Sarawak invited as guest state at Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2023 to feature culture, local publications

Sherrina (centre) flanked by Japri on her right, and others in a group photo at the PBAKL 2023 press conference held in Sarawak State Library today (May 23, 2023).

KUCHING, May 23: Sarawak has been invited to be the guest state at the Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (PBAKL) 2023 this year, where it will be able to showcase its tourism, culture, creative arts, performing arts, and other sectors.

According to a press handout from the Sarawak State Library, PBAKL 2023 will be held from May 26 to June 4, 2023 at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur in Kuala Lumpur.

“PBAKL is Malaysia’s largest book fair, organised by the Ministry of Education Malaysia and the National Book Council of Malaysia (MBKM). PBAKL 2023 is the main annual event on the book industry calendar.”

Meanwhile, Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts (MTCP) permanent secretary Datu Sherrina Hussaini stated at the ‘Sarawak as Guest State to PBAKL 2023’ press conference, held today in the Sarawak State Library, “PBAKL 2023 will feature three pavilions, namely China as a Guest Country, Sarawak as Guest State, and the Ministry of Education as Guest Ministry.”

Sherrina explained that as the guest state, Sarawak will focus on culture, the creative arts, the performing arts, local publications, and local handicrafts.

She continued by stating that the goals of Sarawak as the guest state are to promote the tourism industry and investment in the state, to honour and showcase local culture and art, and to elevate the book and publishing industry in Malaysia and Sarawak in particular.

“Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will officiate PBAKL 2023 on May 27, 2023 at 2pm, and MTCP minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah will inaugurate the Sarawak Guest State Pavilion on May 26, 2023 at 11am.

“Among the highlighted cultures, performances, and local arts are bermukun/nopeng, ngajat, sape, songket Sarawak, and many others.

“Sarawak will not miss its special sale of books published by the Sarawak State Library and Sarawakian authors, crafts and Kek lapis, and a photobooth featuring traditional Sarawakian attire,” she added.

In addition to the exhibitions and programmes at the Sarawak Guest State Pavilion, there are daily events held for one hour on the main stage of PBAKL 2023.

On June 1, 2023, the Gawai Day celebration will also be held at the Sarawak Guest State Pavilion, where it will be enlivened by cultural performances and traditional Sarawak food feasts.

Sarawak Tourism Board, Sarawak Business Event, Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Department of Sarawak Premier, i-CATs University, and Centre for Technology Excellence Sarawak (CENTEX) are among the participating agencies at the Sarawak Guest State Pavilion, in addition to the Sarawak State Library.

Furthermore, Sarawak State Library chief executive officer (CEO) Japri Bujang Masli expressed hope that the programme’s target attendance this year will exceed 2 million, up from 1.25 million last year.

Japri also noted that more than 800 book publishers from various nations will be present at the event. — DayakDaily