Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Buffalo racetrack for Sarawak

By Magdalene Rogers

KUCHING - Sarawak's colourful and culturally unique buffalo race held in Lawas, dubbed the "buffalo capital of Sarawak", every year would have a race track soon.

The race, which is also one of Sarawak's unique tourist attraction, is steeped in the culture of the Bisayas, Brunei Malays, Kedayans and Lun Bawang communities in Limbang and Lawas.

Taking this into account, Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said at the Regional Lawas Buffalo Race festival and Top Spinning competition that the race track proposal had been forwarded to the Tourism Minister Datuk Leo Micheal Toyad.

He said it would be built under the Ninth Malaysia Plan as part of the tourism drive and culture conservation of the unique event in northern Sarawak.

"Buffaloes are intricately intertwined in the life of the locals in the economy and agriculture," he said.

Awang Tengah added that the religious and racial racing event with the animals should be promoted together with the cultural and natural attractions as the state's tourism products.

In Sarawak, buffaloes are reared for ploughing the padi fields in the old days, including the irrigated fields of Ba'Kalalan. The animals, however, are mostly reared for their meat.

Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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