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History of Sibu Urban District Council (SUDC)History of Sibu Urban District Council (SUDC)
[ About SMC < History < Sibu Urban District Council (SUDC) ]

 

Although, the Local Authority Ordinance (Cap. 117) came into force on Thursday, January 01, 1948, the Sibu Municipal Board continued to operate till end of 1951. By Tuesday, January 01, 1952, it was renamed Sibu Urban District Council, a local government entity, which was financially self-supporting and managing its own local affairs.

The then Sibu District Officer was the Chairman to the Council and continued until end of 1957. Members of the Council were all nominated.

The area of the Sibu Urban District Council was then about three (3) miles square. The 1947 Census indicated a population of 9,983 in the District. In 1957 the Sibu Urban District boundary was extended to contain a total area of about 20 miles square. The population was 29,630 as at Wednesday, June 15, 1960, according to 1960 Census Report.

The first election of the Sibu Urban District Council was held on Sunday, December 15, 1957 and its inaugural meeting of elected Councillors held on Thursday, January 02, 1958.

Chairman and Councillors of Sibu Urban District Council for 1958 - 1959 were as follows :-

List Of Councillors : 1958 - 1959

The elected Council was divided into nine (9) electoral wards with 20 members. The Sibu District Officer was an ex-officio member, who remained a member of the Council till end of 1959. In the second general election, the 21 members of the Council were elected on Sunday, December 06, 1959 to serve until Saturday, June 15, 1963.

Chairman, Vice Chairman and Councillors of Sibu Urban District Council for 1959 - 1963 were as follows :-

List Of Councillors : 1959 - 1963

Under the tier system of elections, two (2) out of these Councillors were elected to the Divisional Advisory Council and one member out of these Councillors was directly elected to Council Negeri.

As a result of new Council Negeri Elections Ordinance, this system was abolished and the direct representation discontinued.

The third general election of the Sibu Urban District Council for 21 members was held on Sunday, June 23, 1963.

The 21 Councillors elected and held office for more than 18 years till Saturday, October 31, 1981 were as follows :-

List Of Councillors : 1963 - 1981

The progress in the Sibu Urban District Council had in many respects been remarkable and it is worthwhile taking a brief look at its development.

  • The old Police Station at Channel Road/Cross Road (now belongs to MAKSAK (Sarawak Government Services Welfare & Recreational Council)) was also jointly occupied by the Sibu Rural and Sibu Urban Councils as their offices from 1952 to 1957. The building was also occupied as Library, Fire Station and Clinic.

  • The Sungei Merah Market and the Pig Abattoir were both constructed in 1956 at a cost of RM45,000 and RM12,000 respectively.

  • There was one (1) children playground at Old Street (now hawker stance) and one (1) at Race Course Road football field (now Jalan Awang Ramli Amit Football Field) maintained by Council.

  • There was then only one Fire Station staffed by two (2) firemen serving 230 shophouses and three (3) local theatres.

The establishment of the elected Council in 1958, led to a steady increase in developing the areas.

In 1952, only four (4) teachers were in the Council's employment attached to the Abang Ali School which was known today as S.U.D.C. No. 1 (Abang Ali). The S.U.D.C. No. 1 (Abang Ali) School building was built in 1958 and completed in 1959 at a cost of some RM160,000.

The S.U.D.C. No. 2 School (now SRK Perbandaran Sibu No. 2) was completed in 1960 at a cost of RM58,000 and the additional block of this school was completed at about RM56,000 in 1965.

The planning of S.U.D.C. No. 3 School (now SRK Perbandaran Sibu No. 3) was made in 1960 and construction was completed at a cost of RM34,000 in 1961. The additional block of this building was completed in 1966 at about RM38,000. There were 471 school children with 13 teachers as at 1967.

The S.U.D.C. No. 4 School (now SRK Perbandaran Sibu No. 4) was built and completed in 1963 at a cost of RM33,000. The Government contribution in the form of grants was made to the Council to meet all the expenses of the Council's school programme.

In 1952, there were a Secretary, an Assistant Secretary, two (2) Clerks and one (1) Municipal Inspector occupying the old Police Station (MAKSAK Building at Channel Road/Cross Road) as their office.

On Saturday, June 23, 1962 the Council moved into its present Town Hall building completed at a cost of RM250,000. The Administration Section staffs were Secretary, Assistant Secretary, a Clerk and a School Affairs Officer; the Health Section consisted of a Health Superintendent, a Senior Health Inspector, three (3) Health Inspectors, a Hawker Inspector and a Clerk; the Treasury Section consisted of five (5) staff including the Treasurer; the Engineering Section consisted of an Executive Engineer, eight (8) Technical Assistants and two (2) Clerks; the Rates Section consisted of three (3) Clerks; and the Library Section, four (4) staff.

Extension to the Town Hall to accommodate a Library was completed in 1966. Allocation of RM3,000 every year since 1958 was provided for the purchase of additional books until 1964. This was increased to RM5,000 1965 to 1968.

Since 1952 the Council had assumed the responsibility for the maternity and child health services. It started with two (2) trained Assistant Health Visitors to run the Clinic under the supervision of the Divisional Medical Officer. To meet the increase demand in 1968, it was staffed by a Health Sister, two (2) Senior Staff Nurse, a Staff Nurse, a Senior Midwife, eight (8) Midwives, six (6) Assistant Visitors, a Laboratory Technician and two (2) Clerks. Night call service was provided and attended by trained midwives. The maternity and child health services were taken over by the Medical & Health Department on Monday, January 01, 1979.

The Council did not have its own Health Inspectorate until 1957. The responsibility was solely carried out by Health Inspectors from Medical Department under the Divisional Medical Officer. The work was done in close cooperation with the Council staff. In 1958, the Council started its direct service after securing a Senior Health Inspector on secondment from Medical Department. It had its own Health Superintendent in 1963. Health work in the Council was then set up on a sound footing. Ever since, there were significant progress in many fields, such as environmental and sanitation.

Sibu town roads, completed by the Public Works Department that consisted of 16.61 miles bitumen road and 6.59 miles gravel roads, were handed over to the Council for maintenance in 1962. With the limited engineering staff and equipment, Council had made every effort in doing its best to maintain these roads satisfactorily. In middle of June 1963, the Council recruited its own Engineer who left the service in September 1964. A new Engineer was appointed in mid of 1966.

The first trial bituminized road constructed by the Council was Tiong Hua Road by the then Engineer. The technical staff had managed efficiently without an Engineer in 1965 by completing Bukit Assek Road, Amoy Road, Hoe Ping Road, Kampong Baharu Road and Tong Sang Road. A few footpaths and cycle tracks were also completed.

From 1960 onwards, bus shelters were provided. Where needs arose, more bus shelters were built at the junctions of schools and at roadside for the convenience of the public.

In addition to the above, the works of building children's playgrounds at Sungei Bakong, at the junction of Race Course Road/Queensway (now called Jalan Tun Abang Haji Openg), behind the Raminway shophouses were under the direct supervision of the technical staff in 1960 - 1961. For the periods 1963 - 1966, more children playgrounds were provided at Sungei Merah Bazaar, Tiong Hua Road, Kampong Datu, the former old Custom Godown site and behind the Tua Pek Kong Temple.

In 1964, it cost the Council a sum of RM45,000 for providing the bitumen running track to the King George VI Memorial Grounds (now Padang Sukan Tun Datuk Patinggi Tuanku Haji Bujang) which was handed over by the Board of Trustee to the Council in 1963. Major improvement occurred to the padang with provision of new synthetic running track by Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR), with fund from the Ministry of Social Development in 1991. A new grandstand was completed by the Council in 1992, at approximately RM600,000.

The first olympic sized Swimming Pool at Bukit Lima was completed by the Jabatan Kerja Raya (JKR) in November 1963 at a cost of RM0.5 millions and handed over to the Council for maintenance after its completion. In 1964 the Council added a canteen building for the needs of pool patrons at a cost of RM50,000. The swimming pool was closed with effect from Thursday, April 01, 1993 for major renovation. The swimming pool at Delta Estate, the second swimming pool in Sibu was completed in April 1993 at a cost of about RM5.1 millions, which came in the form of a grant from Ministry of Social Development.

The Fire Brigade moved out from the old place (presently MAKSAK Building at Channel Road/Cross Road) to the present Fire Station at Central Road which was completed on Friday, December 25, 1959 at a cost of about RM153,000. It was staffed with a Fire Officer, a Foreman, two (2) Leading Firemen and 15 Firemen. New fire fighting equipment and appliance were purchased. The fire services were taken over by Federal Government on Friday, May 15, 1981.

But, before the take over, the Sibu Urban District Council found itself with additional responsibilities as the town had expanded to include 304 shophouses, four (4) local theatres, three (3) petrol stations, petrol kiosk pumps, hundreds of apartment houses in the vicinity of Sibu town center and 30 shophouses in the Sungei Merah Bazaar.

The Council in 1959 completed building Sungei Bakong Market at RM12,700 and Channel Road Market at approximately RM70,000 with some Government financial grant. The Khoo Peng Loong Road Market was built out of the Council's own fund at a cost of RM100,000 including the cost of land and completed in 1964. The Channel Road Hawkers' Stance was completed in 1965 at approximately RM60,000 including cost of land. The Island Road/Hospital Road pavement for safety of the pedestrian was built and completed in 1958 at a cost of RM10,000. The Bus Station (now used as car parks at Market Road) completed in 1959 was mainly met by Government contribution in the form of grants. The present bus station was completed in 1983.

The three (3) units of 4-storey shophouses at Clinic Road was completed in 1970.