Take advantage of ‘Tourism Belt’ status, Telaga Air folk urged
KUCHING: Southern Sarawak, which encompasses Telok Melano and Sembilan Beradek areas – including Telaga Air, has been recognised by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports (MTACYS) as the ‘Tourism Belt of Sarawak’ over the past several years.
According to Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, this zone is where the implementation of tourism developments is largely concentrated upon.
“It started 10 years ago, where among the approaches by the Sarawak government was to develop the tourism infrastructures in and around Telaga Air.
“The Sarawak government, through MTACYS, has constructed the waterfront and esplanade, undertaken repair works on the current infrastructure, and also built new infrastructures for the village folk to sell their cakes and pastries.
“These are among the infrastructures slated for local tourism. Now it is up to us, the village folk, to take advantage of the facilities provided, and to be part of the tourism industry,” he spoke prior to officiating at the launch of a ‘ Tourism and Entrepreneur Programme’ at the Telaga Air Esplanade near here yesterday.
The event – jointly organised and run by the Pantai Damai branch of Sarawak United National Youth Organisation ( Saberkas) and Srikandi Pantai Damai – hosted around 500 people.
Adding on Dr Abdul Rahman, who is Pantai Damai assemblyman and also Saberkas vice-president, expressed his hope that the local tourism industry would include people from all villages in Telaga Air, which is under the Pantai Damai constituency.
“In Telaga Air, we have lots of attractions such as the mangrove areas, the rivers, islands and beaches. Therefore, I suggest that the villagers promote their areas based on what the villages are well known for.
“Even if you have some artefacts and you wish to promote them, this could become a tourist’s attraction by itself – do let us know about it.
“Also, you can set up homestays where the tourists can learn more about our cultures and daily activities.”
Meanwhile, Dr Abdul Rahman commended the initiative by a group of women who established a new women movement in the constituency, the Srikandi Pantai Damai.
On this, the assemblyman would want to see more women joining this movement.
“I’m encouraging the young women to join Srikandi Pantai Damai, so that you would get to be involved in many projects and programmes – all slated for the benefit of the people in Pantai Damai,” he said.
The ‘Tourism and Entrepreneur Programme’ yesterday
It started 10 years ago, where among the approaches by the Sarawak government was to develop the tourism infrastructures in and around Telaga Air. Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity
incorporated three elements – entrepreneurship, agriculture and tourism – in all its activities such as a bazaar selling food, drinks and local produce including durians, as well as a children’s colouring contest and a group dance challenge.
Local all-boy dance troupe ‘Caution Crew’ wowed the judges with their energetic and sharplysynced moves – emerging the winner among five participating teams.
Kampung Telaga Air headman Morshidi Johari and local community leaders also attended the event.
Dr Abdul Rahman (front, fifth left) unveils the banner to officially declare the establishment of Srikandi Pantai Damai in Telaga Air.
Dr Abdul Rahman (seated, fourth left) joins programme participants, including the children taking part in the colouring contest and teams competing in the group dance challenge, in a group photo.
The young members of Caution Crew perform their winning dance number.