Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Plan afoot to turn Bako into top tourist draw

KUCHING: Imagine yourself walking along a waterfront stretching from the Bako National Park jetty to Bako Bazaar on a breezy blue-sky day, and soaking in the rustic scenes of traditional Malay villages along the riverbanks.

This image may seem surreal, but it may come true one day because Santubong MP Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar hopes to turn it into a reality to woo tourists.

“I have instructed the Public Works Department (PWD) to come up with a plan to beautify this stretch before the last general election,” he said when contacted by The Borneo Post yesterday.

“By Aug 15, after I have visited all the states as the new Deputy Home Minister, I will take a look at the plan.” He said this when asked for his comments to requests made by villager cum part-time tourist guide Faizal Bujang, 35 and Bako Kapitan Lucas Kho Ngun Poh when The Borneo Post bumped into them yesterday.

Wan Junaidi said his proposal was to turn the stretch from the old Chinese shophouses at Bako bazaar to the jetty at Bako National Park into a stunner.

He disclosed he was inspired by Telaga Air’s concept, but admitted the riverbank along Bako River had its limitations, especially in terms of width. Then there are bank erosion problems to overcome. Some five years ago, RM100,000 was allocated to resolve this problem.

“There is also a plan to upgrade the traditional Malay village by the river. We will try to make the place beautiful.”

Wan Junaidi said he had talked to Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak about this dream of his.

“Of course, I can’t name how much I need for this development as I have yet to see the plan (to be drawn up by PWD).”

Faizal, who was at Bako bazaar for lunch with four Spanish tourists, said he believed Kampung Bako possessed a great potential to become a great tourist spot.

“I hope the government can turn this place into a waterfront and, if possible, maintain the original structure of these shophouses, which are more than 80 years old.”

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Plan afoot to turn Bako into top tourist draw