KUCHING: The Sarawak government is currently in discussion with several airlines to increase flight connectivity to the state to spur tourism and economic growth.
Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the state was waiting for proposals from AirAsia, Malindo Air and Malaysia Airlines on viable destinations they wanted to pursue.
The airlines would carry out market study and promotional activities, while the state provided marketing support and other incentives, he added.
He said the state was keen to increase the number of direct flights from Singapore, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan among others.
“We are waiting for proposals from the airlines, they are doing the market study and will propose the most viable destinations.
“AirAsia, for instance, has suggested some destinations they want to pursue and how we can work together to support the sector,” Lee told reporters after visiting the Sarawak Day celebration rehearsal at the Kuching Waterfront yesterday.
When asked on the Hong Kong market, he said other alternatives would have to be considered because of the limited slots available at its airport, which gave priority to long-haul sectors.
Lee added that the government was also keen to improve the number of chartered flights to the state, with China among the target markets.
The Sarawak Day celebration, to commemorate the state’s independence on July 22, 1963, would take place at the Old Courthouse in front of the waterfront, the site where the state’s administration was handed over to Sarawak by the British government.
The celebration would feature a 15-minute choral performance related to the history of the handover.
A video depicting the history and present day Sarawak would also be shown on a giant LED screen as background for the performance.
There would be a three-day exhibition at the Steamship building from July 22 to 24, depicting the history of the Sarawak administration from the Brooke era (1841 to 1941) and British governance up till 1963.
More than 100 pictures and videos on the Japanese era and Australian military rule would also be on display.
Other showcases included the struggle for independence, the Cobbold Commission, the handing-over of administrative power, past and present governors, chief ministers and the formation of Malaysia.
The exhibition will open from noon to 9pm on Saturday, 9am till 5pm the following day and from 9am till 2pm on July 24. Entry is free.