No tourism grants or loans available, but Tourism Ministry supports events, workshops related to art, culture, heritage

Abdul Karim delivering his ministerial winding-up speech for Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts during the DUN sitting on Nov 28, 2023. Screenshot taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit livestream on Facebook.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Nov 28: The Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts does not offer tourism grants or easy loans.

Instead, Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah highlighted that the ministry provides grants for organising events and programmes as well as simple event funds for workshops related to art, culture and heritage for tourism industry players.

“Sarawak government through the Ministry of International Trade, Indstry and Investment (MINTRED) and Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development (MYSED) also provides financial assistance to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) involved in the tourism sector,” he said in responding to a query from Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh during the former’s ministerial winding-up speech at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting here today.

Abdul Karim further noted that the ministry pays attention to tourism development applications from all elected members. These include proposals for quarry transformation in Kota Sentosa, the improvement of Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial in Sibu, the creation of the Tourism Discovery Centre (TDC) in Pusa, and the promotion of eco-tourism products in Murum and Belaga.

Highlighting collaboration efforts, Abdul Karim stated: “The Divisional Tourism Task Group (DTTG), chaired by respective division residents, has been urged to collaborate on planning with Regional Development Agencies such as Greater Kuching Coordinated Development Agency (GKCDA), Betong Division Development Agency (BDDA), Mid Rajang Development Agency (MRDA), and Ulu Rajang Development Agency (URDA).”

“My ministry will study all proposals and applications along with the tourism committees of these agencies. This will enable the thorough scrutiny at the State Tourism Coordination Committee level,” he assured.

Abdul Karim added that the proposals submitted through DTTG currently under study include Regatta Kalaka and Kalaka Criterium Challenge, with decisions expected to be finalised in early 2024. — DayakDaily