KUCHING, Mar 13: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii urged the state government to reconsider its decision to carry on with organising the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) in July 2020 after Covid-19 outbreak cases have escalated worldwide.
Kelvin in a statement today said RWMF would involve more than 20,000 tourists and locals from all around the world and possibly from those affected countries as well.
“While I am fully supportive of the organisation of such world-class event in our beloved Kuching, as well as the need to boost tourism and revenues for the State, but it should not come at the expense of health and safety of our people,” he said.
Kelvin noted that to have a public mass gathering of such magnitude involving close contact and all, preventive measures such as signboards, sanitizers or even mask would insufficient to curb the spread.
According to him, the most proactive step was to monitor the developments of the spread of the virus and make early arrangements for possible rescheduling of the event itself to a later date.
He also pointed that many experts, including Associate Professor Hsu Liyang from NUS Singapore had shared his view that the spread of virus may not cease any time soon and may even drag on until the end of 2020, at least.
“So that means it is still at risk during July which the festival is scheduled to be held. This also includes the RWMF fringe festival that is said to attract crowds, locally and internationally for artistic display all around Kuching as a run up to the main festival in July,” he added.
On March 12, 2020, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah announced that the RMWF 2020 will be held as scheduled despite Covid-19 outbreak.
However, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (JPBN) committee today, issued a statement advising all government and public gatherings involving more than 250 participants are to be postponed to a later date.
The committee also stated that all non-essential travel to Brunei Darussalam, Sabah and the Peninsular Malaysia are advised to be deferred or postponed. —DayakDaily.