Goal – Sarawak as premier tourism destination


KUCHING: The renaming of the former Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MTAC) to the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts (MTCP) does not affect the scope and coverage of the ministry which will continue to uphold its vision.

Its Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said this vision was to ensure Sarawak becomes a premier tourism destination and a unique showcase of Sarawak’s arts, culture and heritage.

“The creative economy consists of many sub-sectors. The Malaysian National Creative Industry Policy identified an exhaustive list of creative offerings, which if grouped into smaller groups, can be allocated into ten main categories.

“They are Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Music, Literature, Film/TV/Gaming Content, Fashion and Design, Traditional and Cultural Arts, Creative Education, Creative Technologies, and Culinary Arts,” he said when officiating at the MTCP mandate ceremony at Waterfront Hotel here on Saturday (Jan 22).

He said each one of these sectors had their own behaviour, issues and mechanisms, and thus required a tailored approach for their nurturing.

On the MTCP Strategic Retreat 2022, he said the ministry had spent the whole of Friday to recap last year’s performance and to chart the way forward for this year.

“This is the time of the year when we evaluate opportunities, achievements, weaknesses, and areas that we can take advantage of to improve ourselves and generate more essential ideas for the new year,” he said.

Abdul Karim expressed full confidence that MTCP and its agencies were on the right path to lead the tourism and creative industry towards recovery after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Although we are in the second year of the Covid-19 pandemic which started in March 2020, I am glad to see that our ministry and its agencies including Sarawak Tourism Board, Sarawak Convention Bureau, Sarawak Museum Department, Sarawak Arts Council and Sarawak Craft Council have not slowed down their pace but have tried their best to review the directions and strategies to help the tourism, arts and culture industry to weather the storm and re-emerge from the difficult times,” he said.

He was also glad that during the pandemic, MTAC had worked closely with Economic Planning Unit (EPU) Sarawak and tourism, arts and culture industry players to come up with the Sarawak’s Third Tourism Master Plan 2021-2035.

“This is thus indeed timely given the changing tourism landscape especially with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said, adding that the plan took cognisance of the current challenging conditions requiring changes to business models and also focused on the long-term development needs of the tourism industry.

Abdul Karim, who is also Youth, Sport and Entrepreneur Development (MYSED) Minister, also encouraged those under MTCP to work closely with MYSED as both ministries are very much associated when it comes to the promotion and development of the tourism and creative industry.

Also present were MTCP Assistant Ministers Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew and Datuk Snowdan Lawan, as well as MTCP permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee.

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