MIRI: The Sarawak government would allocate RM5 million annually to boost and develop the performing arts industry, especially those involving youths here.It is hoped that the allocation would help polish the young talents in the state and bring them to a higher level, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Moreover, he said the fund could be used to produce short films involving young talents, meant to promote the culture of Sarawak.
“We already have our own television station, and through it we can broadcast our short films not only throughout Malaysia, but also to the world, because it uses satellite,” he said in his address for Sarawak United National Youth Organisation (Saberkas)’s 16th triennial general meeting at a hotel here on Saturday night.
“In the singing industry, we have Dayang Nurfaizah; in Hollywood, we have Henry Golding who is from Betong; we also have another talent from Sibu who is doing well in the Hong Kong film industry,” said Abang Johari.
Moreover, he said Sarawak is home to many talented beauties such as Miss World Malaysia 2018 Larissa Ping, the just-crowned Miss Universe Malaysia 2020 Francesca Luhong, as well as Miss World Malaysia 2015 Dewi Liana Seriesthawho had also won the talent category at the international pageant.
“This proves that Sarawak never lacks talented youths in performing arts and culture.”
At the same function, Abang Johari presented Micro Credit Scheme financing under Agro Bank totalling RM11.931 million to 336 recipients, as well as another RM2.535 million under Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) to 93 recipients.
The Chief Minister also presented Small Medium Industry Loan Scheme financing, also under SEDC, totalling RM23.359 million to 278 recipients.
For the record, all recipients of these schemes are youths.
Abang Johari also announced funding under Technical and Vocational Entrepreneurship Programme (USTEV) and Graduates Towards Entrepreneurship (Gerak) totalling RM3.197 million to 188 participants, and RM23.089 million under the Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Programme (Putera) for 6,050 participants across Sarawak.
Meanwhile, Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who also spoke at the dinner, said Saberkas would be adopting the age limit of 16 to 40 years for all its executive committee (exco) members.
“We had a post mortem (meeting) just now and we could see that they wanted to see the exco being made up of younger people. So, for exco members we will follow the government’s guideline, that youths are those aged 40 years old and below.
“It was agreed by the general meeting, we would have to adopt it and make arrangement to inform the ROS (Registrar of Societies),” he disclosed, adding that with the change, Saberkas would be following the definition of youths in the country and the world.
In his address as the newly-elected Saberkas president, Abdul Karim announced an allocation of RM5,000 for all registered Saberkas branches in the state, for them to carry out their meetings and activities smoothly.
“Apart from this allocation, you (Saberkas branches) can also ask for funding from your respective ‘wakil rakyat’ (elected representatives),” he added.
Also present at the dinner were Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais; Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Sebastian Ting and Assistant Minister of Utilities (Rural Electricity) Datuk Liwan Lagang.