By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 23: Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah highlighted the significant difference in allocation between the respective Sarawak and federal government allocations for Sarawak’s tourism product development.
Abdul Karim disclosed the federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (Motac) only allocated RM18.523 million as compared to RM360.265 million allocated by the Sarawak government under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) and RM133.25 million under the People’s Project initiative.
“This is a big gap. I hope the Federal Minister of Tourism (Dato Sri Tiong King Sing) who is a Sarawakian can fight more for this (Sarawak).
“We also have a Deputy Prime Minister (Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof) from Sarawak, (who) must fight for this. How can (Sarawak) only be allocated RM18 million a year (when the) Sarawak government gave RM300 million,” he emphasised when delivering the winding-up speech for his ministry at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting here today.
Abdul Karim said the tourism industry in Sarawak requires continuous efforts to develop and further improve the extensive catalog of attractions that Sarawak has to offer new and returning visitors.
“The development of this tourism infrastructure is guided by the PCDS (Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy) 2030 and the Sarawak 3rd Tourism Masterplan (STMP),” he added.
Apart from projects that are still in various stages of implementation, he said the ministry has proposed several new projects under the 12MP Mid-Term Review which includes the Sarawak Arts Gallery at the Old Kuching Resident’s Office, Miri Cultural and Heritage Museum at the Old Miri Resident’s Office, and the restoration and upgrading of the Islamic Heritage Museum building and exhibitions.
Abdul Karim expressed confidence that the Sarawak and federal tourism ministries can cooperate to revitalise tourism in the country.
“Being a Sarawakian, the opportunity for close cooperation and smooth channel of communication is more certain.
“My ministry looks forward to working closely with Motac on tourism promotion especially in line with Visit Malaysia Year 2025, event funding, tourism products development and maintenance, tourist guide licensing and syllabus, enforcement of licensing and reinstatement of Motac Sarawak Office in Sibu and Miri, connectivity and accessibility, national eco-tourism and national tourism plan, Sarawak-Malaysia My Second Home (S-MM2H), crafts and many others,” he added. — DayakDaily