Saturday, October 1

MCC to come up with e-commerce website to market local handicrafts


(From left) Goh, Lee, Ting (behind Lee), Yii and Julaihi take a look at MCC’s marketing strategy in developing the e-commerce website as displayed on a laptop.

MIRI: Miri City Council (MCC) is in the process of developing an e-commerce website to market the unique handicraft products made by the local people here.

Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin gave a thumbs-up to the effort which supports the call by the state government for people to go for digital economy.

“Our state is known for its rich diversity of traditional handicrafts, ethnic wood-cravings, beadwork, textile weaving, bamboo and rattan baskets among others.

“We need to put in more concerted efforts to promote and market our ethnic handicraft products. Having them in Sarawak handcrafts shops, night bazaars, weekend markets and shopping malls alone are  inadequate. We need to go into the international market, such as through online marketing and the social media,” he said when declaring open the newly renovated Miri Handicraft Centre yesterday.

According to MCC, the e-commerce website to market and promote local handicraft products here would be launched by the council next month.

Lee who is also Senadin assemblyman pointed out that Sarawak’s handicrafts showcased the rich culture heritage of fine arts and crafts which come in various forms, texture and shapes.

“Whether weaving or printed fabrics, wood carving, rattan mat and basket, beadwork or ceramic, all these crafts have their own designs unique to each ethnic group.

“Many of Sarawak’s arts and crafts are uniquely designed based on ancient fables. They are inspired by the beauty and bounty of Sarawak our homeland.”

He pointed to the beadwork made by the Orang Ulu community as a fine example which has been diversified into fashionable necklaces, rings, bracelet and earrings.

In addition the Iban community’s skill in weaving the pua kumbu makes it popular and in demand due its functionality and decorative nature.

Equally beautiful and fashionable are handicrafts from the Bidayuh community in the form of kasah, basketry, tambok and mats made from beaten tree bark, rattan and bamboo.

He also noted that the Melanau and Malay communities are very good in producing handicraft products from sago palm leaves, tree barks and other plants gathered from the forest. These handicraft products are either for daily usage or decorative items.

“Our Malay community in Sarawak also produce beautiful kain songket using distinctive weaving technique which is uniquely Sarawak.”

The Chinese community meanwhile are well known for their distinctly carved pottery.

“Tourists can be overwhelmed and spoilt for choice as each handicraft products has its own unique and distinct design and motive. Sarawak’s woven handicrafts are intricate and fanciful works of arts.”

On the newly renovated handicraft centre, he said he wanted the MCC to make the centre an attractive place for tourists and visitors.

He believed that tourists would be interested to watch how some handicrafts are made and they could try to make the handicrafts themselves to bring home as souvenirs.

Also present were Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, Miri mayor Adam Yii, deputy mayor Julaihi Mohd, chairman of MCC’s Tourism Development Standing Committee councillor Ernest Goh and local councillors.