KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry is set to take over the task of managing national parks in the state soon, according to its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
It is learnt that currently, the management of all national parks falls under Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).
In this regard, Abdul Karim said his ministry has all the facilities that could be utilised to further promote the national parks in Sarawak as tourist attractions.
“For now, everything is still in the early stage, but I will work hard to get the national parks to be under the purview of my ministry.
"I believe that my ministry is the right authority to take good care of them (national parks) and turn them into places of interest for visitors to Sarawak,” he spoke at a ‘Hari Raya Aidilfitri’ get-together hosted by the Kota Samarahan branch of Chamber of Sarawak Bumiputera Entrepreneurs (DUBS) at the civic centre here on Sunday night.
He noted that the condition and facilities at the national parks in the state ‘leave a lot to be desired’.
However, he also pointed out that those currently managing the national parks could not be blamed for this, in that their key responsibilities are to conserve and preserve these parks, not to promote them.
“Still, our national parks are not meant to be kept hidden because they are Sarawak’s heritage and should be made known to the outside world.
“The ministry has spent a lot of money in upgrading the facilities at the national parks in Sarawak; thus, putting them under the purview of the ministry would be a way to make these parks among the state’s major tourist attractions,” he said.
It is learnt that Sarawak currently has 30 Totally Protected Areas (TPAs) classified as national parks. -TheBorneoPost