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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Oct 29: Malay villages around Kuching City are urged to promote their attractions including their culture through information technology (IT) to boost the state’s tourism industry and also the local economy.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said one of the main attractions of Sarawak is its multi-ethnic and multiracial composition.
He said tourists and visitors had indicated that these were among the most intriguing and attractive characteristics of Sarawak, and therefore the various ethnic groups in the state, especially the Malays in villages around Kuching City, should take advantage of that by promoting their traditions and culture on the Internet and through other IT platforms.
“Sarawak has people that do augmented reality (AR). We can promote our ‘kampungs’ with this technology, make it available online so that potential visitors and tourists can see our culture.
“We must promote our rich culture and heritage from the Malays, the Ibans, Orang Ulu, the Chinese, Bidayuhs, and other ethnic groups here, so we can promote the unity of Sarawak,” he said during the Pesta Warisan Melayu event near Satok here Sunday night (Oct 28).
Abang Johari advised the Malay community there to also defend their traditions and cultures while embracing IT and new ways of doing things.
By combining both tradition and technology, he said the Malays would be able to not just showcase their roots and traditions but also not be left out in terms of development in relation to economy and education.
He also reminded the Malays that the state government has been putting much effort in not just developing infrastructure in the state but also its tourism sector to help the urban and semi-urban communities, especially the Malays, to develop their socio-economic status.
“The state government has put a lot of effort into developing Kuching City and its surrounding areas like the Kuching Waterfront. From the waterfront, the physical development goes all the way to the Malay villages nearby.
“This year Sarawak received some 4.8 million tourists and visitors. AirAsia is also opening direct flights to and from Kuching-Jakarta and Kuching-Bangkok. On top of that, in the next two months or so Royal Brunei Airlines will also be flying to and from Kuching four times a week,” said Abang Johari. — DayakDaily