SIBU: The Agape Centre in Alan Road here has been given a 2.1-acre piece of land next to its existing location for expansion purposes.
Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh broke the good news Sunday night during the Chinese New Year Gathering of the Sibu United Chinese Association (UCA) at a leading hotel here.
He described the 2.1-acre piece as a “great New Year present” from Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
The centre, with 3,000 registered children and young adults with special needs — 500 of whom are regular users — was first granted a piece of land measuring 1.65 ha in 2003 with the building completed in 2006.
Since then, it has been providing rehabilitative, medical, educational, sports, vocational and other social services for the children and young adults with special needs.
Wong further disclosed that the chief minister had also approved a site in Tanjong Manis to be turned into a shipbuilding zone.
Creating this new shipbuilding zone is seen as the greater solution to ease the congestion at the Rantau Panjang Industrial Estate, which about a decade ago became a relocation point for the central region’s unlicensed shipbuilders whose population was growing due to industry expansion.
The site in Tanjong Manis is also set to house those other unlicensed shipyards scattered along the Rajang, in line with government efforts to create an orderly development and the long-term sustainability of shipbuilding and its supporting industries.
Expressing his gratitude to the chief minister for his “caring and compassionate leadership”, Wong said Sibu people were indeed grateful to Taib for understanding their needs.
“He has given us land to build Chinese schools and colleges. And from time to time, he assists in the development of Chinese and mission schools. He has also given land to build churches and temples,” Wong said.
He also thanked Taib for his role in the development of, among others, the Bukit Lima Park, Town Square, Sibu Gateway, Lake Garden and many other parks and gardens created under the joint efforts of the Sibu Municipal Council and various non-governmental organisations.
Source from: Borneo Post Online