Asian Television Awards further showcases Sarawak as good host

KUCHING: Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes the 23rd Asian Television Awards (ATA) will boost Sarawak’s position as a good host for world class entertainment stars and popular TV personalities throughout Asia.

Held in Sarawak for the first time, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports said since the ATA this year coincides with Visit Sarawak Campaign 2019 (VSC), the ministry had undertaken necessary measures and digital initiatives to boost the state’s local tourism industry which has great potential.

“This is why my ministry had fully supported the staging of this year’s ATA because it provides greater visibility to Sarawak on the world tourism map.

“The glittering awards presentation ceremony itself will boost our position as a good host to world class entertainment stars and popular TV personalities throughout Asia,” Abdul Karim said during the ATA’s Gala Dinner at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) earlier tonight (Jan 11).

Abdul Karim delivering his speech at the gala dinner.
Various cultural performances light up the night.

He explained to the hundreds of TV personalities present that the VCS also coincided with Sarawak’s efforts to diversify its economy and push its tourism industry towards the digital transformation which had permeated every fibre of the world that people are living in today.

In reference to content creation, Abdul Karim said locals needed to look into the aspect of identity building and coming up with the compelling stories that needed to be told.

“That is why I think the ATA will remain relevant to all of us living in this region because it can serve to provide the common avenue and platform for talented producers coming from Asia.

“It is therefore important for us to support the awards because it can showcase the diverse selection of coveted programmes from Asia and beyond,” he said.

He said the awards were also good testimonies on the promising future of Asian programming standards and potentials while encouraging television producers from Asia to excel further in order to enter the global stage.

The awards was also very much welcomed for the Southeast Asian community because it would showcase the best works of Asia’s creative producers working on programmes for the consumption of TV viewers at regional and international level, said Karim.

He said on the global stage, there had been a growing demand for quality content and universal narratives from the Asian region.

“I must say that the demand is now getting greater than before because of the digital revolution and the accessibility to the Internet,” he added.

He said there had also been a growing interest in original stories based in Asia and also made by Asian producers in which reflects the increasing number of audience who are seeking for something fresh and exciting.

“Even Malaysian film directors such as James Wan are now a popular figure in Hollywood because of the recent movie on “Aquaman” is directed by him. He was born in Kuching here,” Karim said.

Hence, he said, there are huge potentials for Asian television producers to become well-known on the international scene and he believed the ATA could further motivate them to become more competitive, creative and innovative.

“For us in Sarawak, we have great hopes and great plans to attract more visitors in the near future.

“As of November last year, we have received a total of 4.3 million visitors from all over the world and we believe the figures can be improved with better air connectivity especially through special arrangements with other countries,” said Abdul Karim. — DayakDaily