Abdul Karim (seated centre), Park (second right), Mazuki and Khalid Syed Ali with participants of the workshop.

KUCHING : Tourism, Arts, Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah has suggested that  an Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre be set up in Sarawak to preserve the state’s art and culture.

He made the proposal in his speech before officiating at the closing ceremony of the 2019 Expert Workshop for ICH Video Production Project in Southeast Asia  at the Sarawak Cultural Village’s Auditorium in Santubong yesterday.

The minister said it was necessary to preserve the intangible cultural heritage for the future generations.

“Arts and culture form the core of identities for our communities and signify the essence of their existence. It is also an extension of human expressions,” he said

Abdul Karim pointed out that Sarawak had metamorphosed from an agricultural into an industrial state.

“Malaysia, especially Sarawak inherits an endless potpourri of cultures, customs and traditions as the people are multicultural, multiracial and multi-religious.

Abdul Karim (seated centre), Park (second right), Mazuki and Khalid Syed Ali with participants of the workshop.

“In Sarawak only, we have over 27 sub-ethnic groups with their own oral tradition and expressions, performing arts, rituals, social practices, festive events, traditional craftsmanship and practices concerning nature.

He said with the support of the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Culutral Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region  under the auspices of Unesco (Ichcap), Sarawak can continue to safeguard and properly document its rich cultural heritage.

Abdul Karim added the setting up of the  Intangible Cultural Heritage Centre would benefit all Asean people.

The minister welcomed the delegates and hoped that the workshop would help  to promote Sarawak tourism.

“We hope all of you will take some time off to visit Kuching City in order to experience yourself the local Sarawak hospitality as well as the beautiful home that we have,” he added.