By Nur Ashikin Louis
KUCHING, May 9: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) and the Sarawak government are working together to nominate the city of Kuching to be recognised as the Creative City of Gastronomy at the Asean and Unesco levels.
Motac Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said Malaysia’s intention to nominate Kuching, Sarawak into the list of Unesco Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a pragmatic effort and will have a positive impact on local socio-economic development.
It will also increase the visibility and positive image of Malaysia and Sarawak, especially on the international stage.
“With a variety of heritage menus and ethnic-based dishes, Kuching is the top choice to be appointed as a creative city in the gastronomy category. Its rich biodiversity which has a variety of herbal plants that can be used as a food source can add value to this city to represent Malaysia.
“With the status of this creative city, Kuching will be able to join 11 other creative cities that have existed at the Asean level, under the Asean Creative City Network (ACCN).
“The initiative to nominate Kuching as the Creative City of Gastronomy will be one of the cultural tourism products that will further boost the Malaysian economy as well as tourism and culture industry,” she said in a statement dated May 8.
Introduced by Unesco in 2004, the UCCN initiative aims to foster innovation and creativity as a driver towards a sustainable and inclusive city.
There are seven main categories of creative cities that had been outlined by Unesco, namely knowledge and literature, film, music, design, traditional crafts and arts, gastronomy and media arts.
Nancy also revealed in her Facebook post on the same day that a discussion between the two parties (Motac and the Sarawak government) had taken place to allow them to identify other important matters which can add value to the effort to enhance the country’s visibility and image globally through cross-cultural and multicultural collaborations and strategies.
Among those present were State Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister (MTAC) Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, Motac secretary general Datuk Dr Noor Zari Hamat and MTAC permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee. — DayakDaily