Sarawak CM hopes tourism will be new gold for Bau district | Malaysia

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg is briefed on the history of an early gold mining settlement in the Bau district December 31, 2020. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Information Department

BAU, Dec 31 — The Bau district, once a thriving gold and antimony mining area, will benefit from another form of “gold” soon — tourism, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said today.

“We will collect all the data on the district, including the culture, history and natural attractions that can be sustainable economic activities that will give benefit,” he said at the Bau Bicentennial Celebration here.

He said Bau must be integrated with Lundu, Sematan, Santubong and part of Serian into an important historical and tourism entity on account of their close ties before the arrival of Rajah James Brooke in 1841.

Earlier, Tasik Biru State Assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep said the celebration marked the 200 years since the establishment of the first gold mine Bau in 1820.

Despite the cessation of gold mining activities, however, a vast tract of land in Bau remains under a mining lease, making it impossible to develop, he added.

Jinep said this land could be developed into residential areas and tourist attractions including hotels, resorts and even golf courses to support the development of Greater Bau.

He urged the chief minister to abolish the land lease to allow the tourism industry to thrive.

“We want Bau to be the epicentre of Sarawak’s eco-tourism industry capitalising on the tourism belt of Santubong – Bau – Sematan presenting the endless potential to be developed as the Eco-Tourism capital of Sarawak, leveraging on digital technology,” he said.

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