PASIR GUDANG: The on-going Pasir Gudang 20th World Kite Festival has set a new world record for the highest number of participants fron foreign countries. Avid kite flyers from 50 countries thronged the annual five-day event here.
Johor Tourism committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said that the new record would be officially submitted to the Malaysian Book of Records during the closing ceremony tomorrow.
“It is not an easy achievement but the event can now be considered as a brand of its own that will boost the kite industry and the state’s tourism sector,” he told reporters during his visit to festival here on Thursday.
He added that a total of 15 countries including Poland, Romania, Liechtenstein, Scotland, Myanmar, Morocco and Mongolia were competing for the first time this year.
“Another unique highlight this year is that the event was launched by the Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim last night instead of daytime, which was the usual practice.
“Some 660 participants including 250 International kite flyers are taking part in different categories throughout the festival,” he added.
Tee also said that the International event also encouraged small industries and traders to take opportunity and set up stalls selling a wide range of food, beverages, kites, local crafts and even apparels around Bukit Layang-Layang vicinity here.
Meanwhile, Pasir Gudang Municipal Council (MPPG) president Md Za’nal Misran said that with more and more countries participating in the event, the council was expecting to see more foreigners investing in Johor Baru.
“We managed to attract kite flyers from more countries this year through the cooperation of the state government, MPPG, Malaysian Kite Flyers Council as well as the Johor Kite Flyers Association.
“The majority of the foreign participants would be expanding the kite-flying expedition to Malacca before heading to Satun, Thailand next week,” he said.
Md Za’nal, who is also the organising chairman for the festival, said that the committee would proceed to forward to submit to the Guinness World Records.