KUCHING (July 23): The Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts is ready to help the Sarawak Bonsai Association (SBA) if it wants to organise an international Bonsai and Suiseki tournament in the state, said its minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
He said this assistance is not only in terms of funds but the entry of bonsai plants from outside Sarawak to participate in the tournament.
“There are quarantine conditions set by the enforcers if one wants to bring in plants from outside Sarawak, but it is only subject to those entering to participate in a tournament.
“So, we will wait for the organiser (the association) if they want to involve the participation of those from outside Sarawak to make it easier for them to organise a prestigious international event,” he told reporters when met after officiating the opening ceremony of the ‘Bonsai and Suiseki Tournament – Sarawak Open 2023’ at La Promenade Mall here today.
Abdul Karim believed that the bonsai tournament can be promoted to a higher level, similar to the scale of the Orchid Landscape Competition that was held in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Orchid Conference in Sarawak before.
According to him, the community’s interest in bonsai plants has grown and when it increases, it is certain they would like to join competitions.
“Therefore, we don’t want this tournament to just be limited to Sarawak only; but we need to think broader by involving participation from outside the state.
“We previously organised an international orchid competition, with participation from Taiwan, Indonesia and many other foreign countries – I believe this can also be implemented for bonsai but we need to follow the conditions set by enforcers if we want to bring in plants from outside,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abdul Karim congratulated the tournament’s organiser for successfully attracting many participants.
A total of 185 bonsai plants were submitted by passionate enthusiasts hailing from Kuching to Miri.
The ceremony saw 22 winners receive recognition in their respective categories, while four participants received the competition’s prestigious awards.
Also present were SBA president Johnson Jong, Hock Seng Lee executive directors Tony Yu and Simon Lau as well as organising chairman Hayes Teo.