Tuesday, June 25

Sarawak to seek air connectivity with Australia

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FOR THE ALBUM: Abang Johari (fourth right) and Rankine (fourth left) in a photo call with (from left) Chan, Talib, Jane, Hieu, Pahon and Mortadza.

KUCHING: The state will be looking at air connectivity with Australia, as it is an important factor for closer economical and cultural ties with South Australia.

According to Housing and Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, air connectivity between the state and Australia is an important factor proven previously when the state had direct flights to Perth and from Sydney.

The flights, which were provided by Malaysian Airlines, were withdrawn during the financial crisis.

Abang Johari said this during a dinner held to welcome Australia’s Multicultural Affairs, Police, Correctional, Emergency and Road Safety Minister Jennifer Rankine on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Rankine in her speech invited Abang Johari and in particular his ministry to visit Adelaide to promote Sarawak, its unique culture as well as its indigenous arts and craft during the AusAsia Festival to be held in 2013.

The AusAsia Festival 2013 will have a theme and country focus on Malaysia.

Rankine, who was in the state for a visit organised by the Australian Business Centre, was accompanied by the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia and chairman of South Australia Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission Hieu Van Le and her staff chief Blair Boyer.

Also present at the dinner were Tourism Assistant Minister Datuk Talib Zulpilip, Tourism Ministry permanent secretary Datu Ik Pahon Joyik, Police Commissioner Datuk Mortadza Nazarene, Sarawak Cultural Village general manager Jane Labang and Australian Business Centre (ABC) director Rodger Chan.

Rankine also visited the Batu Lintang prisoner-of-war camp site and the Heroes Graves to pay respects to the fallen heroes during the Second World War.