KOTA SAMARAHAN (July 15): A total of 209 entries have been received for this year’s edition of ‘Sarawak Open – Bonsai & Suiseki Championship’ taking place at La Promenade here from July 20 to 29.
Its organising chairman Hayes Teo said 185 of the entries are for bonsai trees, and the rest are for suiseki.
Following the overwhelming response, he said that the competition will have 22 categories instead of the previously-mentioned 18 categories.
“This year’s edition is a larger competition compared to last year – last year we received 168 entries for bonsai trees, and this year we have 185.
“For next year’s edition, perhaps we can do even better – maybe we can bring in more than 200 bonsai trees,” he said at a press conference at HSL Tower here yesterday.
Sarawak Bonsai Association (SBA) president Johnson Jong said the panel of judges includes two specialists from Taiwan and three from Peninsular Malaysia.
“The category of sizes for the bonsai trees in this competition range from ‘miniature’, ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’.
“We have also added another one (category) which is ‘extra-large’ for giant-sized bonsai trees at the height of more than 8-9 feet tall,” he added.
Jong also said the participants are mainly from Kuching, Miri, Sibu and Simanggang.
Teo added previously there were participants coming in from Sabah – however their participation had to be cancelled due to restrictions to the import and export of plants across the state borders.
Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah is expected to be officiating at the event.
“Maybe in the future, he can help grant the participants the green light to bring in the bonsai trees into the state, or perhaps even to bring the trees out for international competitions such as those taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Taiwan or the Philippines,” he added.