Datuk Dr Ir Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR: With the upcoming launch of D-Virtual Park just next month in Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad (Serba Dinamik) already has greater plans in mind for its virtual reality (VR) theme park.

Datuk Dr Ir Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah

The company’s group managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Dr Ir Mohd Abdul Karim Abdullah revealed that they planned to patent the brand name and expand the park into a franchise programme.

“We aim to launch it not only nationwide, but globally in all the countries that we are positioned in,” he said during an interview on Wednesday at Menara Serba Dinamik here.

He remarked that it would be a Disneyland-esque brand name.

With D-Virtual Park (DVP) being the first of its kind in Borneo, it would certainly elevate the name of Kota Samarahan onto the global map.

In fact, if you included its hologram theatre into the mix, the park would be considered Malaysia’s first VR park with a hologram feature.

“The hologram theatre demonstrates one of the pillars of the Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 and it is being used for quite a number of applications,” said Mohd Abdul Karim.

Giving a few examples, he said that hologram technology could allow prominent leaders and educators in highly specialised fields to virtually be in more than one location at the same time to present talks.

“An example close to home is its application to simulate historical leaders such as Rajah Brooke to educate the people about the history of Sarawak in a livelier manner,” he said, adding that performers who had passed could also be virtually recreated.

He said that it was good for the community to be exposed to this technology. At the same time, he said that Serba Dinamik was also looking beyond such technology utilisation.

“As this park is collaboration with the start-up platform called Startup Borneo, they will come up with more creative digital technology and so on,” he said.

He explained that for this to be take place, an ecosystem would have to be created, involving prototypes, software, hardware, and more.

“So, we are hoping that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are able to manufacture parts and components would get in contact so we can also help them to build up their businesses,” said Mohd Abdul Karim.

He said that the project had received tremendously positive thumbs up from the Sarawak government and authorities from various parties.

“At the end of the day, what we are doing will be very beneficial for the people,” he said.

While many would think that a VR theme park would be more suited to the younger generation, he believed that people of all ages would be able to enjoy the variety of activities there.

“One of the features which would be attractive to the older generation is the P Ramlee content which we have designed for the hologram theatre,” he said.

Touching on the progress of the project thus far, he said, “It is more or less there. We have brought in quite a number of other institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who have expressed their interest. We are also engaging tourist agencies and regulators.”

According to Mohd Abdul Karim, they were planning to have a soft launching in the first week of next month followed by the official opening in the third week. He said DVP occupied nine blocks of three-storeys each and would involve an area of 570 square feet.

“The great thing about this being a digital park is that you can always change the content so that visitors will not get bored,” he said, pointing out that technology evolved rapidly and would have to be changed accordingly from time to time.

The park offers a variety of VR entertainment, including a flight simulator called VR Elevation D’Luxe and a battleground simulator called VR Knight Rider.

“The synchronisation and consolidation of all these different contents and products have been fully done by the Serba Dinamik team,” he highlighted.

According to Dr Mohamed Ackiel Mohamed, senior vice-president of Serba Dinamik’s IT and education and training business unit, they were targeting half a million visitors per year – comprising tourists and locals.

A total of RM13mil has been invested by Serba Dinamik for this project – RM8mil for the park itself and RM5mil for Startup Borneo.

On another note, Serba Dinamik had also considered the surrounding area which included stalls selling vegetables and fruits.

“We have spoken with the municipal council there and they have agreed to us redesigning all the stalls so that it looks attractive and the sellers can still conduct their business there,” Mohd Abdul Karim said, adding that they would also be implementing a cashless payment system.