Sarawak will allow inbound flights pending improved Covid-19 situation

Abdul Karim, being flanked by Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Sebastian Ting (left) and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Hii Chang Kee (right) speaking at a press conference after launching the Journal of Responsible Tourism Management at Bangunan Baitul Makmur in Kuching today. (Aug 10, 2020)

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Aug 10: Sarawak will allow more flights into the state by this weekend if there is no drastic increase in Covid-19 cases by August 14, assured Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

At the same time, he assured that the Sarawak government would monitor the situation as a precautionary measure against the deadly coronavirus.

“The ministry had a meeting with the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) this morning. We will inform the airlines if there is no drastic increase in cases, then after August 14, we will open up,” he told a press conference after launching the Journal of Responsible Tourism Management at Bangunan Baitul Makmur here today.

Abdul Karim added that his ministry was aware of the problem faced by local hotel operators after the number of flights had been reduced for two weeks from August 1 to 14 for Sarawak to combat the increase in Covid-19 cases.


“We know the problems that they are facing in these two weeks because of less flights coming into the state. It is a chain reaction, not only hotels suffered but others like transportation are all affected one way or the other.

“August 14 is a few days more. Hopefully after August 14, things will return to normal,” said Abdul Karim.

He reiterated that the measures taken by the government was not to trouble the people but to protect Sarawak against the deadly virus.

On tourism, Abdul Karim said his ministry was working with the local councils and elected representatives to identify places in Padawan, Bengoh and Bau that have tourism potentials such as waterfalls and caves.

“We know there are such attractions in the areas. We can introduce waterfall trail or cave trail. We will look into the matter. I like these places because they are very near to the city. If it is too far, tourists, whether local or foreign, will find that it takes too long to reach and they might not want to go,” added Abdul Karim.—DayakDaily