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CM sees creative industry potential

KOTA KINABALU: Tan Sri Musa Haji Aman has expressed confidence that the creative industry can grow into a dynamic sector in the future.

The Chief Minister said this sector has an important role to support the needs of the community in both urban and rural areas, and that its growth is the hallmark of a maturing society which values its creative roots and culture.

In his speech at the launch of a seminar on ‘Nurturing Sabah’s Rural Creative Communities’ at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort here yesterday, he said the development of the creative industry locally needed to focus on the various strengths and advantages that Sabah has in terms of creative resources.

The text of his speech was delivered by Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang. “Sabah is well recognised as culturally diverse with vast resources in the fields of performing arts, visual arts, film and handicraft.

“The state also has a substantial pool of creative talents who have consistently proven their abilities at national level, as well as actors and film-makers currently involved in the screen industry locally and nationally,” he said.

And, he also said Sabah was also an internationally-established tourist destination, particularly in nature tourism. Sabah’s assortment of world class natural attractions, abundance of flora and fauna and unique wildlife, he said, also made the state an attractive destination for documentary projects and commercial photography, apart from film making.

The Chief Minister added that the three main niche areas Sabah could focus on were cultural heritage, performing arts and creative media.

“This ‘uniquely Sabah’ approach will provide the best prospect for us to position the state in the national and global creative industries market,” he said.

Musa added that although most of the measures surrounding the development of the creative industry was centred at urban areas, most of its creative assets could be considered to be ‘rural-centric’ and particular key ‘creative place’ strengths that existed in rural areas could attract creative workers.

Rural innovations, he said, could be driven by urban demand and the creative industry often dispersed a range of creative products, services and experiences that had been pioneered in urban areas but new to the economy of many rural places.

Musa also said developing creative industries in rural areas generated potential for sustainable high-quality enterprises and employment opportunities and would contribute to rural diversification.

Growth in such products and services, he added, correlated to rising levels of disposable income and better education.

“Hence, the role of creative industries in rural areas must be more widely acknowledged and better understood by local governments in order to pursue innovation policies and plans aimed at rural development.

“In particular, policy should routinely integrate the creative industry in plans for town centre re-development, as well as tourism strategies and marketing initiatives to help attract and retain skilled and creative individuals.

“In tandem with this, the development of government institutional support can be driven by groups in the creative industry.

“Some of the strategic measures of the government to develop the sector have taken off such as in creating a talent pool to support the sector successfully.

“And, this includes work through the creative industries cluster under the Working Committee on Nurturing Human Capital in Sabah co-chaired by IDS and SEDIA which has progressed positively and shown encouraging results,” Musa said.

According to him, policymakers have been interested in the creative industry given its size and growth and that its impact had been clearly demonstrated through its contribution to economic growth of certain countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan.

This industry, he said, had also been identified as the cornerstone in the transformation of economies in places like New Zealand, South Korea and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, he said the seminar was relevant, especially when the success of our State’s development efforts today partly hinge on grass-roots participation. This will be an opportune time for the government, private sector and related stakeholders to work closely to intensify sharing of knowledge, thoughts and insights on how we can continue to enhance our efforts and resources towards the development of an exciting and potential new growth sector for Sabah.

He also said the first multipurpose community theatre or Black Box Theatre in Sabah had been established and was gaining popularity among Sabahans and tourists alike.

In addition, he said the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC), expected to be completed by next year, would include a world standard Performing Arts Centre to cater for regional and international concerts and events. “There is an increasing number of creative events such as the on-going community awareness project, Sabah Glow, which was successfully organised by IINSCAPE recently”.

Yesterday’s seminar was organised by the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Sabah in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) and in collaboration with the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (SPArKS).

Also present were IDS chairman Datuk Clarence Bongkos and chief executive officer Datuk Hasnol Ayub as well as the president of SPArKS Roger Wang.

Source : New Sabah Times

Firm, UMS to develop village into tourist attraction

KOTA KINABALU: Kampung Tambisan could become the next major tourist destination in Sabah.

Tambisan Travel and Tours Sdn. Bhd. managing director Antin Ismail said the village in the interior of Lahad Datu boasts rich flora and fauna, which was what inspired him to promote localsˇ way of life and culture.

¨I think the activities carried out by locals in Kampung Tambisan can be developed into a tourism product.

¨With the involvement and positive acceptance of the community towards the importance of tourism, we have decided to help develop the industry in Kampung Tambisan,〃 he said in his opening address at the letter of intent signing between Tambisan Travel and Tours Sdn. Bhd. and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

In addition to raising awareness on the role of tourism in preserving and conserving the environment, the collaboration is also to implement community-based tourism in Kampung Tambisan as well as to provide a guideline, he added.

UMS Faculty of Business, Economics and Accountancy Dean, Associate Professor Dr Raman Nordin, said community-based tourism was a form of sustainable tourism that could positively impact the lives of locals and improve socio-economy.

¨I believe with cooperation from the local community, Tambisan is able to succeed in the project and serve as an example to other community-based tourism models in other places,〃 he said.

Dr Raman also expressed hope for a stronger collaboration such as through a memorandum of understanding, so that all parties can benefit from the initiative.

Source: Borneo Post

‘Nurturing Sabah’s Rural Creative Communities’ seminar

KOTA KINABALU: The Institute for Development Studies (Sabah) (or IDS) in partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung of Germany (KAS), and in collaboration with the Society of Performing Arts Kota Kinabalu (SPArKS) is organising a seminar entitled Nurturing Sabah’s Rural Creative Communities.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Hj Aman has been invited to declare open the one-day seminar on Oct 12 at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa, here.

Executive Director of IDS, Datuk Mohd Hasnol bin Ayub in a statement said the Creative Economy is today recognised as a leading sector in generating economic growth, employment and trade.

He said the creative industries are seen as a key component in a new knowledge economy – capable of delivering urban and rural regeneration, often through initiatives linked to utilization of cultural heritage that leads to increased tourism.

“In Malaysia, the Government is embarking in creative industries strategies through the National Creative Industry Policy (Dasar Industri Kreatif Negara, launched in 2011),” said Hasnol. “While in Sabah the Sabah Development Corridor Blueprint has emphasised the importance of the creative industries in order to achieve some of its key objectives.”

The study on the development of creative industries in Sabah has also been initiated by the State government, he said.

He added that although the national and state strategies are primarily focused on developing a creative class synonymous with an urban lifestyle and amenities, the success of the “Creative Economy” idea in Sabah is also dependent on the important role and success of rural and non-urban regions. These locations can offer a different collection of amenities that can be equally attractive to a subset of the creative class, and create self-sustaining rural creative communities.

“Creativity, especially in culture, traditional heritage, and tourism assets, coupled with a vast rural area are essential keys to Sabah’s unique and distinctive identity,” Hasnol said. “In exploring the untapped potentials of rural creative communities, Sabah could position itself to boost their contribution in terms of income generation, employment and by extension, poverty reduction.”

About 150 participants both from public and private sectors, NGOs, industry players and related stakeholders are expected to attend the seminar.

Those interested to participate in the seminar may contact Lailah Chung or Marianne Kiob at 088-450500.

Source : New Sabah Times

‘Tagal’ rivers have tourism potential

RANAU: The tagal system of river and fish conservation practiced in many villages in Sabah can be a tourism product with wide appeals.

One fine example is the tagal on the Melout River, about 28km from here, which is jointly managed by the villages of Bayag, Gaur and Giring-Giring.

The villages and the river had an important visitor recently in the person of Ranau Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin who commended the villagers for their efforts in conservation, and encouraged them to develop it into a tourism product to share it with outsiders.

(Tagal is operated according to native customs. A village or a cluster of villages may be involved in making a decision on how much of the river should be placed under tagal, how to enforce, how and when the tagal should be opened and who should benefit from the fish harvest.)

Ewon said Melout is located sufficiently far from urban development and maintains a tranquil and unspoilt environment. Combined with the slow flowing river, rich flora and fauna, the river and the surrounding villages are potential tourism attractions,.

“This is not yet on the tourism calendar … but the signs are that more and more are attracted to the beauty of nature as well as the unique tagal system where the people are themselves protecting the river and fish sources,” Ewon said during the opening of a rest chalet by the river recently.

The tagal practice is quite wide spread in Sabah and some, for example in Penampang, have recently used it to attract tourists.

“I believe that in three years’ time this area will become a tourist attraction as the access roads are improved,” said Ewon.

He added that the natural beauty of the villages, the scenic river and the tagal will give rise to homestays and other tourism products.

He urged villagers to consider introducing activities as cast net fishing to attract visitors. Jius Kumin the chairman of the tagal system, said the villagers have been imposing the tagal restrictions for the last three years.

“It’s been good to us … not only have we been able to conserve resources like fish in the river, the surroundings also benefit directly because there is much less intrusion, and the villagers took ownership of what nature provides, and they look after them.”

Jius also said that because of the collective responsibility of upkeeping the tagal, the villagers of the three kampong have grown closer, and they share the same love for the forests surrounding the villages as well.

“We are proud of our tagal, and we want to maintain it so that it becomes as good as the one in Kampung Luanti (which has an international reputation) and out people can not only enjoy the tourism benefits, but also the fish we can harvest whenever the tagal is lifted.” He proposed that the lifting be August next year.

Meanwhile, Ewon approved an application for six rolls of polyurethane pipes for the construction of a gravity water supply system in the area. The running water thus obtained will enable the construction of public toilets.

Ewon pointed to the rapid growth in tourist arrivals from China and Korea in Sabah and that these are potential visitors to villages with the tagal system.

Source: New Sabah Times

Bamboo and ginger pioneers honoured at festival

TAMBUNAN: Two bamboo and ginger pioneers in this area received certificates of appreciation at the district level Bamboo and Ginger Festival held at Pisompuruan Square here last Thursday.

They are the late Peter Lupang Tingkalus, the bamboo pioneer, and Supilin Galingai, the ginger pioneer.

Deputy Chief Minister cum Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who officiated at the festival, presented the certificates to both recipients, with Mrs Cathrine Peter representing her late father in receiving his certificate.

The late Peter hailed from Bingkor, Keningau and was a Forestry Department employee who worked as a Forest Guard in 1936.

At the time, the number of bamboo plants in the Tambunan area had been greatly reduced due to uncontrolled bamboo consumption as it was used in almost all aspects of community life in the area.

After realising the problem and worrying about the extinction of bamboo plants in the area, Peter along with OKK Taliban had embarked on a preliminary effort to control the cutting and harvesting of bamboo trees by issuing special permits.

Special permits issued would be requested by the villagers on the condition that each one of the logged bamboos be replaced by planting 10 more bamboo shoots.

This step proved to be effective even until today as the local community could see the number of bamboo groups growing throughout the district.

The culture of planting bamboo among the population is still ongoing to this day and it is not surprising that in addition to being called ‘The Switzerland of the East’, Tambunan has also been proclaimed as the Bamboo Valley by a handful of outside communities.

Meanwhile, Supilin, born May 4, 1960, is a married man with five children from Kampung Tikolod Tambunan.

He started planting ginger in 1981, where ginger seeds were obtained from Yayang Sanat at Tamu Tambunan.

After a year of planting ginger, he saw that this commodity crop had a very high potential as the climate and condition of Tambunan’s landscape were very suitable for this crop.

He did not waste any time in making the decision to move from being a common cultivator to a grocery wholesaler to market the product outside the district around 1983.

The results were a turning point for the progress and development of the ginger industry in the district as more people began to cultivate ginger.

This was evident when many cultivators started opening and clearing forest areas to plant ginger on a larger scale.

The existence of a single ginger wholesaler at the time provided an advantage to ginger cultivators as they could sell their ginger directly to Supilin without having to worry about marketing and transportation problems.

Source : Borneo Post