Ex-PM lauds virtual music event

KUCHING: The renowned Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) which was held virtually following a year’s absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic received high praise from former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“Well done and congratulations to the organisers of the RWMF. This year it was held online and it was a very good experience. Usually, it is organised every year in Sarawak and is an attraction,” he said in a Facebook post last Saturday.

He said the programme is a hallmark of the multi-racial and multi-religious country where festivals, culture and ethnic diversity of the society attracted outside visitors.

“For me, there is no other place in this world that can compare to our homeland. Malaysia is a beautiful country that is multi-racial and multi-religious.

“The festivals, culture, and ethnic diversity of our society have always been an attraction. We have a unique charm. We are in harmony.

“In the past, I did many missions abroad for diplomatic relations and to bring back investments. We also regularly promote Malaysia as a tourist destination,” he said.

He revealed that through his conversations with world leaders and industry leaders, the latter has been attracted to Malaysia due to its food and culture.

“I am very sympathetic to those in the arts, culture and tourism industries. They are all very much affected. Hopefully this pandemic ends soon,” he said.

The RWMF was held from June 18 to 20 where more than 12,400 people have registered, garnering tremendous response. It featured a 3D walkthrough of the Sarawak Cultural Village, the home of the RWMF.

It also showcased pre-recorded sessions with local Sarawak artistes among flashbacks of previous editions and interviews with various personalities.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the ministry will consider introducing a hybrid RWMF next year for those who are unable to travel to Sarawak physically.

“For those who cannot travel to Sarawak physically, they can still watch the show from where ever they are,” said Abdul Karim as quoted by a local portal.