Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Selamat Hari Gawai


Mainland Chinese keen to explore Sarawak, says Abdul Karim

May 31, 2017

Abdul Karim giving his speech at the premiere of ‘Blue Tears’ which was filmed in Sarawak and attended by almost 5,000 crowd.
KUCHING: Sarawak has aroused interest from mainland Chinese who are keen to find out more about the state.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah discovered that many were curious about Sarawak from his recent trip to Guangzhou, China where he represented Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“Many are curious about Sarawak. We can see from the many questions that they asked during the dialogue and their enthusiasm,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

Abdul Karim had just returned from three-day official trip to Guangzhou, China from May 25 to 27, where he led a delegation to meet with representatives of Guangdong Tourism Bureau to discuss joint promotions as well as marketing with Sarawak.

He also spoke at the Malaysia-China Tourism Summit which was attended by travel and tour agents in Guangzhou.

New gym, new targets for state weightlifters

May 31, 2017

State weightlifting squad pose with Karim (second row, fourth left) and other guests in a photocall at Crossfit Kuching Gym yesterday.
KUCHING: State weightlifters now have a new location – the Crossfit Kuching Gym – to train.

According to Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the decision to train at the gym is part of the strategic plan to achieve more gold medals for Sarawak in the next Sukma to be held in Perak next year.

“Weightlifting is a potential sport and a total of 34 golds will be on offer in Perak for weightlifting, and we look at it as a possible goldmine for the state contingent,” he said at the gym yesterday.

Sarawak won one gold, three silver and three bronze medals at last year’s Sukma held in Kuching.

Describing that performance as unsatisfactory, he added, “as the host state, we could do better, and we need to plan early. Therefore we need to plan and formulate our winning formula from now.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Abdul Karim leads state tourism delegates in Guangzhou trip

May 30, 2017


KUCHING: Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah made his first official overseas trip to Guangzhou, China recently in his capacity as the state’s new Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister.

The ministry, in a statement, said during the trip Abdul Karim and his delegation met up with representatives of Guangdong Tourism Bureau to discuss on areas of joint promotions as well as marketing with Sarawak.

In Guangzhou, Abdul Karim also spoke at the Malaysia-China Tourism Summit as well as attended the premiere of ‘Blue Tear’ – touted as the ‘first ever online movie’ – which was filmed in Miri last year.

2018 Perak Sukma: Sarawak to spend RM10.9 million to prepare athletes

May 30, 2017

Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah said the allocation will be used to organise the Sarawak Games (SUKSA) in December.
KUCHING: The Sarawak state government will spend RM10.9 million to develop its athletes in an effort to make the state a sports powerhouse in the country within the next two years.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah said the allocation will be used to organise the Sarawak Games (SUKSA) in December and for preparing and training the athletes for the 2018 Perak Sukma (Malaysia Games).

The state government only allocated RM3 million for the the Sarawak contingent to 2016 Sarawak Sukma.

Abdul Karim said the big allocation was to meet the wish of Sarawakians who want Sarawak to win the Sukma overall champion title after 23 years.

"We came close to winning the overall champion title in 2016 Sarawak Sukma but we were denied of a grand podium finish after a few gold medals slipped from our hands.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Identify and nurture children’s talents, parents told

May 24, 2017

KOTA SAMARAHAN: Parents should help identify and nurture their children’s talent if they are weak in their academic performance.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said there were children who are not good in academic studies but have natural talents and skills.

He said parents who happen to come across children like this should not be afraid to develop their talents.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Minister says ready to help Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak

May 22, 2017

Abdul Karim (second left) presents medals and a certificate to a young exponent. At left is Song.
KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports is ready to provide financial assistance to the Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak even though the latter is not involved in competitive sports events.

Its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he was aware of other wushu associations which send exponents to represent Sarawak in national and international wushu competitions.

He nonetheless believed Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak also deserved to be assisted because it also promotes wushu which inculcates self-discipline among the younger generation.

“Call it performance arts or self defence, wushu can indeed instil discipline among the youth. 

I know there is another association, which is more involved in competitive sporting events. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Youths’ aspirations and feedback crucial for TN50


Abdul Karim (left) and Samarahan Youth and Sport Officer Syed Zyed Wan Asnawi during the TN50 Dialogue held at UiTM last Wednesday night.
KOTA SAMARAHAN: Youths’ aspirations are important in formulating the National Transformation 2050 (TN50).

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this during the Samarahan District-level TN50 Dialogue at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak last Wednesday night.

“We want to hear aspirations from youths. We want to know their feedback so the government can plan what is up for the next 30 years.

“We are now raising awareness on TN50, especially among youths. Youths will inherit TN50 as you are the future government of this country,” Abdul Karim told some 700 undergraduate students who attended the session.

Their input will go into formulating a policy which will map out Malaysia’s development plan for the next 30 years after 2020.

Ministry proposes study on Youth Index in the state



KUCHING: A study on the Sarawak’s Youth Index will be proposed to measure the quality and well-being of youths in the state.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the proposed study would be in collaboration with the Institute for Youth Research Malaysia (IYRES).

“The index will cover 12 domains comprising self-development, education, potential, economic well-being, media usage and political socialisation and 58 indicators.

“The Youth Index will be used as input for the formulation of youth development policy in Sarawak,” he said in his winding up speech yesterday.

Abdul Karim informed the august House that Sarawak aim to be the champion of 19th Sukan Malaysia (Sukma) to be held in Perak from Sept 12 to 22 next year.

STB to digitise all promo materials — Minister



SARAWAK Tourism Board (STB) will digitalise all promotional materials to increase its presence in ‘call for action’ booking portals to leapfrog its performance.

This is in line with the state government’s call for the use of digitalisation, said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“STB will still provide a face-to-face interaction marketing as human interaction in tourism business is inevitable and remains relevant although digital marketing is widely used,” he said in his winding-up speech yesterday.

He said his ministry had set up a consultative platform known as Sarawak Tourism Forum to engage and get feedback from tourism players.

Some requests from industry players made through the forum had been implemented while a few others were still at discussion level, he added.

‘RM60 million for 13 KRA tourism projects this year’


Abdul Karim shows his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex. Abdul Karim delivered his first ministerial winding-up speech yesterday.

KUCHING: The state government has approved RM60 million for the implementation of 13 Key Result Areas (KRAs) tourism projects this year.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah announced this in his winding-up speech yesterday, which led to Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) questioning whether the allocation was sufficient.

The DAP leader also queried why Mulu National Park, a Unesco-listed site had been excluded from the 13 KRA projects.

“I hear no promotions on Mulu Caves, which is a world heritage site that has been underutilised. The total amount of RM60 million for the 13 projects which will be carried out, do you think it is highly sufficient?” asked Chong, seeking a point of clarification.

Abdul Karim responded: “Definitely, Mulu is a world-renowned heritage and tourist destination which is something we should be proud of.”

Thursday, 18 May 2017

No go for waiver of 470 parking summonses during Malaysia Open – Abdul Karim

May 18, 2017

Abdul Karim is seen delivering his winding up speech.

KUCHING: A total waiver of the 470 summonses issued during the Malaysia Open 2017 held early last month “is not possible”.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said it was unfortunate that some supporters of the international event were issued the summonses for obstruction of traffic but he believed there were means to resolve this matter.

“A total waiver is not possible because we had given warning (before Malaysian Open 2017).

“We may give them some discounts (for the summonses), but not total waiver,” he said when responding to Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) who requested Karim to help with the waiver in the august House today.

Chong said he had written to the Commissioner of Police (CP) for Sarawak, but he had yet to hear from the police.

RM8.98 bln in tourism receipts expected this year

May 18, 2017

Abdul Karim holds up his points for his winding-up speech.

KUCHING: Sarawak is targeting five million tourist arrivals and expecting RM8.98 billion in tourism receipts this year.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the tourist arrival figure stood at 1.67 million as of April this year.

“As of Jan to April this year, visitor arrival figures stood at 1.67 million, indicating an increase of 17.26 per cent as compared to the corresponding period in 2016,” he said in his winding up speech in the august House today.

Last year, Karim said the state received 4.66 million visitors, bringing in an estimated tourist receipt of RM8.37 billion.

Such arrival figures, he added, showed an increase of 3.19 per cent against that of 2015.

Karim answers Chong on RM60 mln allocation for KRAs

May 18, 2017



KUCHING: Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Kota Sentosa) raised his doubts about an approved allocation of RM60 million for 13 Key Result Areas (KRAs) projects as announced by Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in his winding up speech today.

Chong also wondered why the Mulu National Park, which is a world heritage site, was not included in the KRAs, adding that the UNESCO-listed site was underutilised.

“I have paid attention to the 13 KRAs and I didn’t hear any promotions for Mulu Caves. And I think RM60 million is highly insufficient,” he said when seeking a point of clarification from Karim, who was then reading out his winding up speech.

In a response, Karim said Mulu National Park “is definitely a world tourist destination, something which we should be proud of.”

He added: “This is only my tenth day as the minister. But I’m not going to say that we are not going to look into this matter.”
 

SEA Games Torch Run from Lawas to Kuching

May 18, 2017

Karim (right) speaks to reporters as Snowdan looks on during the press conference. 
KUCHING: The Torch Run for the 29th SEA Games and 9th ASEAN Paralympics in Sarawak will commence in Lawas on June 8 and end in Kuching on June 15.

Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said five divisions in the state have been chosen as locations for the run.

According to the newly appointed minister, the Torch Run will begin on June 8 at the Sabah-Sarawak border at Merapok in Lawas with the distance of 7km and move on to Mulu, Miri on June 10 and to Sekuau, Sibu on June 11.

“The Run will continue across the longest bridge in Malaysia the Batang Sadong Bridge in Simunjan on June 12 covering a distance of 11km.

“From Samarahan, the Torch will be brought to Petra Jaya, Kuching where the run will continue from Bangunan Baitumal Sarawak to the Kuching Waterfront for a distance of 6km before it is flown to Perlis on June 14,” Karim said at a press conference yesterday.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

‘Enhance Selangau Fest to become international event’

May 16, 2017

SIBU: Selangau Festival can become an international event if it is enriched and better promoted, said Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah yesterday.

“Whether one ‘festival’ has the potential to be promoted internationally or not depends on what that festival has to offer, and the kind of promotion given to it.

“If the Selangau Festival has lots to offer, good promotion, easier connectivity…I don’t see any reason why it should not be promoted to international level,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun when officiating at the opening of the festival last Friday said the event could place Selangau town as a tourist destination in the future, provided it was more creatively promoted.

He said new activities must be introduced to make the festival exciting.

Private hospitals drawing medical tourists to state — Abdul Karim



KUCHING: Medical tourism in Sarawak is booming due mainly to the quality of health services in private hospitals coupled with the relatively cheaper charges.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Youth Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told The Borneo Post yesterday there has been an increase in the number of tourists from the neighbouring countries especially from Kalimantan seeking treatment here.

He added that the total number of tourist arrivals in 2015 was 4.5 million and in 2016 it reached 4.67 million.

“And for the first quarter of this year, the total number of tourist arrivals has already reached 1.27 million,” said Karim, adding that the target of tourist arrivals to the state for this year is 5 million.

Meanwhile, according to a spokesperson from Normah Medical Specialist Centre, they have various packages offered to foreigners, charging them as low as RM200 for simple medical screening test to the more sophisticated and complex medical treatment of various ailments.

Selamat Hari Guru


Monday, 15 May 2017

‘Abolition of cabotage policy good for auto import industry’


Abdul Karim (second left) witnesses the presentation of a mock cheque for the donations by Abang Khalid (left) to a recipient.

KUCHING: The abolishment of the cabotage policy will open up the market and spur further growth in the automotive import industry.

According to Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the slow growth of the sector had caused members of the Association of Malay Importers and Traders of Motor Vehicles Malaysia (Pekema) to face stiff challenges in their trade.

“Once implemented on June 1, import and export activities from outside Malaysia, especially from Japan, will involve direct shipment to both Sarawak and Sabah, and we hope that it can lessen the cost which Pekema members have to bear,” he said.

He was speaking at the Pekema dinner at Damai Beach Resort here on Saturday night.

He added that challenges faced by Pekema members meant that they needed to step up their game.


Sunday, 14 May 2017

Put Sarawak sports on the world map — Karim

May 14, 2017

KUCHING: Sports associations in the state have been urged to look beyond state and national competitions and go international.

In making this call, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said they should not only organise sports events at the state level but bring in more international competitions.

“By having more competitions of world standard, we not only further promote sports tourism which will also generate a lot of good things but also put Sarawak sports on the world map,” the minister said at the annual grants presentation ceremony at a local hotel on Friday.

Also present were Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan, permanent secretary to Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datu Ik Pahon and Sarawak Sports Corporation chief executive officer Dr Ong Kong Swee.

A total of RM5,262,600 was given out to 38 associations (RM4,398,000) and eight youth bodies (RM864,000).

Selamat Hari Ibu


Friday, 12 May 2017

Abdul Karim passionate about his new tasks


KUCHING: Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah is enthusiastic and raring to head the Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry, for these are areas he is passionate about.

“These is a very interesting portfolio which is very close to my heart. I’m a person who loves sports, travelling and arts.

“I’m thankful and consider myself lucky that I have been given a portfolio which is of interest to me because if you’re not passionate about things, doing it might not be to your contentment,” he told The Borneo Post when met after the opening of the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting yesterday.

According to him, the new ministry that he is in charge of, is a merger of two individual ministries namely Tourism, Arts and Culture as well as Youth, Sports and Solidarity previously but without the ‘Solidarity’ component.

“My expectation and hope after being appointed to be in charge of this ministry is to see both components Tourism, Arts and Culture and Youth and Sports ‘go up’.”

Monday, 8 May 2017

Karim sworn in as minister

May 8, 2017

Taib (third right) together with Abang Johari (third left) and four new members of Sarawak cabinet posing for photo after the swearing-in ceremony.— Bernama photo
KUCHING: Two ministers and two assistant ministers who were appointed in the Sarawak cabinet on Saturday were sworn in before Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud at a swearing in ceremony held at the Astana Negeri here.

Abdul Karim recieves his letter of appointment from Taib. — Bernama photo


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Abd Karim says looking forward to ‘bringing good things to Sarawak’

May 7, 2017

KUCHING: Newly-promoted minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he is looking forward to ‘bringing good things to Sarawak’ in the tourism and sport industries.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports said he was excited to be given the portfolio following the cabinet reshuffle the Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg announced yesterday.

“The portfolio given to me is an interesting one and I love that kind of portfolio. I believe the chief minister knows where my interest is because I’m quite close to him.

“It’s just that I’m quite surprised and at the same time I’m sad that I’m leaving Housing and Urbanisation Ministry because that’s another area where I have been quite involved in the last few years,” he said when met after the announcement at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here.

Abd Karim was assistant minister for housing and assistant minister for youth and sports prior to the major cabinet reshuffle.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Karim to be promoted to full minister

May 06, 2017


KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg announced a cabinet reshuffle after concluding the PBB ‘Jasamu Dikenangi’ special convention at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching here today.

Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan will be a Deputy Chief Minister effective tomorrow following a swearing-in ceremony before Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Two assistant ministers who are to be promoted to full ministers are Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports) and Datuk Talib Zulpilip (Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office – Integrity and Ombudsmen).

Abdullah Saidol (Corporate Affairs) and Snowdan Lawan (Youth and Sports) will be sworn in as assistant ministers.

Abang Johari also announced two new ministries – International Trade and E-Commerce, which is headed by Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and Education, Science and Technological Research – led by Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.

Ensure schools free from gangsters, drug traffickers and hooligans

May 6, 2017

SIBU: Serious efforts must be made to ensure that schools would be free from gangsters, drug traffickers and hooligans.

In stating this yesterday, Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stressed that the problem must be nipped in the bud; not ‘swept under the carpet’ for the sake of upholding the school’s reputation.

He was reacting to Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye’s call for schools authorities to give utmost attention to attempts by gangs to penetrate schools and recruit students to join them.

Lee had said school heads must not hide these activities just for the sake of maintaining the school’s name or reputation, and all teachers and school prefects must be the eyes and ears of the authorities to keep gangsterism away from schools.

“I am unsure how bad is the situation that is… gangsters recruiting school students as members but I certainly agree with MCPF that this matter cannot be ‘swept under the carpet’ to protect the good name of the school. 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Abdul Karim against citizens-initiated referendum

May 5, 2017

KUCHING: There is no necessity to introduce a citizens-initiated referendum (CIR) in the state, said Assistant Minister of Housing Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah. According to him, elections held in the state every five years is already a form of referendum.

“As it is, the rakyat has already mandated their elected representatives to speak on their behalf in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) and Parliament.

“Why do we need to waste time and money holding ‘people’s election’ or referendum again for every important issue that arises?” he questioned.

Abdul Karim was commenting on Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How’s plan to table a private member’s bill at the coming DUN sitting to enact a state law to provide for the holding of CIR in Sarawak.

The state PKR vice chairman who submitted his private member’s bill last week said the indicative referendum will show the opinion of Sarawakians on specific questions but will not be binding on the government.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Clarion call to remember athletes from our past

May 3, 2017


MIRI: The contributions and sacrifices of veteran state athletes must never be forgotten.

The call was made by Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah who said these athletes had to overcome hardships and difficulties.

“In applauding today’s heroes like Datuk Lee Chong Wei, Datuk Nicol David and Pandelela Rinong Pamg, sometimes we tend to overlook the contributions by our sports legends who achieved their triumphs during a time when there was limited or no facility at all.

“I believe that it is the responsibility of all – the government including my ministry, the media, the NGOs and, most importantly, the sports associations – to be aware of the welfare and wellbeing of our veteran athletes, especially those who are no longer able to be active in their games.

“I know that these veteran sportsmen and sportswomen did not do it for the money; to them, it’s all about state and national pride. This said, we all must not let them live in poverty. In fact, I call upon all the associations to ‘put a little bit of pressure’ upon the government in finding ways to help these individuals.


Kuching asked to host New Year countdown

May 3, 2017

Abdul Karim (front, fourth left) officially closes the 10th Satok Fest with an event gimmick.
KUCHING: Kuching City should consider hosting its own New Year countdown celebration as part of efforts to make the city more liveable.

Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said New Year’s Eve in Kuching has been rather quiet in recent years.

“I have observed this and have informed the mayors of Kuching, in which we never seem to have something on for New Year’s Day, and that we always miss the countdown. 

Kuching in these two, three years has been rather quiet on this matter as there weren't any (events) going on. 

Maybe it could consider having a fireworks display like in Hong Kong or Dubai,” he said when representing Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at the 10th Satok Fest closing ceremony on Sunday.

Monday, 1 May 2017

‘Onus on police to enforce Second Hand Dealer’s Act’



SIBU: The implementation of Second Hand Dealer’s Act 1946 will not be effective in curbing metal thefts if no regular checks were carried out on second-hand goods dealers.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said now that the Act is fully implemented, the onus is on the police and related agencies to enforce it.

He said this in response to the media report that Second-Hand Dealer’s Act 1946 is now fully enforced in the state.

Kuching district police chief ACP Abang Ahmad Abang Julai was reported to have said the Act would help curb metal thefts.

“I am happy to hear that the Second Hand Dealer’s Act is finally fully enforced in Sarawak.