MIRI: The developer of the much-hyped up water theme park project in Kuala Baram near the border with Brunei has finally declared that works would commence tomorrow.
The development has been receiving bad publicity, with certain quarters questioning on the actual start-up of the project since its initial announcement in 2012.
Announcing the news yesterday, Miri Housing Group of Companies executive chairman Datuk Lau Siu Wai said the company just received the approval letter from the State Planning Authority last Friday.
I understand that the project, which has been touted as being the first of its kind in Borneo, has
been anticipated by many. There have even been some negative rumours about it being spread around.
I hope for the understanding from all that it takes a longer time for the authorities to approve such a huge project. However, I am glad that the approval comes at just the right time, he told reporters here.
Lau assured the people that soil embankment would be conducted to further ensure that the ground would be firm enough for the project.
The process will take up several months before we could proceed to the first stage. Thereafter, the facilities will be built on an eight-acre plot of the total 108 acres of land. It is estimated that some RM25 million would be invested for this phase, he said.
On the misunderstanding on the progress of the project, Lau explained that all the equipment had to be manufactured overseas, before they could be shipped here piece by piece. Only then, he added, could these pieces be put together.
This takes up more time, he said, adding that the next phases of the project would comprise building several facilities such as a budget hotel and a training institute.
The theme park will also house a Natural Herbs Research and Development (R&D) Centre. As we all know, Sarawak is rich in natural heritage, particularly herbs. Often, the importance of herbs is overlooked. Therefore, herbal specialists will be invited here to conduct R&D.
I strongly believe that within the next few years, herbs will not only be used in treating diseases, but they will also contribute to the local economy, he said.
Slated for completion in three years, the theme park project is estimated to cost around RM400million.
Lau is known for being a seasoned businessman and dedicated philanthropist, having brought to this city several institutions of higher learning including Curtin University of Technology Sarawak Malaysia.
Going forward, he said he would want to set up a safety training institute here.
The proposed safety training school could help in promoting safety knowledge and survivor skills to members of the public. Many may think that they wouldnt need such training, but it could come handy during times of unexpected emergency, Lau added.