Thursday, June 20

State proposes tourism packages with Brunei

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EXTENDING INVITATION: Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (right) granting an audience to Malaysian delegation from Sarawak led by Awang Tengah (fourth left). Other delegation members are (from left) Entri, Asfia and Abdullah.

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: Sarawak has much to gain by collaborating with Brunei to develop common tourism packages.

This is because besides having it own places of attraction, the sultanate has a wider reach to world markets due to its
well-developed air connectivity and potential to be an international destination hub.

And with Sarawak’s and Sabah’s natural attractions, the region can be an attractive destination for water sports, cultural festivals and eco-tourism, said Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk
Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.

“We have the Brunei Bay, connecting some parts of Limbang and Lawas.

“If we have water sports and plan it properly, it can be an interesting project,” he said in Gadong, Brunei before leading a Sarawak delegation to extend an official invitation to His Majesty Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to grace the historical 104-year old Baram Regatta in Marudi on Sept 30 to Oct 2 this year.

He believed that such collaboration would also bring people from the three regions closer together.

The delegation included High Commissioner of Malaysia to Brunei Datuk Abdullah Sani Omar, Assistant Minister of Land Development who is Baram Regatta 2011 organising chairman Sylvester Entri and State Legislative Assembly Speaker Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar.

Also present was Grand Chamberlain Pengiran Penggawa Alauddin Pengiran Paduka Pengiran Abu Bakar.

Awang Tengah later said the Sultan had expressed interest in attending the regatta as a way to strengthen ties between the two neighbours and share their cultures.

The possibility of the sultan gracing the Baram Regatta has added excitement to the event, with the state, particularly people of Baram, regarding it as a big honour.

Meanwhile, both sides are looking forward to forging closer ties in all areas including culture.