Diversity No Barrier To Social, Political Stability

KUCHING: Sarawak may be a land with diverse ethnic composition but its people have always strived to ensure that their differences do not stand in the way of social and political stability.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the people of Sarawak have learned to live in peace and harmony as they cooperate and work together.

We have many small communities of at least 27 different indigenous ethnic groups spread throughout Sarawak, along the coast and rivers and towards the interior. We learn to survive by adapting to our natural environment which eventually defines each of our unique cultures, he said.

His text-of-speech was read by Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at the opening ceremony of the International Heritage and Cultural Conservation Conference 2018 (InHERIT) here yesterday.

As such, Abang Johari stressed that the state’s unique culture and arts ought to be preserved at all times.

Digitisation can be used to preserve, showcase and promote our heritage sites which can attract tourists to experience our cultures and traditions.

He noted that the Sarawak government is also taking an approach to highlight strategic places of interest for tourists.

One example is the upcoming new waterfront from Kampung Tanjung to Kampung Sungai Bedil, where the future tourist attraction will blend in with nearby villages to enable visitors to witness the lifestyle of the local community.

We also intend to have free tourist buses that go around Kuching City and heritage areas.

Another value-added product is the traditional heritage handicraft of the Malays such as ‘keringkam’ and ‘songket’ which can be promoted as products from Sarawak like the ‘pua kumbu’, he explained.

On InHERIT, Abang Johari hoped that the conference would provide a catalyst for other initiatives in the conservation of heritage.

The recommendations derived from this conference will be a vital input for the future of Sarawak.

It is our responsibility to carry these recommendations forward to ensure that they are placed high up in the state constitution of Sarawak, as an agenda for the benefit of the country and its people.

Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit, University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) vice chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Khairuddin Abdul Hamid, InHERIT chairman Assoc Prof Haris Fadzilah Abdul Rahman and MAEK Consulting Private Limited director Wong Chung Wan were among those present.