Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shorter Sabah International Folklore Festival to reduce costs

KOTA KINABALU: The 10th Sabah International Folklore Festival (SIFF) 2015 will be held for five days this year, instead of the nine days as in the previous years in support of the state government’s call for more prudent spending.

Efforts to reduce expenses also included seeking partnerships and sponsorships from corporate and government agencies, cancelling the premier show and limiting the number of participating countries.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said the organizing committee would find ways to save on expenses without compromising the quality of the performances.

For the first time ever, SIFF 2015 will be held at Sabah Cultural Centre in Penampang which has recently been renovated in order to cater for prestigious performances such as orchestra or theatre. The event will run from August 11 to 15.

Masidi, who is also the organizing chairman, said the government had spent RM5.9 million to upgrade the audio system, lighting and seating of Sabah Cultural Centre.

Prior to SIFF 2015, Masidi said the Sabah Cultural Centre would be the venue for Era Sayang Sabah concert and performances by the Jesselton Philharmonic Orchestra and Korea Philharmonic Orchestra.

Speaking to the media after chairing the SIFF 2015 meeting yesterday, Masidi said the committee had identified 189 groups from various countries to invite to the festival.

To date, 27 countries have shown their interest to participate in SIFF 2015, including Slovakia, Australia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, China, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Johor, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Venezuela and others.

“There is no shortage of participants; the real issue is how we can afford to accommodate everyone.”

While the participants are required to purchase their own flight tickets, Masidi said the organizing committee was responsible for providing accommodation and food to the participants during their stay here.

“In support of the government’s call to reduce expenditure this year, we are only accepting 15 countries at the international level.”

The theme of SIFF 2015 is ‘Marriage’, a concept to couple marriage ceremony in cultural dances.