Sarawak Bonsai Association to State govt: Help us ship bonsai trees to Peninsular M’sia for competitions

Teo (left) and Jong standing next to one of the bonsai entries.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Feb 23: The only thing stopping us from competing in the national bonsai championships is the shipping restrictions, says Sarawak Bonsai Association (SBA) secretary Hayes Teo.

Teo, who is also organising chairman of the 2022 Sarawak Open currently held at La Promenade Mall, said Sarawak alone can feature up to 168 beautiful bonsai trees that are worthy for competitions.

“But we are living on an island. The bonsai plants cannot be shipped out or in because of various regulations.

“One thing is the soil. It is prohibited to ship items that contain soil because it carries bacteria,” he said.

An array of bonsai trees in various sizes at La Promenade’s ground floor.

Teo was eager to request assistance from the Sarawak government by issuing “special passes” to SBA to ship their bonsai artworks to Peninsular Malaysia for the national contests.

To resolve the issue regarding bacteria in soil, he said they could always disinfect the soil before shipments.

Until today, bonsai hobbyists in Sarawak have had no means to bring their well-cultivated trees to be showcased on other platforms, because of shipping limitations.

“It will be very helpful to have some support from the State government.

“Because if we were to follow the rules and regulations, like for example quarantining the plants for two weeks, they will die,” he told reporters during the 2022 Sarawak Open preview tour at La Promenade Mall here today.

A total of 34 suiseki and fossil entries in the 2022 Sarawak Open.

Teo also mentioned the recent National Bonsai Suiseki Show at Pavilion Bukit Jalil which regretfully could not exhibit bonsai trees from Sarawak.

SBA, a non-profit body, has been around for almost 30 years and currently has a membership of about 200 enthusiasts.

It is a platform for bonsai enthusiasts and local experts to exchange knowledge, and beginners are welcomed.

The ‘2022 Sarawak Open — Bonsai & Suiseki Championship’ organised by SBA and Hock Seng Lee (HSL) features altogether 168 entries that came from Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.

Among the 19 categories, four grand prizes namely 2022 SBA Most Outstanding Award, 2022 SBA Most Potential Award, 2022 SBA Best In Show Award, and 2022 SBA Hock Seng Lee Trophy will be selected following the judging process which will take place tomorrow (Feb 24).

The bonsai and suiseki exhibition however will last until Monday (Feb 28) throughout the ground floor of La Promenade Mall.

Also present at the preview tour to share his bonsai cultivating experiences was SBA president Johnson Jong, who had put in 11 entries himself in the 2022 Sarawak Open. — Dayakdaily