SIBU: More ethnic cultural features will be explored and injected into the Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) to make it an international event.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian stated this at the closing of the festival here on Saturday night.

He added said his ministry would be working closely with the Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) and the Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry to make the festival more attractive and unique for foreign and local tourists as well as its participants.

Dr Sim’s text of speech was read by his representative and the ministry’s permanent secretary, Bakrie Zaini.

“The main challenge is to bring BCF to an international level, like our Rainforest International Music Festival (RWMF) in Kuching,” said the minister.

Bakrie (right) presenting a certificate to Tiong on behalf of Mafrica Corporation Sdn Bhd; a sponsor of BCF.

He pointed out that the BCF needed to be enhanced by introducing the concept of rainforest ethnic music, local signature food delicacies and more outdoor social celebration events into its programmes.

“BCF is also a community cohesion event. We need to engage more of the harmonious and cohesive lifestyles into the festival so that it can attract a bigger spectrum of visitors,” he said.

Dr Sim praised SMC for its creativity in introducing the well-designed BCF arch as a significant identity for the annual event.

“The iconic architecture and creativity of the BCF arch has attracted a lot of interest among the visitors,” he added.

He assured that his ministry would continue to support the BCF in order to make it a yearly extravaganza of rainforest ethnic music, local signature food delicacies and outdoor social celebration as well as commercial activities for locals and tourists.

Among the 2,000 people who witnessed the closing ceremony were SMC chairman Datuk Tiong Thai King, his deputy Rogayah Jemain, Sibu Resident Charles Siaw as well as councillors.

A performance from a cultural troupe from Yunnan, China.