Sunday, June 16

Abg Jo proposes to revive S’wak Arts Council

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Abang Johari (fifth left) receiving a memento from Adi (fourth left) during the event. Also seen are Fatimah (third left), Juma’ani (fifth right) and other guests of honour.

Abang Johari (fifth left) receiving a memento from Adi (fourth left) during the event. Also seen are Fatimah (third left), Juma’ani (fifth right) and other guests of honour.

KUCHING: Sarawak Arts Council will be revived and revamped soon to help arts and culture movements throughout the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg stated this when addressing a ‘Ramah Tamah Adilfitri’ event organised by the P Ramlee Fan Club Sarawak (KPPRS) which was held at a local hotel yesterday.

He said the council had been inactive though it had been in existence for quite some time.

Abang Johari is also the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

“A community that has values for arts and culture is a developed community. Arts can also be a medium to create unity among people of various racial or religious backgrounds as they can come together to share interest with each other,” he added.

He cited Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem as examples of prominent people who have the love for arts.

He said Taib is well known to be a big fan of the works of the late Tan Sri P Ramlee while Adenan is well known as an avid fan of Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley.

Giving another example, he said he was impressed that Sarawakians from different ethnic backgrounds were able to appreciate and perform each other’s traditional music and dances which showed that cultural performances could unite the people.

“Our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is known to be a fan of a certain Iban song (by Iban singer Andrewson Ngalai) called Berkikis Bulu Betis and when visiting Sarawak he enjoys participating in the poco-poco dance with the locals here. This shows the positive impact that arts have on Sarawak,” he said.

Stating he hoped to get the consent of the Chief Minister to revive the council, he said those who would be appointed to the revamped council should be passionate and knowledgeable in arts.

“Only with this type of people can the council be up and running. There is no way that the council can ever be active if the people in it are not passionate or knowledgeable,” he emphasised.

Also present during the event were Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, Abang Johari’s wife Datin Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang and KPPRS president Datu Dr Adi Badiozaman Tuah.