Abdul Karim delivers his speech during the closing ceremony. — Photo by Roystein Emmor
KUCHING (Oct 22): Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes the Padawan Raft Safari can establish itself as a renowned international event and achieve similar success as the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF).
He said it will take time and the cooperation of many stakeholders, not just the ministry, for a tourism product to achieve a certain standard and the private sector, community and event groups all need to work together to engage enthusiasts and attract them.
“The Padawan Raft Safari has been established for the past 20 years. Similarly, RWMF is now entering its 26th year, which is not too far of a gap. When RWMF first started, it only had 300 patrons.
“However, it has now grown into a significant international gathering and has become a renowned music festival on the global stage,” he said in his speech during the Padawan Raft Safari 2023 closing ceremony at Kampung Git, Padawan today.
Abdul Karim also said he envisions the Padawan Raft Safari growing into a similar attraction for adventure-seekers.
“When people seek adventure, Sarawak can be the go-to destination and for rafting, the Padawan Raft Safari can be the top choice. Through events like this, we can significantly raise Sarawak’s profile and benefit the local community, especially when they are held in less frequented locations.
“This is why the Padawan Municipal Council (MPP) and private sector needs to collaborate and coordinate to nurture this potential. My ministry will always extend its support — we aim to witness this event evolve into a major international spectacle that is known worldwide,” he said.
Abdul Karim added that in addition to benefitting the tourism sector, such events will draw both domestic and international visitors to bring economic growth and give the local community the chance to participate and profit through food vendoring.
“Events of this nature have wide-ranging benefits for various sectors and for the local economy. We will continue to offer our support to ensure such events continue to flourish in the years to come,” he said.
Also present was MPP chairman Tan Kai and Deputy Minister of Transport (Aviation and Roads) Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.