By Karen Bong
KUCHING, April 27: The downpour this afternoon did not dampen fans to turn up at the Old Courthouse, here, to meet Hollywood action star Steven Seagal and his wife, Erdenetuya Seagal.
The special meet-the-fans session, however, had to be held in the event hall instead of at the open courtyard that was planned initially.
The fans seemed excited to catch a glimpse of the martial arts actor, and they even had the opportunity to ask him a few questions, especially on his impression of Sarawak as well as his new movie projects.
“I am really impressed with the unspoilt charming landscape and environment, including the unique architecture like this place (Old Courthouse). The tremendous hospitality from the wonderful people here. So, let’s keep it this way,” said Seagal as ripples of applause spread through the crowd.
When asked about his favourite food in Kuching, he shared, “I have sampled many indigenous foods over the past few days (since arriving three days ago). And my favourite would be the smoked fish (Ikan salai) with ginger during the visit to the village (Sarawak Cultural Village) yesterday.”
Seagal arrived in Kuching on April 24 to attend the Asean International Film Festival and Awards (AIFFA) gala dinner, which is happening tonight at Pullman Hotel.
Earlier in a press conference, Seagal noted that AIFFA had started off wisely and had drawn famous celebrities like Datuk Michelle Yeoh, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen.
“And now Steven Seagal. I think this meaningful festival has grown, but the bigger you get, it will be harder to maintain and control the quality,” he said.
“So, we should keep it this way (without being too commercialised) because the unspoilt charm of Sarawak, including the unique cultures, are the good attributes of Sarawak (that should be valued and protected).”
Attracted by Sarawak’s unspoilt charm, Seagal said he would want to come back soon and perhaps also film in Sarawak.
On the film genre he intended to make in Sarawak’s natural studio, he added, “Most of the movies I have starred in have implications on how to improve the society, stepping on the evil and the victory of good over the evil.”
Seagal also gave out autographed T-shirts and posed for a group photo with his fans and members of the media.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Permanent Secretary to the Ministry Hii Chang Kee and festival director Livan Tajang were also present. — DayakDaily