Members of a Thai dance troupe entertain the BCF 2023 International Night crowd with a traditional showcase. — Photo by Borhaniza Ali Basah
SIBU (July 23): The Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) could serve as a platform for Sarawak to foster better international relations, especially with its regional neighbours.
In highlighting this, Deputy Minister II for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Sarawak Michael Tiang said the organiser could invite more guests, participants and performers from overseas to future BCF events.
“I understand that this is the first time we are hosting an International Night at the BCF. This is indeed a great initiative by the SMC (Sibu Municipal Council) and a great move to elevate this festival to international status.
“This is our journey to not only understand our culture, but also to encourage cultural exchanges with other countries,” said the Pelawan assemblyman in his opening speech for BCF 2023 on Saturday night.
He also the SMC would bring in more international partners for the BCF next year, which he hailed as a great move in that it would make the event more exciting and interesting.
“BCF is a very special event for the people of Sibu because this is where we gather and celebrate Sibu and also celebrate our culture and heritage.
“It has become a symbol of our unity, our traditions, and our rich heritage. Yes, it is called the Borneo Cultural Festival and yes, I believe that this is Borneo, but this is also the time where we can connect with the rest of the world,” he added.
Moreover, Tiang also suggested SMC to invite popular restaurants and food shops in Sibu to open their stalls at the festival next year.
“Sibu has always been famous for the diversity and uniqueness of its food offerings.
“So when visitors come here next year, they can try all the delicious food at one place. We can showcase our food heritage in Sibu,” he said.
The BCF 2023 International Night showcased various performances by local and foreign groups including those from Thailand, Indonesia and China.
Sibu MP Oscar Ling, SMC chairman Clarence Ting and his deputy Mohammed Abdullah Izkandar Roseley, also the head of the BCF 2023 organising committee, were among those present.
Abdullah Izkandar (centre) presents a memento to Tiang, witnessed by Ling (second right), Ting (third left) and others on stage.