KB waterfront’s facelift woos public

National 2 minutes, 15 seconds

BELAIT

VISITORS to the Belait River Carnival said that the new waterfront area, with its wide viewing space and clear view of the Belait River, had great potential for large public events, based on the experience of the weekend of activities.

In particular, people were pleasantly surprised to find that the temporary road closure along Jln Sungai made for a unique experience of walking about in Kuala Belait town.

"I don't ever remember this road being closed before but it's quite nice to walk along the town, crossing the parking area to the waterfront without worrying about traffic," said retired Kg Sg Teraban local Abd Ali Majid, who was found visiting the various food and souvenir stalls lined up along Jln Sungai on Saturday night during the Cultural Night event prefacing Sunday's regatta.

Kg Panaga resident Hj Mohd Fazalmi Hj Suhaimi was one of those taking advantage of the event's no-fee offer for hawkers, opening a satay stall with his mother.

Commenting on his first time doing business on the new location, the satay hawker said that the public response was encouraging, and felt that the location could be opened up more often for more events.

"Many people have been coming here since I opened and many of them were curious to see what was going on… (This hawker site) gives an opportunity for locals to pursue entrepreneurship and gives an alternative means of income to people from Belait," said Hj Mohd Fazalmi.

"Public events like these are an opportunity to find customers for our burgers… it's the first time opening up this location like this and this is a seed for the future. Perhaps this kind of spontaneous event can be done not just in Belait but in Tutong or other districts," said Lumut entrepreneur Hj Mohd Abu Wafi Hj Abu Samah of family-owned business Abu Burger.

Hj Mohd Abu, however, commented that future events could do with more promotion and advertisements, noting that only a single signboard near the town centre had advertised the event.

Foreigners in the Sultanate were visibly impressed by Sunday's regatta, a sight unique to many of them. Viewing the races from the rooftop café on the ninth floor of V Plaza Hotel, Omani citizen Isa and wife Maria, said that it was their first time seeing such an event and hoped for more such happenings in the district.

"These are very good games which takes care of sports and the organisation of this event has been very good. I can see so many events happening but it's all very well-organised… maybe the frequency of such events can be improved," said Isa, who has been working in Brunei for three years.

The Brunei Times