(SEMASA) CELEBRATING THE EXCEPTIONALITY OF BORNEO ARTS AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY AT SURIA KLCC’s THIRD INTERNATIONAL BORNEO FEST 2019 

Kuala Lumpur, 12 June 2019 – BORNEO is a land rich with arts and cultural diversity, contributed by more than 50 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups living harmoniously on the 743,330 square kilometres island. While not everyone has the opportunity to visit Borneo and experience the arts and culture of this unique island, Suria KLCC in collaboration with the Association of Sabah & Sarawak Heritage of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor brings the Borneo to you at Suria KLCC Centre Court from 12 to 14 June 2019. 

This is the third year Suria KLCC collaborating with the association through the International Borneo Fest 2019.

“We are honoured to be part of this event that promotes harmony in the diversity of ethnicity, tradition, arts and culture in Borneo, specifically in Sabah and Sarawak. Some of us may not have the opportunity to visit Sabah and Sarawak, hence the International Borneo Fest 2019 are here to give them the chance to explore the two states,” said Suria KLCC Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Brien at the launch of the International Borneo Fest in Kuala Lumpur today.

The International Borneo Fest was officiated by Federal Territory Minister, Yang Berhormat Tuan Haji Khalid Abdul Samad. Also present was Suria KLCC Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Hashim Wahir, Dr Lawrence John chairman and advisor of the Association of Sabah & Sarawak Heritage of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor, Suria KLCC chief operating officer, Francis Tan and Suria KLCC general manager, Ben Chong.

The main highlights of the International Borneo Fest are Borneo Designers Award and Miss & Mister Ambassador 2019. This year, 12 Sabah and Sarawak-based designers will showcase their exclusive collections and they are Hardi Roman, Marcel Gatisi, Amythen Chiew Phin, Recheal Binti Paul, Joanna Jane, Dexter Dylen Dunstan, Ahmad Fikri Gompul, Lo Teck Hua, Melanie Dewok or Bidayuh, Dorothy Anak James, Deasy Divinne Juanis and Ahzwansyah Ahmad. Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase these designers’ exclusive collections available only at the International Borneo Fest.

Meanwhile, Dr Lawrence said the International Borneo Fest is a good platform for these young designers to showcase their collections. The best three (3) designers will be given the Opportunity to feature their collections at the final leg of the International Borneo Fest to be held in London by end of this year.

“I hope the experience in London will help build their confidence to further venture into the international market. The association goals is not limited to promote Borneo arts and culture, but to also develop talent that will brought up not only Borneo but our country name,” said Dr Lawrence.

Apart from designers’ award and beauty pageant, shoppers and visitors can participate in “Sago worm” eating challenge and this is the first time its being organised. “Sago worm” or “Butod” among the locals in Borneo is considered a delicacy and a major source of income for many households in the rural communities. This high-protein, high-fat grub can be dried, smoked, grilled or stir-fried. For the real connoisseur, you can try to eat while it is still alive. The taste of the live ones is described as creamy like soft melted toffee without any of the foulness that one might associate with eating larva. So, don’t miss out the opportunity to experience eating the Sago worm.

Other activities during the three (3) days event includes basket weaving demonstration from Penan tribe. Learn the art of weaving basket from the Penans using pine straw, willow, pandan leaves, pandanus odoratissimus (mengkuang) and rattan from scratch. If you want to experience living like the Penans, visit Sarawak Tourism booth for more information on the Penan’s homestay. The Penan tribe have only recently begun taking in visitors.

Shoppers and visitors can also find authentic Sabah and Sarawak food and drinks such as layered cakes, black pepper cookies, traditional herbs, laksa Sarawak paste, rice wine and Sabah’s fragrant organic rice “Beras Wangi Keladi” planted only at Kampung Tambutuon in Kota Belud. There are also bags and accessories made from beads, gem stones and wood.

We have also lined up cultural performances throughout the three (3) days event. For more information about the International Borneo Fest 2019 and performances schedule, visit www.suriaklcc.com.my

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