Dr Sim (centre) with Ting on his right and others launching the BCF.
THE annual Borneo Cultural Festival in Sarawak next year is set to be bigger and grander.
Speaking at the event opening, Sibu Municipal Council chairman Clarence Ting said the local council should start preparations for it in November this year.
“I want to tell our councillors that we should start preparing for it in November because if we do it next year, it will be too late.
“We should make it bigger and grander next year,” said Ting.
He said this year’s BCF from July 18 to 23 was too short – just six days compared to previous durations of 10 days to two weeks.
“In January, we had initially planned the BCF for five days only as we were not sure whether foreign performers could come to participate due to the Covid-19 pandemic restriction,” he said.
Ting also said that tribute should be paid to former Sibu MP Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew for starting the BCF in 2003 when he was the then chairman of Sibu council.
BCF was originally known as Pesta Sibu before going through several name changes, such as Millennium Celebration and Borneo Tribal Extravaganza.
Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who launched the festival, said BCF had huge potential to grow into an international cultural event with the help of the state Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Ministry and the Tourism, Art and Culture Ministry.
“BCF’s growth has been in tandem with the development of Sibu town. It is the most iconic event and main highlight of the Sibu Calendar of Tourism Events,” said Dr Sim.