RWMF to be postponed until further notice: Abdul Karim

Abdul Karim (seated centre) responding to questions from reporters during the press conference. He is flanked by Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan (left) and MTAC permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Mar 13: The world renowned Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2020 slated to be held from July 10 to 12 at Sarawak Cultural Village will be put on hold until further updates in view of the worsening Covid-19 situation in Sarawak.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC) Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said all major tourism events within the next two months will be postponed until further notice in a directive from the state government.

Abdul Karim said the difficult decision to defer one of Sarawak’s major flagship events but one that had to be made as public health was a top priority during the Covid-19 global pandemic.

“All events which involve the public with more than 250 people are required to be postponed.

“In view of that, since my ministry, Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as Youth and Sports have several events which are going to be held in the next few months, we have to abide by the state’s directive and postpone them.

“Those events will not be cancelled but being postponed until the situation (Covid-19) gets better and subsides.

“If it subsides within one or two months, the organising committee are able to handle them in the third month, I would like to see those events being revived,” he told reporters during a press conference held at his office here today.

Abdul Karim said the decision to postpone some major events by MTAC was due to the latest advisory from the State Disaster Management Committee.

Meanwhile, the RWMF festival was launched by Abdul Karim at the Auditorium of Old Court House about 24 hours earlier.

Abdul Karim pointed out that when he announced the launching yesterday, the state had not yet issued a directive large public gatherings.

He added that his ministry was also postponing more than 30 business events and other tourism events such as the Spartan Race Sarawak 2020 which was supposed to be held next month, the Borneo Jazz Festival in Miri, Borneo Cultural Festival in Sibu and so on.

Earlier today, Sarawak recorded its first cases of Covid-19 with three persons testing positive for the disease.

State Disaster Management Committee’s chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas in a statement said two people were from the cluster attending the ‘Ijtimak’ (religious gathering) in Sri Petaling mosque in Selangor from February 28 to March 1 while another person was a family member associated with one of the two that attended the gathering.—DayakDaily