Ting (left) presents a souvenir to Dr Sim. Bujang is at second left.
SIBU (July 20): Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) aims to hold a bigger and grander Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) next year.
Speaking at the opening of BCF last night, chairman Clarence Ting told his councillors to start organising the event in November this year.
“If we start next year, I think it would be too late and we should make it bigger and grander next year,” he said, adding this was his first BCF since taking over as SMC chairman in 2019.
“BCF was conceived in 2003 by the late Datuk Robert Lau (Hoi Chew), our then chairman. I thank him for starting this and it grew bigger under the leadership of Datuk Tiong Thai King.”
Ting said after suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic, he believed Sibu needed a boost, thus BCF is important to bring the people out again and to learn to live with the virus.
He pointed out that when planning for BCF began this year, they were sceptical whether it could happen.
“Tonight (yesterday) it really happened and I am so proud to see all the dances come from our local people. They have put together a show for all of us,” he said.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said BCF has huge potential to become an international cultural event in future with collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts and federal Ministry of Tourism Art and Culture.
“BCF, no doubt is the most iconic event and main highlight of Sibu Calendar of Tourism Events.
“Tourism is an essential economy sector as it is able to create various job opportunities and provides livelihoods for many millions more in both developing and developed economies,” he said.
Dr Sim, who is also Public Health, Housing and Local Government Minister said the ministry has introduced Sustainable Development Goals to the local governments in the state.
He called on local councils to embark on more community initiatives towards creating a sustainable city in 2030.
Also present at the event were Deputy Ministers for Public Health, Housing and Local Government Datu Dr Penguang Manggil and Michael Tiang; Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew; Senator Robert Lau Hui Yew; Bukit Assek assemblyman Joseph Chieng; and BCF organising chairman Bujang Abdul Majid.