Racing track can help boost tourism

Freddy in his racing gear.

KUCHING: The idea of building a proper racing track in the State by the Sarawak government should be high on its agenda but then again the subject of cost and other considerations is another matter.

It is high time as such a project as has been highlighted by motorsports enthusiasts.

If there is a proper track and if there is a consistent annual properly organised international events it will boost tourism but the potential to transform a once sleepy town where such events are held can be materialised. For that matter, the spinoffs from such occasions will promote the business aspect of the towns or area where it is built.

Of course there are the main drawbacks, including the construction costs and there are chances that the infrastructure built could be turned into a white elephant depending on the organisers whether they are up to it.

It is a known fact that many racing enthusiasts from all over the world have asked when Sarawak is going to organise such an event like a kart race. There are international kart races in Hong Kong and Macau and also in most European countries. In the Peninsular, even a small town like Pekan in Pahang has a circuit race being organised in the past before the pandemic struck.

One kart enthusiast had been asked by these racers from other countries whether Sarawak (which he mistook for Sabah) did organise such a race in the past. It shows that Sarawak is off the world tourism map while Sabah is better known.

Local racer Freddy Lawan had voiced out to the press a few years ago that if a proper track is built it will not only promote tourism and its spinoffs but would put Sarawak on the sporting and tourism map.

Most of the racers who participate frequently on the racing circuits where there are racing facilities are mostly wealthy people and will come in a family of a few and they might take up a few rooms in the best hotels and have their meals in the best restaurants as well as sight-seeing tours.

Freddy who had touted Sematan as the ideal place for the building of such a track said the place which is ideal is very suitable. With its balmy sea breeze and quietness in the area, an event like that will provide a sharp rise in business.

Unlike towns where there are traffic congestions and businesses are thriving, Sematan will be just the place in need of a fillip in terms of injection of more cash and people.

It will be a better place just like Simanggang, a sleepy town with not many activities after a big boost provided by the Pesta Benak or tidal bore fest that is annually held which attracts visitors both local and foreign to witness the natural phenomenon and the activities organised.

As a word of caution though, it is crucial that the proper people are picked to organise such events which need sanction from the national go-kart association of Malaysia and if properly organised it will help boost Sarawak which has successfully organised many other international events with success.