Monday, April 03, 2017

Fewer participants in 2017 Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari

KAPIT: The annual Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari is hosting fewer participants this year than it did in previous editions.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing, who is Baleh assemblyman, noticed the decline which he opined could be attributed partly to the hosting of many other activities such as power boat racing and mountain bike challenge.

It is learned that this year, the Kapit Resident’s Office has managed to gather 26 rafting teams representing the Royal Malaysia Police, Armed Forces, government departments and agencies, private sector, village security and development committees (JKKKs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Another key factor could be the softening of the economy this time around, opined Masing who is also Infrastructure Development and Transportation Minister.

“I don’t quite know the reasons. The event used to gather 70 to 80 teams back in the days; then again, the economy was good then. Maybe the participants could not fully allocate their time and resources for the safari as they need to earn their livelihood elsewhere.

“Besides, there are lots of activities going on now, so much so that the number of those going for the rafting challenge has gone down,” the minister told The Borneo Post here on Saturday after the flag-off at Rumah Ansi in Nanga Sepajie, which is about six to seven hours’ longboat journey along the Rajang River from this town.

The Baleh-Kapit Raft Safari was introduced by Masing in 1996 as an event to boost economic activities for Baleh constituents especially the longhouse folk, as well as to promote this district as a premier destination for ‘Culture, Adventure and Nature’ (CAN) tourism.

The safari is open for participation to local and international rafting teams.

Adding on, Masing acknowledged that to address the low turnout for the rafting event, the organising committee must look at several angles including the hosting frequency of this annual race.

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