Kuching optimistic to join 240 other Unesco Creative Cities on world map

Datin Donna Drury-Wee

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Sept 28: Sarawak Culinary Heritage and Arts (SCA) chairwoman Datin Donna Drury Wee wishes for Kuching to join 240 other cities globally under the Unesco Creative City Network (UCCN).

“There are 240 other cities in the world that are all part of the creative city network, and one of the criterias required of a participating city is that you have to do exchange programmes with the other cities,” she said during a press conference at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) chamber today.

In stating this, she added that this platform would create a greater awareness of Kuching and the richness of things it has to offer to the rest of the world.

“With the UCCN status, we hope to be able to do exchanges with other cities in other countries and in a way to help upgrade the city’s outlook and development of gastronomical tourism products and souvenirs,” she said.

She also said that other cities in Sarawak could actually look at applying for the seven other categories namely crafts and folk arts, design, film, literature, media arts and music, if Kuching were to successfully win the recognition.

In the meantime, a committee was formed among the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, MBKS, Society Atelier Sarawak and SCA to put together the papers for the application.

Donna explained that action plans and strategies for Kuching in the next four years have to be included in the proposal submission.

“The closing date will be on June 30, 2021. Strategic planning for four years would have to go into the application where there are some compulsory things to do such as local community involvement, education and so forth.

“Once we have that ready and submit the proposal, Unesco will look into the application and probably send someone here without us knowing and by November 2021, we will know whether we got it or not,” she said.

Dayang, Edric, Wee, Donna and Hii (from left to right) taking a group photo during a press conference at the Kuching South City Council (MBKS) chamber today (Sept 28, 2020).

Together with her at the committee meeting were also MBKS mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Permanent Secretary Hii Chang Kee, Society Atelier Sarawak president Edric Ong and Society Atelier Sarawak advisor Datin Dayang Mariani Abang Zain.—DayakDaily