ATV awards: Hundreds of millions of eyeballs to be glued to Sarawak

Abdul Karim (centre) in a group photo with (from left) Koh, Lee, Hii and Sim after holding a press conference on the ATV awards, which kicks off today.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Jan 11: The Asian Television Awards (ATV Awards) provides an important opportunity to promote Sarawak to the world, said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He emphasised that this international spectacle (from Jan 11-13) also complemented the Visit Sarawak Year campaign, which was kicked-off on New Year’s day.

“This international event being hosted here has brought a lot of excitement to Kuching. The state government is very honoured and proud to be part of the event,” he told a press conference at the Riverside Majestic Hotel here today.

“Many international artistes are here, and many of them are in Sarawak for the first time. We are very happy to introduce them to Sarawak.”

The ATV Awards, which is like the ‘Grammys’ for the Asian television industry, will expose Kuching in particular and Sarawak in general to the viewers watching from 22 countries, as the award ceremony will be telecast live.

“I believe through the telecast, more people will get to know Kuching and where Kuching is. It becomes a very big promotion on our part, and it is important for us to market Sarawak as the destination of choice,” Abdul Karim added.

Sarawak, Abdul Karim pointed out, is rich in culture and nature and it is home to so many ethnic groups living together peacefully and harmoniously. It is also famous for its wide range of national parks.

“That’s why the tagline for our Visit Sarawak campaign is ‘More to discover’. We want to promote Sarawak as an exciting place, not a shopping paradise. So, if you love nature and adventure, this is the place,” he added.

On why Kuching was chosen as the venue for this year’s event, ATV Awards Sdn Bhd chairman Lee Keen Whye pointed out the aim was to shift the focus of industry players and specialists from the usual metropolitan cities.

“We want them to look outside the metropolitan city and expose them to something different as well as taking them away from the distraction of crowd and the hustle bustle of metropolitan cities that they have become so used to,” he explained.

“Here, they have time to relax and reflect, which is important because the whole media and television industry is changing. I believe industry people need time to reflect and maybe use this as a retreat for themselves for a longer term goal.”

As more than 100 industry specialists, not only artistes but also directors and producers will be here, Lee emphasised that this would be an opportunity for them to be exposed and get to know Sarawak.

“They can look at things in different perspectives from what they are used to and, maybe, look at Sarawak’s potential as a location for the filming of movies, television programmes and reality shows.

“The industry is changing and industry people need to start thinking outside the box as well,” Lee reckoned.

Permanent Secretary to the Ministry Hii Chang Kee, ATV Awards Sdn Bhd director Koh Jik Seng and advisor Sim Kiang Chiok were also present at the press conference. — DayakDaily