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Monday, 31 July 2017

Why only one ringgit?

July 31, 2017

KUCHING: The federal Tourism and Culture Ministry must explain to Sarawak and Sabah why their share of the tourism tax collected from foreigners visiting Malaysia has been reduced to RM1 for every RM10 collected when originally the total collection was to be divided equally among Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak and Sabah.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he was taken aback by this sudden reduction.

“This (equal distribution among the three regions)was proposed by the federal Tourism and Culture Minister (Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz) himself and later by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.


Thursday, 27 July 2017

Abdul Karim: Tourism tax exemption for Malaysians is good news

July 27, 2017

KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has welcomed the federal government’s move to exempt Malaysians from the tourism tax.

“Any news where Malaysians do not have to pay additional taxes is always good news to all.

“I am glad that the Malaysian public is exempted from this tourism tax and hopefully the Finance Minister (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) will confirm this good news,” he said.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

What About Kuching poised to become iconic city festival

July 26, 2017

Abdul Karim (centre) together with WAK 2017 festival directors and representatives from various participating groups after launching the festival yesterday.

Abdul Karim launching
What About Kuching 2017 yesterday.
KUCHING: The state government and the Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry will provide all the necessary support to ensure that What About Kuching (WAK) 2017 finds success and will become an iconic festival for the city in years to come.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah lauded the effort behind the community-initiated festival that celebrates the arts, culture and lifestyles of the people of Kuching.

“This is not something by the government. They (Kuchingites) came up with the proposal themselves,” he said during the official launch at the Old Courthouse compound yesterday.

Minister lauds Abas for organising upcoming tournaments

July 26, 2017

Karim (seated, centre) with Robert (right) and the ministry’s head of sports section Zul Usup (left) and Abas officials during the courtesy visit.
KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports will support any sports association that is able to bring in international competitions to the state.

“The international sporting events will bring in many foreign athletes who will be accompanied by officials and members of their families and this is good for tourism in Sarawak,” said its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah when receiving a courtesy call by Amateur Tenpin Bowling Association of Sarawak (Abas) at his office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur in Petra Jaya yesterday.

The Abas delegation led by deputy president Shaifulbahri Shukri and vice president Robert Lu included assistant secretary Angelo Koay, committee members Jackie Ting and Tan Chin Chai as well as Sarawak head coach Jackson Ting.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Sports powerhouse, tourism, air connectivity — Karim explains

July 24, 2017

Karim (sixth left), Sivapragasam (fourth left), MMAA patron Datuk Seri Dr V Pulainthiran (fifth right) and acting Sarawak Sports Corporation CEO Gordon Hon (third right) with the award recipients and honorees. 
KUCHING: With RM30 billion in the state reserves, Sarawak will be able to host more sports events at Asian, international or world level.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the reserves can be used to build and develop sports facilities to host these high-level championships.

“It is our vision to become a sports powerhouse in the country and that is why we are building many sports facilities that are of world standard,” he said during the welcoming dinner for participants of the Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championship at a local hotel on Saturday.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Galeri: Launching of the 31st Malaysian International Open Masters Athletics Championship

July 23, 2017

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg presents the trophy to former national and state sprinter Watson Nyambek on the behalf of the Sarawak team which was adjudged the best team for the march past during the opening ceremony. Also seen is Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Bid to host two major international sports events in 2019

July 23, 2017

KUCHING: Sarawak will bid to host two international events in 2019.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah in announcing this said the first is the Asian Masters Athletics Championship.

He said Sarawak was keen as the event has the potential to attract over 5000 athletes and officials from all over the Asian region.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Scouts to gather at Mt Serapi for three events

July 20, 2017

Abdul Karim (seated third right), Scouts Association of Malaysia (Sarawak Branch) chief commissioner Sudaryo Osman (seated second right) and other members of the organising committee give their thumbs-up to the event.
KUCHING: The first Sarawak Scout Messenger of Peace, Serapi Climbaton and Malaysia Scout Day 2017 will be held at Gunung Serapi, Kubah National Park, on Aug 6.

The Scouts Association of Malaysia (Sarawak branch) and the state Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports are jointly organising this programme to gather more than 1,500 scouts and others in conjunction with the national-level Malaysia Scout Day celebration.

“The national gathering aims to promote and strengthen unity and peace among scouts because scouts are the messengers of peace,” Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah told a press conference here yesterday.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

‘Itut’ vandals despicable, without right frame of mind — Abdul Karim


SIBU: The wilful damage to the wooden structure meant for the ‘Itut’ (swing) at Sibu Town Square has irked Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He urged the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) – the organiser of Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) – to take stern action against the culprits, whom he labelled as ‘without the right frame of mind’.

“Despicable. Whoever vandalised this structure must be sick in their mind. They must have evil intention in wanting to see an accident happen when the structure is put up for the public to use.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry set to manage national parks in Sarawak


KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry is set to take over the task of managing national parks in the state soon, according to its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

It is learnt that currently, the management of all national parks falls under Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC).

In this regard, Abdul Karim said his ministry has all the facilities that could be utilised to further promote the national parks in Sarawak as tourist attractions.

Inaugural ‘Sarawak Adventure Challenge: The Lost Mines’ to be held Oct 14 in Bau

July 18, 2017


Abdul Karim (fifth right) seen holding fliers for the event together with Lee (centre), Henry (fourth right), Miro (third right), Ik Pahon (second right) and other officials after the press conference yesterday.
KUCHING: The state government will organise a first-of-its-kind multi-sport adventure event, called the ‘Sarawak Adventure Challenge: The Lost Mines’, in Bau this year.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the event will be staged on Oct 14 and will offer cash prizes of over RM33,000.

“Sarawak is renowned for its rainforests, rivers and scenery, and the race route will take competitors through some spectacular landscape. Over the course of the event, competitors will cover more than 40 kilometres of mountain biking, more than 14 kilometres of trail-running, as well as a caving section,” he said during a press conference yesterday.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Galeri: A walkabout at Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV)

July 16, 2017

(From left) Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah Abdul Karim and his ministry's permanent secretary Ik Pahon make a stop at the RWMF stage to see a performance by one of the participating bands.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Minister says coach’s temporary rest unfortunate


KUCHING: Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said it was unfortunate that David Usop has decided to take a rest as Sarawak head coach.

“It is just unfortunate that he stepped down after two or three (recent consecutive defeats) matches.

“Probably, he might have set his own key-performance indicator (KPI) and if he can’t reach that KPI, he might step down,” Abdul Karim told reporters after his visit to Sarawak Museum Campus at its site office here yesterday.

Sarawak Museum Campus second biggest in the region

July 14, 2017

Abdul Karim (third left) being briefed on the Sarawak Museum Campus project by Lim. Lee is at second left and Ipoi, left.
KUCHING: The Sarawak Museum Campus when completed will be among the new landmarks in the city.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the new Sarawak Museum Campus covering 7,000 sq metres will be the second biggest in this region after the National Gallery Singapore (10,000 sq metres).

Abdul Karim said yesterday the construction of the RM300 million new Sarawak Museum Campus that commenced last year, was according to schedule at 37 per cent completion.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

RWMF gets 1Gbps connectivity boost

July 13, 2017

Abdul Karim (second right) walks through puddles of rainwater from the previous night to get to the festival stage on the left. 

Abdul Karim (third right) shows a copy of the book ‘Rainforest World Music Festival – 20 Years of Song and Rhythm in Sarawak’ after it was presented to him by the authors Gracie (fourth right) and Lah (second right). Also seen are Mary Wan (right) and Ik Pahon (third left).
KUCHING: The 20th Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) gets a connectivity boost from Sacofa Sdn Bhd, which recently increased capacity up to 1Gbps at Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) and the immediate areas.

This means people in the area can now enjoy free plug-and-play wifi access, a bonus for festival goers, journalists, and social media practitioners.

“In the past, those who came to RWMF complained of bad connectivity. With too many people, the speed was slow and there was no way to share real-time scenarios with their friends and relatives back home,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah yesterday.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Galeri: A briefing on RWMF 2017 and Rainforest Fringe Festival 2017

July 12, 2017

Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datin Amar Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang in a ‘wefie’ session after a briefing on RWMF 2017 and Rainforest Fringe Festival 2017 at Sarawak Tourism Complex.


Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg points to a picture being exhibited at the Sarawak Tourism Complex after attending a briefing on RWMF 2017 and Rainforest Fringe Festival 2017 at Sarawak Tourism Complex. He is accompanied by Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (second right), Joe Sidek (right) and Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin (left).


Monday, 10 July 2017

Plan to set up cultural centre for Biannah Bidayuhs gets minister’s nod


July 10, 2017

Abdul Karim (standing back, eighth left), with Dr Jerip on his right and Rangen (standing, left), joins representatives of the 14 Biannah villages in Upper Padawan in a photo-call.

KUCHING: The setting up of a cultural centre for the Biannah Bidayuhs gets the backing from Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The minister himself had proposed for such a centre to be built for the Biannah clan as a proper platform for them to hold events and showcase their rich culture and traditions.

“Looking at the very rich culture of the Biannah clan, I see the need to develop a cultural centre here (Biannah area).

“So I want the Biannah leaders to sit down and have a meeting on finding a suitable site,” he said in closing the two-day Biannah Cultural Festival 2017 at Kampung Annah Rais in Upper Padawan near here on Saturday night.

Held for the first time, the festival showcased the culture and traditions of the people from 14 Biannah villages.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Sabah, Sarawak to jointly seek deferring Tourism Tax

Sunday, 9 July 2017

KUCHING: Both Sarawak and Sabah will jointly make a request to defer the implementation date of the Tourism Tax directly to the federal Minister of Finance, said Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah.

Abdul Karim said both states had agreed on the resolutions and a memorandum of understanding would be forwarded to the federal minister for consideration.

“We wanted the date to be deferred to March 31 next year and I am very sure the implementation will be deferred,” Karim told reporters after he officiated the launch of the Rainforest Fringe here.

Karim further said the issue had more or less come to a good ending despite the spat between him and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz early last month.

On another matter, Karim said the state government would spend about RM2mil to organise this year's World Rainforests Music Festival (WRFMF), adding the organiser had also received sponsorships from the private sector.

Sarawak confident Tourism Tax to be deferred next year


KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports is confident the implementation of Tourism Tax will be deferred to next year.

Its minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sabah and Sarawak have come up with a Memorandum of Understanding for the federal government to consider.

“We are confident that the tax will be deferred to March 31 next year and it (the Memorandum of Understanding) will receive consideration from the federal government particularly the Finance Ministry.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

‘Ministry fully supports Borneo Fashion Week’

July 8, 2017

Abdul Karim (third right) trying the ‘sape’ when visiting the exhibition booth. Also seen are Lee (right) and Ik Pahon (second right).
KUCHING: The state government through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth and Sports fully supports the organising of Borneo Fashion Week to help put Borneo fashion on the world stage.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, said the event besides promoting local fashion internationally, will also help to develop the fashion industry in the state.

“The ministry (Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports fully support the event (Borneo Fashion Week) because it seeks to put Borneo fashion on the world stage through the digital platform and that is especially with young entrepreneurs of the state.

“If such event is held annually, the ministry will always give support,” he said at the launching of Borneo Fashion Week (BFW) 2017 at Borneo 744, here yesterday.

BFW 2017 which started yesterday and ends tomorrow is to create the entire manufacturing chain in the fashion industry within the state from designing right up to runway and retail.

This year’s edition of RWMF different from previous years

July 8, 2017

KUCHING: The 20th Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) is this year different from previous years with the presence of an inaugural Rainforest Fringe Festival (RFF) from July 7 to 16.

During the launching ceremony held at the Old Courthouse here yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said RFF is a 10-day spectacle of the best that Sarawak has to offer in terms of art, craft, music, fashion, food, film and photography.

“In previous years, RWMF was always confined in Damai, about 20km away from here.

Friday, 7 July 2017

‘Support vital in making RWMF a success’

July 7, 2017

Abdul Karim (third left) presents an appreciation certificate to a sponsor’s representative while (from right) Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Snowdan Lawan, Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin, and STB chairman Datuk Abdul Wahab Aziz look on.

(From left) Abdul Wahab, Snowdan, Lee and Abdul Karim at the dinner.

KUCHING: Festival organisers from Korea, Taiwan and Cuba who will join the Rainforest World Music Festival this year are eager to partner with tourism ministry to organise future festivals.

“The festival has come a long way from a mere 300 attendants for the inaugural event in 1998, to a crowd of over 18,000 people last year,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah at a sponsors’ appreciation dinner here Wednesday.

He said as the festival was continuing to grow in size, the support becomes indispensable and essential in making the festival more successful, providing a benchmark of similar international festivals in the region.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Best to wait till next year

July 6, 2017

Brooke (centre) presents Abdul Karim (second right) with a memento during the 137th anniversary remembrance and Lan Ngabang Raya joint celebration at Fort Margherita.

Abdul Karim says not time to implement tourism tax yet, several issues yet to be ironed out


KUCHING: The best time to implement tourism tax in Sarawak is early next year, says Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Following a discussion with their Sabah counterparts, Abdul Karim said July 1 was not practical as there are still a number of questions to be answered such as how the taxes would be distributed to East Malaysia, and how the mechanism would work.

“We have to give due consideration to forward booking. We have come up with all these good packages, hoping for tourists to come. 

"They have bought the promotion that we offered via Matta fair and so on. 

"And now, we want to tax them? That’s not good,” he said.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

My statement is similar as Masidi's - Karim

July 5, 2017

KUCHING: The meeting between tourism ministries of Sarawak and Sabah has seen both sides agreeing that if the Tourism Act 2017 were to be enforced, it should serve as a catalyst of growth for the industry.

In a statement issued yesterday, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment of Sabah Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said the meeting also agreed on the contents of a draft memorandum to be presented to the federal government.

When contacted, state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he agreed with what Masidi had said in the statement.

“Treat my statement as similar as his (Masidi’s),” Abdul Karim told The Borneo Post.

The statement further pointed out that the interest of the tourism industry of both Sarawak and Sabah was the overriding consideration in the preparation of the memorandum on the Tourism Tax Act 2017.

“The industry’s growth and sustainability are crucial to the future economic wellbeing of the two Borneo states,” added the statement.


Sunday, 2 July 2017

Al-Fatihah untuk Allahyarham Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman

July 02, 2017

Daud Abdul Rahman (10 October 1951 – 2 July 2017)
KUCHING: Former Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman has passed away today.

He was reportedly admitted to hospital after complaining of stomach pain on Thursday.

ACcording to his daughter, Siti Masitah, Daud died of a heart complication while undergoing treatment.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

AirAsia may resume Sibu-Kota Kinabalu flight

July 1, 2017

SIBU: AirAsia may resume its Sibu-Kota Kinabalu (KK) flight as the low-cost carrier is said to be keen in servicing the route again.

AirAsia discontinued the route in August 2009 after operating for four months, as MASwings had been given exclusive rights by the government to service the rural air routes.

Following that, there had been numerous calls from tourism players here for the flight to resume with the Sibu Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) being the latest to jump into the bandwagon.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said he had been informed that AirAsia was interested in taking up the Sibu-KK route.

“I was also informed that AirAsia had written to the Ministry of Transport and Malaysia Aviation Commission for the greenlight to fly that route and is awaiting their reply,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.