|Abdul Karim speaks to the content drivers of WAK 2017. Also seen here are Marina (centre) and Donald (right).|
KUCHING: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah wants to see the What About Kuching (WAK) festival continue in coming years because it would be a waste to deprive locals of a platform to showcase all that was seen last month.
“I’m really impressed by what has been done by the community of Kuching,” he said during the WAK 2017 after-party on Monday night at Grand Margherita Hotel here.
The first WAK celebrating the arts, culture and lifestyles of the people of Kuching has just concluded, ending an event-packed month of October which saw everything from beads to beats, large-scale international events to local special interest tours, and events packing every weekend.
|The after-party turned into an impromptu concert as musicians and singers from various bands jammed together, and the crowd danced among the tables.|
“I’m so happy to see what all the talented people of Kuching had been able to produce in one month.”
He added that while his ministry was not able to support the event much financially, the number and genre of events was eye-opening for them and everyone else.
“It shows that if we work together, pool our effort together, you will be able to overcome any obstacle and produce the best. That’s what I’ve seen in this one month.”
He added that we are fortunate to be in Sarawak, where many things that seem to cause protests in other parts of the country are still accepted here.
Reiterating what he said about Oktoberfest, Abdul Karim said that those who wish to partake may do so, while those who don’t can simply refrain from drinking.
“I hope that we are able to preserve this harmonious way of living in Sarawak. I hope that politically we are able to maintain it this way, to make sure that extreme influence from the west or other parts of the world will not reach us.”
Also present were Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, and WAK 2017 festival co-ordinators Donald Tan and Marina Foo-Tan.
The What About Kuching (WAK) 2017 after-party on Monday night was a time to relax and reflect on the month that went by, although later in the evening, many of the content drivers opted to burn leftover energy by dancing to live music.
In his own speech, Donald Tan said that testimonials received from visitors and locals had been overwhelming, with people saying that they would be sad when WAK ends.
“There were events every weekend for the last four weekends. The complaint was they didn’t know how to choose. That’s a good problem,” he said, adding that with the help of the ministry, WAK will be back next year. -TheBorneoPost