Big festivities planned to welcome New Year, launch Visit Sarawak campaign on Dec 31

Abdul Karim (centre) addressing the press conference.

By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, Dec 20: A fireworks display and concert featuring famous artistes will light up the new year’s countdown and launching of Visit Sarawak campaign at the Kuching Waterfront on Dec 31.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah invites the public to come in droves to celebrate the event, which will start as early as 5pm.

Expecting the crowd size to reach up to the thousands, he said entertainment will run throughout the evening until after midnight with captivating activities such as fireworks display, musical fountain and stage performances by top local and national singers.

In addition, a water show, lighting up of the Darul Hana Bridge, 3D Imaging and a video show from the Sarawak Tourism Board culminating with the fireworks show at the stroke of midnight are the other fascinating elements not be missed, he continued.

“Many roads in the city centre will be closed for the evening. We hope the people come in droves but let me remind you, do car pool to avoid congestion and ease parking situation.

“The police will gazette some parking areas, which will be informed (at a later time) along with the road closure, through the media,” Abdul Karim told a press conference to announce the event here today.

Four giant LED screens will be set up strategically around the event area for the convenience of the public.

The entertainment segment will start at 5pm and pauses at 10.30pm with the arrival of guest-of-honour chief minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife Datin Patinggi Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang.

Among the performers lined up for the night include Malaysia’s renowned jazz and R&B singer Noryn Aziz, Sibu-born veteran singer REM, famous for the hit song “Semua Orang Tahu”, as well as the “Sayang Maafkan Aku” hitmaker Shafiq Farhain, the son of legendary singer the late A M Saleem of Iklim.

Other local artistes scheduled to perform included Roxanne Lee, Firdaus, Felicia Gek, Gabriel Tan, Siti Hajar Mohiden and Nor Fauzana Wahid.

“Revelers who come early will be entertained by experimental world music band At Adau and others such as Bello Busker, country and western band On String, D Legacy and performers from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) and Lim Kok Wing Institute of Creative Techology,” Abdul Karim said.

He added that some 300 performers under the coordination of Sarawak Arts Council will also perform traditional and contemporary dances, reflecting the harmonious multiracial people of Sarawak.

“Expect exotic sounds from Kumpulan Genderang, sape, tawak and gongs being incorporated into the entertainment elements,” he continued.

There will be food trucks selling various food and beverages at the event venue. Local deejays will enliven the evening atmosphere before the start of the programme. — DayakDaily