Abang Johari (third left) poses with the ATM team who won the inaugural Sarawak Chief Minister’s Cup Shooting Competition on Sunday. Also seen is Karim (second left). — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Sarawak have the potential to become a destination for shooting enthusiasts once a proper shooting range and a local club is duly in place.

Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Karim Rahman Hamzah said Sarawak should take advantage of the large pool of marksmen and markswomen in the region to further boost its sports tourism industry.

“We can start by organising a regional shooting competition before moving to the international level. At the regional scale, I am optimistic that there would already be a lot of participants coming to Sarawak,” he added during the closing ceremony of the inaugural Sarawak Chief Minister (CM) Cup Shooting Competition at Grand Margherita Hotel on Sunday night.

Also present were the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and former Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Abang Barieng who is also an enthusiast in the sport.

The only drawback for Sarawak at the moment, Karim revealed, is that Sarawak lacks the proper facilities as compared to Sabah and Johor which already have their own shooting range.

The CM Cup, which was held at Pulapol from Feb 3-4, attracted 80 local participants from various uniformed bodies including that from the Chief Minister’s Office.

“For this inaugural event, we have capped the limit to Sarawakian teams only. If we have organised this to be an open event, I am sure there would be a lot of teams coming in from Semenanjung Malaysia,” said Karim.

Among the agencies taking part were the Malaysia Royal Customs, Royal Malaysia Police, Malaysian Armed Forces, Road Transport Department, Pulapol and the General Operations Force.

The participants were mostly from the respective agency’s enforcement unit who are armed licensed holders.

The tournament, Karim believes, exposes the armed licence carriers to showcase their marksmanship on a competitive platform besides fostering a closer relationship among the agencies.

The five-men ATM 2 team emerged champions and took home the RM5,000 prize money.

Teams from the Chief Minister’s Office and State Immigration Department finished second and third to pocket RM3,000 and RM2,000 respectively.

Prizes were given out by Abang Johari himself. Also present were Karim, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip and Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi.