Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sarawak to work closely with Brunei to promote Borneo Jazz Festival

MIRI: Sarawak will work closely with authorities in Brunei in connection with the 9th and 10 editions of the Borneo Jazz Festival to further promote the event, which is becoming increasingly popular.

Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said Sarawak would establish a smart partnership with the Brunei Tourism Board and the Brunei Royal Airlines that would become a gateway for the international community to come to Miri for the jazz festival.

“I understand the Royal Brunei Airlines is trying to expand its routes and after acquiring new planes, they are in a transitional process and with that we do expect there will be an increase in the international community coming to Miri to participate in the event,” Abang Johari said yesterday at a press conference at Meritz Hotel.

Among those present were his wife Datin Amar Juma’ani, Sarawak Tourism Board CEO Datuk Rashid Khan, Miri deputy Resident Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf, Miri Housing Group of Companies executive chairman Datuk Lau Siu Wai and STB director of corporate communication Angela Bateman.

Asked on the success of the Borneo Jazz Festival in achieving its main objective of putting Miri city on the world map of music, Johari said it had been successful, adding that the number of festival goers increased every year.

“With this 8th edition of the festival, there has been increased awareness of Miri as a resort city and this event definitely has promoted Miri especially to people interested in music,” he said, adding that efforts were being taken to improve the venue.

Currently, the festival is being held at the compound and pavilion of ParkCity Everly Hotel here.

Abang Johari said the venue might be shifted to the beautiful bay at Bakam Point in Tanjung Bungai about 20 minutes from Miri in the future, adding that the area was being developed into a resort where basic dedicated facilities for a jazz festival would also be incorporated.

Meanwhile, Rashid said statistics showed that the number of the jazz festival goers comprised 70 per cent from outside Miri, mostly expatriates from Brunei, and the rest from the Klang Valley, Sabah and Sarawak itself.