By Wilfred Polo
KUCHING, July 27: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg urges Kuchingites to continue to strive to uphold Kuching as a model city.
“We have to do so in order to have a competitive edge and to be very dynamic in achieving our goal so that Kuching can always thrive and be a progressive city,” he said in his speech at the launch of the 31st Kuching Festival 2019 on Friday night.
The theme for this year festival is “Happy Kuching” and it will be held between July 26 to August 16.
“Given that this year is ‘Visit Sarawak Year’, I am confident that a festival like this will help to increase the number of tourists to come to Sarawak,” he added and reminded all parties to work together to ensure that Sarawak’s tourism sector was always be satisfactory and excited all the time.
Abang Johari opined that the combination of tourism and Sarawak’s diverse cultures will help to encourage Sarawak to move forward and contribute directly to attracting people around the world to visit Malaysia especially Sarawak.
He said when many tourists came to Sarawak, indirectly it opened the door to livelihood for local Sarawakians especially the small and medium industry players.
“It will good for our handicraft and food industry as there will be in great demand from local businessmen and foreign tourists.”
He said when indirect impact of the tourism sector was on the rise, unemployment rate among the locals could be reduced and it would resulted in reduction of social problems in Sarawak.
“We can see in this festival, there are many stalls open which will indirectly increase the income of Sarawakians. I was also told that there are some booths run by the young people and this proves that the youth are starting to venture into the business and at the same time trying to develop themselves.”
He lauded Kuching South City Hall (MBKS) Mayor Dato James Chan Khay Syn and its staff for their direct participation in Kuching Festival 2019.
“We must also not forget all our community who lives in Kuching City as they are always supportive in enlivening all the regular events organised and held by the state government,” he said
Abang Johari hoped that this kind of cooperation and support will continue in the future so that Sarawak will continue to be harmonious, prosper and developed.
His speech was read by Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian who also launched the festival on his behalf.
MBKS Deputy Mayor Hilmy Othman, Consul-general of China in Kuching Cheng Guangzhong, Acting Consul General of Brunei in Kuching Mohammad Ghazalie Abdul Latip, Mayor of Guro City of South Korea Lee Sung were also present at the festival launch. — DayakDaily