KOTA KINABALU: The inaugural ‘Borneo Night’ under the auspices of KWG Entertainment Sdn Bhd was a night to remember.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew was given the honour to grace this first-of-its-kind dinner theatre show with the theme ‘Together We Make Sabah Great Again’ at the Kota Kinabalu Community Centre on Saturday night.
It was jointly supported by Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK), Sabah Tourism Board (STB), Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd, K2 and Tenom Fatt Choi.
Rated as a signature event of KWG Entertainment, it took the audience down memory lane by featuring stories of British North Borneo (now Sabah) through the timeline of history from the colonial days to the Japanese Invasion and Occupation and to the Japanese Surrender, apart from highlighting Independence and Transformation of Sabah as well as our indigenous groups with their cultural performances.
“The ‘Borneo Night’ affair will be an additional attraction for locals, city folks and tourists alike. It is all about Borneo’s history and culture. We (Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment) encourage the promotion of performing arts and will give the organisers all the support they need. We can get Matta President (Datuk K.L. Tan) to incorporate the theatre show into any of the tour packages to deliver more value to tourists.
“Depending on public response, I hope the theatrical performances can also be initiated in Sandakan and Tawau in the near future,” said Liew, who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.
The minister was impressed with KWG Entertainment’s ability to harness the hidden and unexposed talents in Sabah, be it in music, dance, drama, comedy or other theatre productions. The organisers have roped in about 80 talented people for Borneo Night.
She commended the company’s managing director Ken Wom, who is the founder of Borneo Night, and his group of young Sabahan entrepreneurs for having designed a unique event to help raise the standard of performing arts in Sabah and for tourism promotion.
“A theatre show is a form of entertainment that uses live performers. It is a wonderful tool to spread joy and laughter among the audience. Performing arts should be viewed as a positive and healthy social activity.”
On the need to provide more opportunities and platforms for individuals and groups to showcase their talents, Liew said they can work with the Sabah Tourism Board (STB) in pursuing their career in performing arts.
She also urged parents to encourage their children to take up any form of performing arts, especially from a young age, as it can mould a strong and positive character and build one’s confidence and imagination.
“These traits will help them in the later stage of their lives when they reach adulthood.”
An enthusiastic Wom said he was inspired by the minister’s constant call for development of new tourism products.
“Based on feedback, Chinese tourists had previously complained that they had no place to spend time after nightfall. Through Borneo Night, visitors and tourists will get to know more about Sabah’s culture and history,” he added.
He said Borneo Night is a pioneering idea and produced by a team of creative and innovative Sabahan entrepreneurs with the vision to enhance the nightlife attractions of Kota Kinabalu.
Also present were Deputy Speaker Datuk George Ginibun, prominent developer Tan Sri David Chu, Sabah Cultural Board general manager Mansur Asun, STB general manager Suzaini Datuk Sabdin Ghani and DBKK Director of Corporate Affairs, Syron Tunggolou who represented Mayor Datuk Nordin Siman.