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KUCHING, July 19: Come this September 26 to 30, Bintulu will once again host the country’s biggest international kite festival.
Organising chairman Datuk Talib Zulpilip said this year’s Borneo International Kite Festival 2018 would feature participants from 16 states and clubs, and 25 international participants.
Local participants include the Bolong Kite Team from Johor, Pulau Pinang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur, Perlis, Kedah, Team Impian from Melaka, Kelab Pelayang Pasir Gudang from Johor, Windancer Kuala Lumpur, Mersing Kite Team from Johor, De Junction Kite from Melaka, Fly N Smile from Kuala Lumpur, Key Force Team from Perlis, and of course Sarawak.
The international participants are from China, England, Japan, Vietnam, Italy, Sweden, Australia, Turkey, India, France, Switzerland, Taiwan, Singapore, Belgium, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia, New Zealand, Estonia, Colombia, South Korea, Russia, Spain, Portugal and Malaysia.
Talib told a press conference after chairing the organising committee meeting at Bangunan Baitulmakmur in Petra Jaya this morning that 120 individuals had registered for this spectacle. It would be held at the old Bintulu Airport and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is scheduled to launch it at 2.30pm on Sept 29.
The Borneo International Kite Festival was first organised in 2005. This year’s edition has been listed as one of Sarawak’s tourism calendar events together with the Rainforest World Music Festival, Miri Jazz Festival and the likes, said Talib, who is also Jepak assemblyman and Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman).
He revealed that the Borneo International Kite Festival had put Sarawak, particularly Bintulu, on the world map prominently and boosted the state’s tourism sector.
“The festival broke (sic) the Malaysia Book of Records in 2013, where 2,550 kites were flown all at once. It broke another record in 2014 for the longest arch kite tunnel that measured 500m with 2,500 kites.
“Another Malaysia Book of Record (entry) was broken in 2017, this time with the longest wind garden street,” said Talib.
He said the festival started to draw international participants in 2013 when it organised the first Asian Pacific Sport Kite Championship. It drew participants from Japan, China, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia with professional board of juries from England, Japan, France and the USA.
“This year promises a better festival to boost its prestige. Each year, we received more and more participation not just locally but also internationally,” said Talib.
Meanwhile, Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) general manager Rodziah Morshidi, who is also a member of the organising committee, said apart from kite flying, more than 100 stalls selling various items, including souvenirs, would also be set up at the trade expo at the festival ground.
“Besides enjoying kites, the festival also opens up opportunities for traders from all over the state to open up stalls selling their products. Participating traders come all the way from Kuching, Simunjan to Limbang.
“The festival is also very family-oriented. Each year at the festival, after 5pm, families and members of the public are (welcome) to fly their own kites at the festival grounds. At night, there will also be concerts and performances,” she said. — DayakDaily