More flight connectivity vital to growth of tourism industry — Abg Johari


STIRRING: Abang Johari (third left), Dr Abdul Rahman (second right) and Mohd Kamaluddin (left) symbolically stir the ‘bubur lambuk’ before distributing them to the people.

KUCHING: The government will continue to find ways to increase flight connectivity to the state if it succeeds in turning some beautiful areas here into global tourist destinations.

This is because connectivity to the outside world remains vital in developing and promoting the local tourism industry, opined Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.

“The Telaga Air-Lundu tourism corridor has vast potential to become the best tourism spot due to its unique and beautiful landscape,” said Abang Johari, who is also Housing Minister, when officiating at the ‘Bernas-Saberkas Jerayawara Bubur Pedas and Bubur Lambuk 2012’ programme at Masjid As-Salihin at Kampung Telaga Air some 40 kilometres from here.

Recently, Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmad announced a 10-year master plan to develop the coastal area of Bau-Lundu into a major tourism and aquaculture spot in the state.

The event was attended by Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and Bernas Corporation Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Mohd Kamaluddin Mohd Effendie.

Abang Johari also suggested that seminars be organised for the public to help identify sectors and areas which can be developed into popular tourist destinations.

Touching on Telaga Air, he suggested that local tourism players develop deep sea fishing as a tourism product, targeting Singaporean tourists.

“Locals can discard used tyres and old boats at the sea. These discards will make good breeding ground for fishes, creating fish coves that would become a fishing haven,” he explained.

On another note, Abang Johari advised the Agriculture Department to take advantage of the tropical weather to develop the state into a global food producer, considering also that it is not greatly affected by climate change.

Touching on the instant ‘bubur lambuk and bubur pedas’ available in the market today, he hoped the products would penetrate the global market.

Meanwhile, Dr Rahman, who spoke earlier, said the ‘jerayawara’ (tour) programme between Bernas and Saberkas was into its eighth year.

This year, he said, the tour would stop at 24 locations throughout the state.  It started in Lawas on Friday before moving here. Its final stop will be on Aug 12.

The ‘bubur lambuk and bubur pedas’ were distributed to some 240 people from nine villages at Telaga Air.

“The entire programme will involve some 20,000 people, distributing an estimate of 25,000 ‘bubur lambuk and bubur pedas’ which involves the usage of some 4,080 kilogrammes of rice,” said the programme’s organising chairman. Bernas contributed RM50,000 to Saberkas for the running of the programme.

A mock cheque for the same amount was presented by Mohd Kamaluddin to Abang Johari, who is also Saberkas president.