Abdul Karim (sixth left) with Elly (on Abdul Karim’s right) and the group after the press conference. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: It has been proposed that the Third Kuching International Bike Week (KIBW) next year be held in tandem with the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).

The one-week event was proposed for July 4 to 13 at Padang Merdeka where it will end together with the RWMF.

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister cum Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah stated that the plan would benefit the two international events as together they could attract more people and increase tourist arrivals in the state.

He said, “The organiser, Sarawak Motorcycle Association (Sama), has been looking in depth to place the date of the event closer to the RWMF, which is also scheduled to take place in July next year, so that they can be of help to each another.

“They (Sama) will hold roadshows in neighbouring countries to invite their bikers to come to Sarawak for the two events. Although they are separate events, they can support each other by attracting each other’s crowds. It so happens that lovers of big bikes also tend to love music,” he said.

“We hope they can escalate the state’s tourism development towards fulfilling the government’s call to host Visit Malaysia Year (VM2020) next year.”

Abdul Karim (sixth left) with Elly (on Abdul Karim’s right) and the group after the press conference. Photo: Ghazali Bujang

He said these at a press conference after receiving a courtesy call from Sama representative in his office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur here, yesterday.

The bike week will involve all types of bikes such as kid’s push-bikes, off-road motorcross challenge bikes, brother moto group carnival, high-powered bike showcase and retro group bikes which will be led by a Malaysian celebrity, Faizal Hussein.

In addition, there will be other special events such as Sukan Rakyat, Food Truck Carnival and concerts.

Throughout the week, the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) will also open a special counter for people to check and pay their fines.

Five groups will launch their ride across Southeast Asia, namely GBIM TransBorneo 2020, DZ Borneo Ride, Tengku Temenggung Terengganu Ride Borneo, Indonesia Harley Borneo Ride and Thailand Luca Mallee Travel.

Abdul Karim believed that the bike week will be the largest to be held based on the tentative number of participants and invited dignitaries.

When asked whether the bike week would be included in the State Tourism Calendar, Abdul Karim said that the government has yet to decide on the matter.

“For an event to be included in the calendar, it must meet a certain standard because the calendar will be promoted overseas,” he explained.

Sama was officially registered on August 15 as an umbrella association for over 100 local motorcycle clubs in the state which have about 3,600 riders. The numbers are expected to increase tremendously when they hit the roadshow next year.

Sama aspires to be recognised as the state’s motorcycling authority, acting as official spokes-entity for all Sarawak motorcyclists regardless of the their bikes’ capacity while championing their rights to safe and adequate use of the roads.

Also present at the press conference were Sama president Datin Seri Elly Md Yusuf and vice presidents Azri Nor, Eric Wong and Mark Gone.