Kota Marudu sculptor expresses “hope” through art

Art is inherently beautiful. And art made by local artist contains invaluable intimations and perceptions of occasions, circumstances, and societies, writes Vesta Vanessa Jsol.

Visitors who visit the on-going ‘The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II’ at Sabah Art Gallery will definitely be amazed by hundreds of wonderful artwork, especially those ten tiny boat sculptures made from iron.

Neatly arranged around the exhibition hall on the first floor, the dark-silvered coloured sculptures seem like they are telling something – an untold story.

Curious to know what is behind those ‘boats,’ this New Sabah Times reporter decided to find and interview its sculptor, Rayner Goluhing.

“Hope,” the 29-year-old artist answered when asked about the theme of his creation.

Rayner who hails from Kota Marudu, said that those boats represent hope in people’s daily life.

“Every single day, each one of us might face different difficulties in our life. As an artist, I see that we (people) are swimming in the vast ocean, tired against the waves, longing for shelter and that boat will be our last hope to survive.

“I purposely create it in ten units with different sizes and shapes, symbolizing people’s hopes huge or small, strong or fragile.”

He took about a month to finish the ‘boats’ series. “It’s not that hard to produce, but it does take time to finish.” Currently, he is working with Sabah Handicraft Centre (Keningau).

His love of iron sculpture started since his childhood but only took it seriously in 2009 after he received an offer to further his studies in Bachelor of Creative Arts at a local university.

“These few years of my life were surrounded by pieces of iron, sprockets, barbed wire and fences that I turned into art. Some of the artworks were used as decorations in office lobbies, some hung here at the art exhibition hall and some ended up as house decorations.

“Sculpting is fun, especially with pieces which have been tossed out and deemed no longer of value. I found beauty in discarded pieces of metal.

“I thanked God for giving me a wife who loves art too,” he quipped.

Rayner and his two colleagues, Roslan Yusof, 42, and Alfred Paladius, 30, represented Sabah Handicraft Centre (Keningau) to exhibit their creations.

Roslan showcased batik painting themed ‘Sabah Nature’, while Alfred presented a series of drawings entitled ‘Valley.’

However, their artworks are just parts of the exhibition. There are more attractions that can be found by visiting the hall in person.

In the exhibition opening ceremony held recently, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said that locals need to support home-grown artists in order to ensure the continuity of the local art scene.

He said that the lack of support for local artists may hinder their motivation to create fine masterpieces.

“If we do not support our local talents, they will feel demotivated and our local art scene may face the risk of dying out. Give them encouragement so they can do better in the future and continue making art.”

Masidi added that locals should not only attend art exhibitions, but purchase the works of local artists as they are valuable in the long run.

“Many works produced by our local artists are of high quality. It is never a loss to invest in high quality artworks because its value only increases with time.”

He also reminded artists not to be easily demotivated by the lack of support, as it is all part of their journey in the field.

“We have a lot of talented artists, but we always underestimate their talents. We are more willing to spend thousands on foreign artworks when the quality of those artists may not be on par with our local talents.

“I urge local artists to always keep your heads high whenever people doubted you for they are road bumps that you have to face in reaching your full potential.”

Following the success of its first installation in 2015, The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II features 300 artworks of 30 local artists from around Sabah.

Themed ‘Bawah Bayu,’ featured artworks will be exhibited for three months at the gallery.

Sabah Art Gallery curator Jennifer Linggi said the theme was intended to promote Sabahan culture and heritage, which would inadvertently boost tourism in the state.

She also expressed hope that the exhibition will encourage more local artists to take part in Sabah’s art programmes to increase credibility in management and implementation.

“This programme also mirrors the determination of local artists in organising academic art-related events,” she added.

Artworks featured at The 300 Exhibition – Chapter II are for sale at RM300 a piece.


Source: New Sabah Times

Renewable energy way forward

Kota Kinabalu: Developing renewable energy or alternative energy sources is the way forward towards meeting future energy needs, said Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

“The State Government believes the practice of conserving energy through sustainable and efficient consumption of electricity should be carried out for the survival of the next generation,” he said.

He said the National Green Technology launched in 2009 has four pillars – energy, environment, economy and social.

“For the energy sector, the key challenge is to increase renewable energy resources and efficiently use energy.

“The challenge is the extinction of energy sources such as gas and coal, thus the management of energy resources must be diversified taking into account renewable energy sources in our country’s electricity generation systems,” he said.

Musa, who was represented by Deputy Chief Minister-cum-Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, said this when officiating the two-day Sustainable Energy Convention, here, Thursday.

He further said the people should also be educated and given awareness on how important energy efficiency and optimum use is because it saves the environment and saves cost.

“This is the best way to reduce the production of carbon dioxide as well as save on the volume of its use.

“Environmental sustainability needs to be taken seriously in the interest of all. Energy generation is one of the biggest contributors to climate change through the fossil burning process.

“Additionally, the upgrading and lifestyle of the community also witness the increase in energy needs, especially electricity and other fossil fuels, thus the people are advised to adopt more environmentally friendly lives in order to preserve the environment,” he said.

Musa also applauded Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) for organising the convention which he described as timely as it promotes sustainable use of energy to improve the quality of life of the people.

He also urged SESB to improve the electricity supply system to drive development in the State.

In this regard, he hoped cooperation between SESB and other interested parties would find a holistic approach to develop renewal energy to reduce the impact of fossil fuel in future.

Meanwhile, Pairin told a media conference the convention will discuss about energy and what can be done to make sure energy is sustainable.

“This should be what we are here for to ensure that we come up with more sustainable energy and less use of fossils from the ground that has been used since long ago to generate energy.

“We are always reminded so that our country also takes part in programmes to reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.

“I think what we are emphasising here is to come up with more energy produced from natural creation, from the sun, rivers, water which has no pollution but can produce sustainable energy.

“If we can do this, it is very important, now we are thinking of…we are already producing electrical mobile vehicles, we are also working on producing power from water…all this is for future needs of the world, humans, life and ensure our environment can be sustained for the future,” he said.

Also present were Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili, State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, and State Rural Development Minister Datuk Seri Radin Malleh, among others. – Sherell Jeffrey


Source: Daily Express

Estimated RM7.7bil in tourism revenue last year

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah should not be comfortable with the increase in tourist arrivals as there are still problems that need attention to ensure the industry’s growth said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.

Masidi said two days ago he had mentioned that currently there are 14 foreign airlines travelling from overseas to Kota Kinabalu and 178 flights per week which clearly shows the growing number of flights which is believed to have overtaken Penang.

“The forecast for total arrivals to Sabah for 2017 is very good. We are expecting the final number for last year’s arrivals very soon which will be around 3.65 million, bringing an estimated value of RM7.7 billion – the best so far for Sabah,” he said.

However, he said the numbers should not be taken as rate of success but instead into something profitable for the State, especially for the tourism industry.

“Numbers does not mean success. Numbers must be transferred into something profitable for everyone, for MAS and for Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB),” he said during the Welcoming Dinner of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Airbus A350XWB, here, Tuesday.

He also said that the Kota Kinabalu International Airport is one of the most profitable airport in the country.

International flights, especially from the North, usually arrive after midnight but due to the lack of working Immigration officers after 12am, there will be long queues for immigration clearance.

“We need to increase the numbers of immigration officers to work at the airport after 12am,” he added.

Masidi said that the State Government is pushing aggressively alongside the Sabah Tourism Board to establish more hotels to cater for the tourist influx, especially from the North as it would hurt the image of the State’s tourism if not taken seriously.

“We have to fix this problems because when room are scarce, it would also give the wrong impression to overseas visitors and they would opt for another destination,” he said.

Following the rural tourism that was launched last year, he reminded locals to produce more products that could only be discovered in Sabah as it would be one of the main attractions for visitors to come to the state aside from taking part in the “lung-cleansing” activities by visiting rural areas such as Kadamaian, Ranau, Tambunan and Kiulu.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day, MAS launched its new A350XWB by flying it to Kota Kinabalu from Kuala Lumpur.

The aircraft will serve the London route, replacing the A380, from Jan 15 on a scheduled basis.

Chief Commercial Officer Arved Von Zur Muehlen said that the new aircraft will be conducting the route as it is a more economical aircraft and has ordered six more which will be expected to be delivered by the second half of this year. – Jeremy S Zabala


Source: Daily Express

Tourism players advised to embrace digital technology

KOTA KINABALU: Tourism industry players in Sabah have been advised to embrace digital technology to boost their business and further develop the industry in the state.

Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said this when launching the first Digital Tourism Workshop organized by the ministry through the Sabah Tourism Board.

“Just because 3.684 million tourists came to the state last year, does not mean they will come again this year. We have increasing arrivals every year, but do not take for granted.

“The world is so open today, everything is available on our smartphones. When people are planning for their vacation, they are looking for experience. That is why they prefer to make their own arrangement according to the information they found from the internet,” he said.

Masidi further elaborated that hotels and tour agents needed to look at digital technology development as the new potential in marketing their products.

“Report shows that more than half of our tourists from China came to the state on their own. They did not book their holiday through tour agents.

“Almost 60 per cent of them came on their own, and we can see that the number keeps increasing. The culture of traveling is evolving. It is not about visiting or sight seeing anymore, it is about living there,” he added.

During the two-day event, a number of speakers will be sharing their knowledge on how to move in tandem in terms of digital marketing and build a stronger branding for Sabah.

Among the speakers during the workshop include E-Tourism Frontiers founder and chief executive officer Damien Cook, who has made presentations in international forums including the World Information Summit in Tunis, the Global Experts Panel on E-Tourism, ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) in Berlin as well as PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Tourism Forums.

E-Tourism Frontiers has worked with South African Tourism, Indonesia Tourism Ministry, Athens and Rhodes Tourism (Greece) to name a few, and has partnered with TripAdvisor, Facebook, YouTube, Expedia and Google.

“We are hoping this workshop will make our players wake up from our slumber, work together and not just complain. The world is changing, and we can’t stop technology from evolving. We need to evolve too,” he said.


Source: Borneo Post

Sabah expects more direct flights

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah expects more direct flights from various destinations and is working hard to accommodate the increasing number of tourists to the state, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

He said in fact, 62 chartered flights from China were expected to arrive in Kota Kinabalu over the next three months.

“We need to provide enough quality hotel rooms. The state cabinet has decided to speed up the building of hotels and have tasked some companies to build more hotels,” he told reporters upon returning from Beijing on the Xiamen Airlines’ inaugural direct flight here today.

A total 163 passengers boarded the flight from Beijing, including Malaysian Ambassador to China Datuk Zainuddin Yahya.

Masidi said the state government, as well as tourism industry players needed to be proactive to cater to the needs of the visitors.

He was pleased that Xiamen Airlines had chosen Kota Kinabalu as its first international destination from Beijing – a manifestation of good relationship between Sabah and China.

Masidi said Sabah recorded 430,000 tourist arrivals from China last year, a 14.7 per cent increase from 2016.

Meanwhile, China’s Consul General in Kota Kinabalu Liang Caide said Malaysia and China enjoyed a long diplomatic ties and the relationship developed rapidly in recent years.

He said as one of China’s youngest airlines, Xiamen Airlines’ flight to Kota Kinabalu could further help Sabah’s tourism industry development and enhance trade cooperation between Kota Kinabalu and Beijing.

Vice-President of the airline’s Beijing branch, Ou Dong Ying said the number of Chinese tourists visiting Sabah grew steadily by about 20 per cent annually.

She said the trend prompted the airline to serve its first international flight out of Beijing to Kota Kinabalu. – Bernama


Source: Borneo Post