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‘Flyovers among Pan Borneo Highway benefits for Serian’

SERIAN: This small, yet bustling town will have two flyovers once the development of the Pan Borneo Highway, which passes through here, reaches completion.

In this regard, Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong hopes that the Serian District Council (MDS) and local coffee-shop owners would take advantage of this opportunity to make Serian a must-stop town for travellers.

He believes that with larger volume of traffic passing through, many travellers would want to stop and rest in Serian if the town is clean, has well-maintained landscape, provides ample parking spaces, and also houses eateries that offer better variety of dishes.

“Cleanliness is a must, and there must also be good landscaping. There must also be enough parking spaces because if there are not enough spaces, people do not want to stop (in Serian),” he said in declaring open the inaugural ‘Pesta Tasik Danu Serian’ here on Saturday night.

Manyin, who previously held the ministerial portfolio of infrastructure development and communications, pointed out that having two elevated carriageways would be a ‘big thing’ for Serian and thus, he hoped everyone would do their part to make this an advantage for the town.

The Serian section of the Pan Borneo Highway Sarawak project is under the Serian Roundabout to Pantu Junction (SPJ) works package, or WPC03, which involves the construction of two flyovers – one in front of the Louis Junction commercial centre, while the other is near Taman Tasik Danu.

Manyin said with two available tourism products, namely Taman Tasik Danu and Ranchan Pool, Serian must be ready to accommodate higher number of visitors since it is unlike some other towns, which are bypassed by the highway project.

He also hoped that plans to build an iconic cable-stayed bridge, announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg last year, would be realised soon. Manyin also suggested to owners of coffee-shops and eateries to offer special dishes to visitors such as Serian’s version of prawn noodles, instead of the usual ‘kolo mee’ or ‘laksa Sarawak’.

According to him, other places like Gedong, Sarikei and Bintangor have proven to be the favourites among foodies for their respective specialty prawn noodles.

“Those dishes are not cheap, yet people are willing to go all the way to spend and enjoy them. We can do the same for Serian, and I challenge the coffee-shops (and eateries) here to start doing it.”

On another matter, Manyin who came to the event with his wife Datin Seri Mary Manyin, praised the Serian Resident Office for the organisation of Pesta Tasik Danu Serian which he hopes could become an annual event attracting more people to this town.

He said Serian Resident Johnathan Lugoh had many years of experience, having run Pesta Benak in Sri Aman during his tenure as the Resident there, and was able to come up with a special festival for Serian by taking advantage of the uniqueness of a lake garden in town.

Meanwhile in his speech, Johnathan thanked Manyin and other elected representatives including Kedup assemblyman Martin Ben, Bukit Semuja assemblyman John Ilus and Tarat assemblyman Datuk Roland Sagah Wee In for allocating government funds slated for the festival.

The climax of the event last Saturday was the crowning of the first-ever Miss Tourism Tasik Danu 2018. The pageant gathered 16 finalists, including two sets of siblings. Local recording artistes Linda and Mike Rantai entertained the crowd during the interludes.

Source: Borneo Post