Plans to revamp KB, Seria town in the pipeline

National 2 minutes, 24 seconds

BELAIT

THE Kuala Belait and Seria Municipal board yesterday pledged to engage with the Belait Chinese Chamber of Commerce (BCCC) and other businesses to come up with plans to revamp the town centres of Seria and Kuala Belait.

Chairman of the Kuala Belait and Seria Municipal Board Hj Ali Matyassin said that more needed to be done to increase the attractiveness of Belait district's biggest towns to attract more local spending and draw tourists from other parts of the country as well as from overseas.

“We (the board and the government) agree that we need to work more closely with private businesses to bring more progress to Kuala Belait and Seria,” said Hj Ali yesterday during the first dialogue session between the board and BCCC.

The repainting of the town centre's oldest shop houses was mooted, as well as the organising of a weekend market and sporting events to draw tourists to stay at Belait hotels.

“Hosting weekend market in the town centre, such as on Jalan Pretty, is an idea that would draw activity from residents and visitors, and give more opportunities for business,” said BCCC Secretary Hong Fan Tse.

He said that Belait's proximity to Sarawak means that the district's residents have often opted to spend their money across the border, a pattern that has become increasingly frequent with the weakening of the Malaysian ringgit this year.

“To compete, we must work together to create a Kuala Belait and Seria that is more attractive environment to do business in,” added Hong, who sought for the board's help to set up a meeting with the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism to discuss more potential ideas.

The chairman welcomed the suggestions and encouraged businesses to embrace the use of the internet as the government shifts business registration and business license applications and renewals online.

“We have made it a key focus to improve our ease of doing of businesses, especially in the area of setting up, applying and renewal,” he said.

Registering a business can now be done online within a day through the Registry of Companies and Business Names, while business licenses can be applied and renewed through the OneBiz online portal.

He also reminded businesses, especially eateries, to prioritise cleanliness as failing to do so would hurt the district's image.

“Cleanliness is fundamental because it reduces the risk of illness to the customers and ensures that they get to dine in a comfortably clean environment,” said Hj Ali.

Temporarily closures ordered by the board's enforcement section - typically effected when an outlet is graded below 70 per cent - should also be taken seriously as repeat offences could potentially result in owners losing their business license.

Attending yesterday's dialogue at the Belait Dewan Perniagaan Tiong Hua were BCCC Vice President Loo Soon Nin and committee members, as well as senior officers from the municipal board.

The Brunei Times