SIBU: Permai Lake Garden has become the second green lung of Sibu, thanks to the joint efforts of Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, Minister of Local Government and Community Development Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Sibu Municipal Council.
Opened in 2002 through an initiative of Sibu BN Visionary Team led by Wong, the late Datuk Robert Lau and Sibu Municipal Council, the green park with a scenic lake was developed in three phases with National Landscape Department.
It is now the second green lung of Sibu after Bukit Lima Forest Reserve, and Sibu is the only town in Sarawak to have two such environment-friendly features incorporated in its town planning.
“The state government has endorsed this green concept by banning the surrounding areas from being developed. We want to conserve the green for the townsfolk. Adenan has seen the aspiration after we discussed and he agreed on the decision,” Wong told reporters yesterday.
Wong, who is also the Second Finance Minister, said with the decision, government agencies and the private sector could not apply to turn the surrounding areas into a mixed-zone for development.
He said the chief minister had indicated that if there was an application for development, they would not approve it, and if there was an application that had been approved, the state government would reverse the decision.
“Permai Lake Garden belongs to the people. It is the second green lung of Sibu. We want to keep it as a green recreational park to boosts natural health of our future generations.”
In the development plan mooted by Sibu Visionary Team, more than a dozen green parks have been built by the council with the NGOs. It is town planning geared towards building a garden city to elevate the green lifestyle.
The two parks – Bukit Lima Forest Park and Permai Lake Garden – are two major projects that boost Sibu as an environment-friendly town.
Sibu Lake Garden, built next to the housing estate of Permai, is also called Sibu Lakeside Garden. In the early stage the garden only consisted of a lake, fountain and a landscape.
Various recreational activities have been conducted there, including remote boat races, family days, jogathon and others.
Of late, the garden has incorporated a ‘Lakeside Corridor’ concept into it. It includes a building with a conical roof representing the Melanau traditional craft – the Terendak.
Beside it is the Lakeside Corridor restaurant with the dining area facing the lake. In front of the dining area, there is a small section equipped with golf training facilities.
The third phase of the Lake Garden costing RM1.9 million was completed end of 2012.
It covers 11 acres with 33 car parks, a jogging track, motorcycle parking bays, gazebo, children’s playground, sitting area and others.
The construction of the first phase costs RM4 million and the second phase RM3.5 million.
Bukit Lima Forest Reserve, totalling 218.38 hectares of peat swamp forest, was opened in January 2001. It is home to countless species of birds, mammals and plants and is a living laboratory for researchers studying tropical rainforest flora and fauna and a favourite spot for morning walks and jogging.