Abang Johari hits the gong to symbolically officiate the 15th Redeems Gawai Carnival. Also seen is Nansian (second left). – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (July 9): The Association of Research and Development Movement of Singai Sarawak (Redeems) president Datuk Peter Nansian has requested for Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to consider tax exemption for the staging of live concerts in the state.

The entertainment tax exemption, he said, would allow more live concerts to be brought to Sarawak while, at the same time, develop the state’s tourism industry.

“We will hold the XPDC Live in Concert near our centre on Aug 26, which will also be joined by winners of the Battle of the Bands competition that will take place from Aug 23 to 25 at the same venue.

“We are also planning to bring in Wings to do a live concert here in November, but it is very expensive to bring them here. So we would like to ask Premier to consider waiving the entertainment tax so that we can bring more live concerts to Sarawak and develop our tourism industry,” he said.

Nansian said this in his opening remarks during the 15th Redeems Gawai Carnival Gala Dinner 2023 at Redeems Centre, Singai last night which was graced by Abang Johari.

Adding on, Nansian said several other programmes have been lined up in the future that will further contribute to the tourism development in Sarawak.

Among them include the Redeems World Tribal Festival at its centre next year.

“For next year, we have big proposal to have a Redeems World Tribal Festival where we want to bring all the tribes of the world so that we can develop the tourism industry as well as we can see the culture of the world to come here.

“Thus, we are very glad to have our minister and deputy minister of tourism with us here tonight to see our venue and to see how to support and assist us in this initiative to further develop tourism industry in our rural areas such as we have here.

“Meanwhile, in October this year, we have the Borneo Trail Classic, which is international Spartan run also here on Oct 7 and 8.

“And recently, we heard the deputy minister of tourism want to promote the Tuak Festival. I think Redeems centre is the best for Tuak Festival so we want to support you in the initiative, to do your Tuak Festival here, so we will support you and give you the venue and we can work together for that,” he said.

On the event, Nansian said it was part of the highly anticipated annual Redeems Gawai Carnival which made its comeback after a three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.

The dinner witnessed the presence of over 1,200 guests including those from China, Sabah and the peninsula.

This year’s carnival, running from July 7 to 9 and themed at ‘Ngira’an Kimaju Adat Asal’ (Nurturing and Developing Our Culture) was aimed at promoting and preserving the cultural traditions, rituals, music and dances, crafts and cuisines associated with the Gawai Dayak.

Redeems is a community based, non-profit and non-governmental organisation with its main objective of doing community development for the local people with the help of others including the government and private sectors.

The dinner was also attended by Minister for Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and his deputy minister Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Serembu assemblyman Miro Simuh, Tasik Biru assemblyman Datuk Henry Harry Jinep, and Greater Kuching Coordinated Development Agency chief executive officer Datu Ik Pahon Joyik.