wong is also the head of the Sibu Barisan Nasional Development Team, comprising all elected BN representatives, senior civil servants and those from the corporate sector, formed to chart and plan for the town’s present and future developments. He said he is not too concerned about acquiring city status for now.
“To me, what matters most now is for the people to have better quality of life. “I want Sibu to be a clean, beautiful, and peaceful town with more facilities and amenities,” he said.
He added it is also very important that the people are able to have ample job and business opportunities.