Floodlights at MCC field gets go-ahead
Posted on : 02 Nov 2020  Source of News: The Borneo Post

MIRI: A decades-long dream is on the verge of being fulfilled.

Football fraternity here has longed for years for a public venue where they can hold training sessions and matches at night, and it will be made possible with the installation of floodlights at the Miri City Council (MCC)’s field in the city centre.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting said an allocation of RM120,000 had been approved under the Rural Transformation Programme (RTP) to fund the project.

“At the request of the Miri Division Football Association and to boost football development, we will install six poles of floodlight with a total 3,600 watts, good enough to light up the football field so that training can be done at night,” he said.

The installation works will commence in December and is expected to be completed in February next year.

“It will be a multi-purpose field where other events could also be held at night in line with the vision to make Miri a vibrant city,” Ting said while inspecting the field yesterday.

He was accompanied by MCC engineer Augustine Song and Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) deputy president Mohamad Saif Jubaidi.

Earlier, Ting and entourage visited another RTP project on installation of extra lighting at the compound of the Petroleum Science Museum at Canada Hill, which is also expected to be completed in February.

He said the RM80,000 lighting project, which was requested by MCC and the public, would enable visitors to enjoy the night view of the city from Canada Hill which is overlooking Miri City towards the seafront.

Mohd Saif, who is also the Miri Division Football Association president, thanked the Piasau assemblyman for making their dream a reality.

“This is very good initiative by Datuk Sebastian for using his RTP for this project. We have been waiting for decades for proper lighting to be installed so that footballers could play at night,” he told The Borneo Post.

“Currently there is only one privately-owned football field with floodlights in Miri but the rental of RM450 per hour is too expensive for our association.

“Besides we are still waiting for the Miri Stadium to be installed with floodlights,” he added.

Mohd Saif said that Miri, Limbang, Kuching and Bintulu divisions were the most active in organising football tournaments in the state.

Miri meanwhile had also pioneered the development of football in Sarawak by setting up five Development Centres (PP) and one Excellent Centre (PC) in support of the state’s high performance sports centre in efforts to make Sarawak a sports powerhouse in the country.

“Besides, Miri had also helped FAS to get the President Cup to be held here last year,” Mohd Saif said.

The city was also the home venue for Sarawak team in the Youth Cup this year, but the competition was cancelled soon after the first home match due to Covid-19 outbreak in March.

Mohd Saif said he was optimistic that the tournaments could boost the local tourism industry.

“It also help solved the problem of not having enough playing fields to host major football tournaments in Sarawak.

“Kuching, for instance, already has their hands full with M-League matches (such as the Premier League and cup tournaments),” he concluded.