Friday, August 05, 2016

Guide produced for those new to Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival


KUCHING: Media covering the Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) for the first time can navigate better with the help of a guide that incorporates a map of the venues for various activities to be held.

The media was briefed on this at Damai Beach Resort yesterday and also on the activities conducted at Sarawak Cultural Village (SCV) from today until Sunday.

Among the activities are interactive workshops held in the afternoon and afternoon shows at the indoor stage, revealed festival event director Angelina Bateman.

“The map will make it easier for those not familiar with the venue to get to where they want to go as landmarks are easily seen,” Angelina said.

The 19th edition of the RWMF will feature 25 bands — 17 international and eight Malaysian — performing at the festival.

The performers will perform on two stages — Jungle Stage and Tree Stage — beginning 7.30pm nightly.

“We also have a Doodle Wall at the terrace of Dewan Lagenda, and this is not limited to children. Adults can creatively doodle away as well.”

She said the festival targets an audience of over 20,000 people over the three days, generating a potential economic spin-off of RM39.5million.

“Last year, 44 per cent of the audience were non-Malaysian and the rest locals. This year we target a 45 per cent non-Malaysian audience.”

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Semporna - Sun, Sea and Food


Semporna is a district and also a town located in the Tawau division on the east coast of Sabah. In 2010, it was estimated that it had a population of around 133,16,400. It is a relatively new town and has an interesting history.

Semporna was founded, (possibly by mid 1887) soon after the British North Borneo Chartered Company established Sandakan and was initially settled by Chinese traders, most of whom were fleeing from Spanish attacks on the Sulu Sultanate.

Before been named as “Semporna”, this area was known as “Tong Talun” in the Bajau language or “at the end of the forest” in English. Soon, the name was slowly changed to “Semporna” (known as “Peaceful Place”) and which later became the permanent name for this place.

Semporna is located at the tip of the Semporna Peninsula around Lahad Datu Bay (also known as Darvel Bay), and is visited by tourists as a base for scuba diving or snorkelling trips to the islands around Semporna, one of which is the world renowned Sipadan Island or to the many resorts on Mabul Island.

The majority of the population here are Bajau, many of whom live in sprawling stilt villages over the water on the outskirts of town. Thousands of Bajau Laut (also known as Sea Gypsies or Pala’u) people live on the sea around Semporna. They are one of the few nomadic sea borne peoples of the world, and spend most of their lives on boats, finding a livelihood from the coral reefs in the area.

For some Bajau Laut people, the only time that their bodies spend a long time on land is when they are buried after death. The main ethnic minority populations in Semporna are the Kadazan and Chinese communities.

The majority of Chinese people in Semporna are from the Hakka dialect group.Today, the main tourist visiting the town are from mainland China and they are filling up the hotels and enjoying the many sandy beaches on the islands, while having their fill of cheap seafood.

Continue reading at: Semporna - Sun, Sea and Food
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Sarawak, Hebei to cooperate on tourism


KUCHING: Sarawak Tourism Board (STB) and China’s Hebei Tourism Administration will collaborate on opening up more opportunities in tourism business in their respective state and province.

The two tourism agencies will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to realise the cooperation by September in preparation for the travel season latest by November.

The MoU will pave the way for joint marketing initiatives, charter flights between Sarawak and Hebei, exploring tourism business potential and joint tourism-related development.

State Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the MOU would open up opportunities for Sarawak to tap into China’s fast-growing tourism market.

He also expected the MoU to help STB enter the lucrative China market by making Hebei the stepping stone into nearby second- and third-tier cities.

“We are currently working with Hong Kong Airlines to tap into the China markets, leveraging on their connectivity to more than 20 cities in China.

“This has created a great leap in our marketing direction, especially in north Asia,” he said.

Lee is currently leading a five-member tourism delegation to Hebei and Wuhan provinces to meet representatives of China’s leading travel agencies and airline charter companies.

Continue reading (Incl. Pic) at: Sarawak, Hebei to cooperate on tourism
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Coalition Duchenne to hold 6th Expedition Mount Kinabalu


Kota Kinabalu: Coalition Duchenne, a non-profit organisation that raises awareness and funding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is holding its sixth annual Expedition Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah.

This year, the charity has announced that it is launching the Coalition Duchenne Outreach Initiative aimed at helping boys and young men worldwide with pulmonary issues associated with Duchenne.

The expedition will be led by its founder and executive director of Coalition Duchenne Catherine Jayasuriya.

Catherine who grew up in Kota Kinabalu had always dreamed of taking her children to the summit of the mountain.

Her son, Dusty Brandom, has Duchenne and would never make the climb, and at 23, the young man is in a wheelchair and is severely impacted by the muscle wasting disease.

"Their bodies fail them but their minds and dreams are strong," said Catherine.

"Dusty is my daily inspiration and had inspired everyone he knows as he overcomes personal adversity with a smile on his face. I climb for him."

The Coalition Duchenne Outreach Initiative is aimed at reaching boys and young men with Duchenne in rural areas all over the world.

Coalition Duchenne will be providing families and caregivers with a simple respiratory device called an Ambu Bag along with an instructional pamphlet.

An Ambu bag (Artificial Manual Breathing Unit) can improve pulmonary function in boys and young men with Duchenne.

Ambu bags can be used for breath stacking, an important exercise that helps maintain lung function and flexibility, as well as clear airways of congestion.

Respiratory issues are one of the main reasons that boys with Duchenne have a short life expectancy.

Coalition Duchenne has established collaborations in India, Ghana, Sudan, Thailand, Laos, the Philippines, and Mexico. "We have chosen Sabah to be the first region to receive Ambu bags under the initiative," said Catherine.

Coalition Duchenne will develop a registry of Duchenne patients as this will be useful for international researchers and communication of new drug and care options.

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Sarawak Rainforest World Music Festival performers continue annual tree planting tradition


KUCHING: Rainforest World Music Festival (RWMF) 2016 performers continued the annual tradition of tree planting by planting 150 mangrove tree (Rhizophora Mucronata) seedlings yesterday.

The tree planting event, held at the Kuching Wetland National Park (KWNP) located about 14km from the city centre, has been a RWMF side event since 2011.

RWMF performers have planted more than 1,000 trees at the KWNP over this period, according to Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, & Culture, Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.

“These mangrove trees will grow into a habitat for marine life as well as provide sustenance for local wildlife, such as the proboscis monkeys.

“These trees will also become a buffer zone for the coastal areas,” said Ik Pahon.

He noted that the RWMF, which prides itself as being eco-friendly, has continued with its yearly greening efforts, including organising bus shuttles from the city to the event to alleviate carbon emissions, making it mandatory for vendors to use recyclable or compostable plates and placing recycle bins throughout the festival venue.

“This year, the greening efforts also include waste management and composting so that none of the waste from the festival truly goes to waste,” he added.

He thanked the RWMF performers and hoped that their experience here will not just leave memories but also be a living reminder of their visit to the state’s forests.

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