(From sixth left) Tiang, Ting, Hii (fourth right) and others gesture when closing the 2022 Sibu Gateway Chinese New Year Market here tonight. – Photo by Peter Boon
SIBU (Jan 30): An event promoting Sibu as a riverine town by the mighty Rajang River looks set to replace the popular Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF), hinted Pelawan assemblyman Michael Tiang.
He said the event is likely to be held later this year in October.
“Very likely BCF will be replaced this year by another similar, but more unique, kind of festival.
“We have something in mind already, which is very unique for Sibu. You can’t find it elsewhere — only in Sibu — something to replace BCF,” he said, adding that they were looking forward for that special event.
The Assistant Minister of Public Health, Housing and Local Government told reporters this after closing the 2022 Sibu Gateway Chinese New Year Market here last night.
When pressed further for reasons why the event would replace BCF, Tiang said they wanted to have something different for Sibu.
“(We want) Something that is very unique to Sibu which you can’t find anywhere else.
“We want to promote Sibu’s unique identity as a town by the Rajang River,” he said, adding this event would have a different moniker.
Touching on the festive market, he was elated by the good response it received.
“I was told, on average, more than 10,000 visitors checked out this market nightly. I was also informed that over 110,000 people have visited this market over the last 10 days.
“It is indeed a record and it is a success, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.
When asked if events such as the Chinese New Year Market would be promoted as a calendar of events to draw crowds to Sibu, he answered affirmatively.
“In fact, we had planned this earlier but had to delay it due to Covid-19. It has received a good response, which goes to show the public in general still like these sorts of events — and yes, we will be rolling out more,” he said.
He added a similar market would be organised for the coming Ching Ming Festival to take advantage of the crowds returning to Sibu.
Tiang further hinted more interesting events would be organised this year in collaboration with the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) and non-government organisations (NGOs) such as the Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI).
On that note, he said Sibu would be promoted as an event tourism destination, given its strategic location as gateway to the central region of Sarawak.
In doing so, it would entice Sarawakians from both upstream and downstream to Sibu, Tiang pointed out.
“The main aim is to attract fellow Sarawkians in surrounding towns to Sibu.”
The closing ceremony was co-organised by SMC, SCCCI’s Young Entrepreneur Committee, Startup Entrepreneur Association Sarawak and PLUX Incubation Hub.
Among those present were SMC chairman Clarence Ting, Startup Entrepreneur Association Sarawak chairman Sean Hii, SCCCI president Datuk Lau Cheng Kiong, SCCCI Young Entrepreneur Committee president Councillor Ling Hua Wee and Sarawak Tourism Board Sibu assistant manager Siti Nabzah Zainoll Abiddin.