Undoubtedly, confronting Sibu is a challenging era. Just look at the ageing population and you would concur that what lies in front is a really taxing time.
Although Tan Kee Hian has been away for a lengthy period of time, his sentimental ties to the hometown are intact. As such, he has never stayed out of touch with Sibu.
Through his personal observations, Kee Hian noted a few salient features of Sibu.
1. Sibu is very much like a slumbering giant. This sounded pretty critical, but it served perfectly well as a wake-up
call to all Sibuians. We really have to wake up to it!
2. Sibu is caught in a vicious downward spiral. Simply put, Sibu is on a continuous downtrend. This is quite
shocking, but, nonetheless, it is a hard fact.
One contributing factor is the serious exodus of people and businesses which together make Sibu much less
promising. As a result, the core competency of Sibu is losing value.
3. Sibu is also caught dwelling on excessive focus on hardware. The software aspect has been prioritised low. To put
simply, sustance has been neglected and there is overly attention on form (style).
The point being hit at is that the non-productive investments in Sibu outshine those of productive nature.
Economically speaking, non-productive investments have little value in terms of returns.
4. In theory, public investments generate private investments. However, in Sibu, the public investments have
not been an effective catalyst. This, in part, is due to the lethargic recovery of private investments.
The picture shows the mighty Rajang River. The photo is by courtesy of Steve Ling.