Boost for state’s arts and culture to be revealed in Sept

DBP state director Dr Hazami Jahari (third left) presents the resolutions of the Sarawak Arts Congress to Abang Johari (third right) as the latter's wife Datin Patinggi Datuk Juma'ani Tun Tuanku Bujang (second left), Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (left), Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Jemut Masing (second right) and DBP management board member Datu Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah (right) look on.

KUCHING, April 2: Patrons of the arts in Sarawak, particularly those who are members of associations, clubs or bodies related to arts and culture, are in for a treat as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is set to make a big announcement in September pertaining to the development of the field.

Keeping his cards close to his chest, Abang Johari said the state government would be setting up a proper channel to develop the state’s rich artistic and cultural treasures not only to strengthen them but also to promote and spread them all over the world.

“I cannot announce the details now. But what I can say is, we will have a proper channel to develop the state’s rich arts and culture that, i think, will not only enhance the immersion (experience) but also develop them and spread them to other places. We will wait for September; I will announce the details (then),” he said after the Sarawak P Ramlee Fan Club Special Concert at the old State Legislative Assembly Building Complex in Petra Jaya here on Sunday night.

The concert was jointly organised by the Sarawak Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP) and the Sarawak Arts Congress.

Members of the Sarawak P Ramlee Fan Club perform P Ramlee songs during the club’s special concert at the old State Legislative Assembly Building Complex at Petra Jaya, Kuching.

Abang Johari said currently the state government was in the planning phase of building a Sarawak Arts Theatre, complete with information technology (IT) facilities and compatible with current technologies.

He was responding to one of the five resolutions presented to him by the Sarawak Arts Congress earlier during the event.

“According to one of the resolutions presented just now on the building of the Sarawak Arts Theatre, we (state government) have actually appointed a consultant who is now in the planning phase,” said Abang Johari.

He said there were two options available — to either construct new buildings at a new location, or to renovate existing buildings and add a structure to serve as the theatre.

Abang Johari addresses attendees after watching the special P Ramlee concert performed by members of the Sarawak P Ramlee Fan Club at the old State Legislative Assembly Building Complex in Petra Jaya, Kuching.

The other four resolutions presented by the Congress earlier were for the state government to have strategic policies for the development of the arts in the state; for Sarawak to set up a department for the planning and implementation of these strategic policies; for the state government to provide allocations for the development of the arts, language and literature; and to set up an arts academy or arts training centre in Sarawak.

On another note, Abang Johari also gave assurance that under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports, the state government was constantly finding ways to develop local arts and culture due to Sarawak’s rich multi-racial and multi-religious composition. — DayakDaily