Kuching to be promoted as ‘craft paradise’, says Karim

Karim (fifth left) with Dr Ghada (fourth left) unveiling the Kuching Craft City Plaque while others look on during the launching of conferment on Kuching City for Craft by World Craft Council at Old Court House, Kuching.

KUCHING: The city has the reputation of being the hub and gateway to the crafts of the indigenous tribes of Sarawak and entire Borneo.

These crafts are testaments to the wealth and diversity of their traditions and cultures in the forms of textiles, fibres, ceramics and wood.

Karim delivering his speech.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the states have many other sub-ethnics groups.

These are what make Sarawak a great place to discover for tourists, and therefore it has won the heart of the judges to declare Kuching as City for Crafts.

“I was also informed that the city has been conferred as the World Crafts Council-City for Crafts thereby joining the ranks of other Crafts Cities around the world in countries such as India, Indonesia, China, Thailand, Iran and twenty other cities the world over,” Karim said at the launch of conferment on Kuching as city for crafts.

Karim and others having a look at the AHPADA-WEFT Forum poster’s during the launching of conferment on Kuching City for Craft by World Craft Council at Old Court House, Kuching.

The citizens are very proud of the city itself and therefore we must find something unique for tourists to visit the city and therefore we have chosen crafts as one of the features unique here.

The upcoming event is linked to the World Eco Fibre and Textile Forum that have been supported by Sarawak government since its inception in 1999.

Karim added that the city of Kuching will not be promoting shopping paradise but arts, culture and crafts paradise to visitors who are planning to visit the city.

Karim pose for a photograph after presenting certificate and poster to one of the living legends.

“We will always work together with local entrepreneurs that are involved in the crafts market, as this is the opportunity for them to market their local crafts such as our famous textile design, ‘pua kumbu’.

“And not only that, but the local University of Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) also had implemented studies in crafts and arts.

He also said that soon Kuching will have its own craft centre similar to Miri’s.

“I have visited Miri where they have Craft Centre to show to visitors on the local crafts and this is one of centres that should be available in this city,” he said.

“The state government will always be the back bone to help local entrepreneurs in promoting the crafts and that will increase the number of visitors to the Sarawak this year.

“We have just recently discussed with AirAsia to add more connectivity flights to Sarawak and we are sure that the number of visitors to Sarawak will increase,” he added.

Kuching city was evaluated in October last year by the President of World Crafts Council Asia Pacific, Dr Ghada Hijjawi Qaddumi and the council members before declaring the city as city for crafts.

Also present at the event were Kuching North City Commission Mayor Datuk Abang Wahab Abang Julai and Kuching South City Council Mayor Datuk James Chan.

Karim (tenth left second row) with other distinguished guests poses in a group with all the living legends during the launching of conferment on Kuching City for Craft by World Craft Council at Old Court House, Kuching.