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.
He then pointed out that preserving the culture and traditions of all ethnic groups is crucial in preventing them from dying out due to the changing times.
“What we have inherited from our forefathers (culture and traditions) must be preserved.
“It is our asset and our identity, and we must be proud of it.
“Although I’m Malay, but as a minister in charge of culture, I want the culture and traditions of the various ethnic groups be preserved,” he stressed.
Abdul Karim also hoped that the people of Kampung Annah Rais – a Bidayuh village that is close to the city – would uphold and preserve the originality of their longhouse to attract more tourists.
Adding on, he said he was impressed by lifestyle of the villagers and also their longhouse.
“We want to turn this area (Kampung Annah Rais) into a tourism area – so try to keep the originality of the longhouse for the tourists to see.”
Abdul Karim said he also admired the spirit of unity shown by the residents of the 14 Biannah villages through the holding of the festival.
“The festival itself is a good start to strengthen the unity among themselves (the villagers).”
Abdul Karim later announced RM30,000 for the Biannah Association and RM5,000 for St Philip Padawan Parish.
Earlier, Biannah Association president Ahras Minah thanked Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, who is also Mambong assemblyman, for his allocation of RM70,000 to organise the festival.
Dr Jerip and state administrative officer for Padawan Sub-District, Rangen Jamang were also present at the event. -TheBorneoPost