Miri prepares to recharge economic and social life after unprecedentedly difficult year
Posted on : 28 Dec 2020  Source of News: The Star

MIRI: The city is recharging itself after an unprecedentedly difficult year that has severely dented the petroleum and tourism sectors in this northern Sarawak hub, says its mayor.

Adam Yii said Covid-19 has ravaged life like never before, adding that Miri city too suffered from the severe impact of this pandemic.

"The massive slump in the oil and gas industry caused by the global decline in demand hit us too as a petroleum producer.

"The travel restrictions and closure of international borders have affected us too in Miri as the number of crossborder visitors has dropped dramatically.

"Sarawak's tourism industry has suffered unprecedented losses of billions in revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic, ” he said in his Christmas message Thursday (Dec 24).

Among the worst affected sectors are hotels, shopping complexes, restaurants, transportation, and services.

Yii said Miri is trying to revive the tourism industry by introducing new tourism products.

"We are hopeful and confident that Covid-19 can be contained soon with the availability of a vaccine.

"In the meantime, we need to recharge our businesses and industries to revive our economy despite the drop in cross-border revenue.

"We can do so if we can be innovative," he said.

Yii said the Miri city council is marketing local historical sites as potential attractions that could attract Sarawakian tourists too.

"Miri was once part of an ancient trade route that even Laksamana Cheng Ho from China had visited.

"There must be historical records to point out the exact locations he had been to when he was in Miri – these can be our historical sites.

"The 60,000-year-old Niah caveman is another historical masterpiece that may point to even more ancient historical artefacts along the Niah-Miri locality.

"We must unearth these interesting potentials," he said.

Yii reminded the people to adhere to all the necessary SOPs in order to contain Covid-19 infections.

He said Christmas and the coming Chinese New Year will see restricted gatherings but this should be an opportunity for all of us to enhance our family closeness, and also urged people to extend a charitable hand and help those in society who are in need.