Abang Johari (left) checks out the new television decoder installed in a house at Gedong today. – Photo by Sam Chua

GEDONG (Nov 11): The Sarawak government will allocate a grant to the state Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts for the production of short films and dramas, said Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Abang Johari said the grant will serve as financial assistance to the industry players to showcase their creativity as well as highlighting the unique customs and cultures of Sarawak.

“The financial assistance can be a means for individuals to display their creativity not only from a sociology point of view and we can also develop our human capital in line with the era of digitalisation,” he told a press conference after officiating at an event here today.

Citing an example, Abang Johari said the setting up of the state own television station, TVS, has drawn views and attention on the cultural heritage of Sarawak, including its native songs and ways of living.

“I also understand from the management of TVS and board of directors that they plan to have an exchange programme with television stations around the regions, including those from Indonesia and Thailand,” he said.

He said the exchange programme entails a collaboration with foreign television stations, whereby short films produced in other countries and Sarawak will be featured at the respective channel.

“This means there will be cross-border transactions for the film industry. At the same time, we will be able to develop talents and enhance our understanding through this collaboration,” he added.

Besides, Abang Johari said TVS will soon have its own building located next to the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building in Petra Jaya, which now serves as the Centre of Performing Arts.

He said the new building will have dedicated studio rooms for the recording of programmes, aside from being equipped with the latest equipment to facilitate the live broadcast of events.

On a related note, Abang Johari revealed television decoders were being distributed around Gedong and Sarikei districts with free installation provided to give locals access to TVS programmes.