Abdul Karim keen to see Borneo Music Festival Live return next year

Abdul Karim speaking to reporters during the press conference.

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Sept 15: Sarawak Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah say that Sarawak would welcome hosting Borneo Music Festival Live (BMFL) again in 2023.

According to Abdul Karim, his ministry has yet to receive an application for the same music festival to be held the following year.

“The first-ever BMFL just concluded successfully over the weekend (Sept 9 to Sept 10), so we must give the organisers time.

“Of course, we are looking forward to another event next year if the organisers apply with us, why not,” he said on Wednesday (Sept 14) at a press conference following the Sports Conference for All Borneo Zones 2022, which was held at a hotel here.

He praised the concert for being well-organised, taking into account security, well-behaved youths, no rowdy crowds, and no untoward incidents.

“I was very impressed with BMFL’s organisation because it was quite good, and I could see that the audience was very disciplined.

“My concern was (the possibility of) the rowdy crowd, substance abuse, and other criminal activities, but I noticed that the police were already manning the body checks at the entrance, and the festival ended with a good performance.

“The atmosphere during the two days was incredible,” he stated, adding that he was there on the second night and was impressed by DJ Alan Walker’s and DJ Soda’s sets.

Furthermore, Abdul Karim, who is also the Sarawak Minister for Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development, stated that in such a situation, if there is a demand, the organisers may consider holding another BMFL in the coming year.

Meanwhile, he was quick to point out that extremism was not an issue in Sarawak in response to critical comments on social media on the organisation of concerts such as the BMFL.

“If such a concert like BMFL is held in the peninsula, the organisers will have a big headache.

“For example, like the popular Billie Eilish concert recently held in Kuala Lumpur, some people even wanted to do demonstrations or street protests and many other kinds of threats.

“Sarawak has no problem and we are very tolerant,” he asserted.

He went on to say that Sarawak already has the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF), which is related to ethnic and traditional music, the upcoming Kuching Jazz Festival, which features Afgansyah Reza, a popular Indonesian jazz singer, and the Miri Country Music Festival, which will be held in Miri in December.

“That’s why I want to see BMFL organised again because it caters to that age group of youths, and I am very happy to see that the youths were very organised that day.

“I can also see that they really enjoyed themselves as many of them came to see me and said ‘thank you’ for bringing BMFL to them. It made me feel good too,” Abdul Karim added. — DayakDaily