Johor halal expo, Sarawak balloon fiesta put off

The Borneo Balloon Fiesta 2020 scheduled for April 11-12 in Petra Jaya, has been postponed indefinitely. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Two upcoming international festivals to be held in Johor and Sarawak have been postponed due to Covid-19.

In JOHOR, the Johor International Islamic and Halal Festival 2020 (Fijo 2020), scheduled for March 26-29, has been postponed to October this year following concerns over the Covid-19 outbreak.

Johor Investment, Entrepreneur Development, Cooperative and Human Resources Committee chairman Mohd Izhar Ahmad said the state government decided to postpone the expo in order to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infection.

Fijo 2020, a four-day trade expo based on business and missionary concepts, has now been rescheduled to be held at the Persada International Convention Centre from Oct 22 to 25.

“I am confident that the five-month postponement, as well as the efforts and commitment given by the government and the people, will succeed.

“All relevant government agencies have taken the necessary steps in line with the latest developments issued by the health ministry and the tourism, arts and culture ministry,” he told a media conference in Johor Bahru.

In SARAWAK, the Borneo Balloon Fiesta 2020, which was originally scheduled for April 11-12 at Dataran Celebrati, Stadium Negeri, Petra Jaya, has been postponed until further notice.

Event organiser Nex Vision Sdn Bhd said in a statement the current Covid-19 outbreak had made it impossible to predict the situation during the event’s planned dates.

“Although we look forward to putting up a spectacular fiesta for the first time in Kuching, the well-being of the community takes precedence during this period of health concerns,” the statement said.

However, the organiser is still eager to bring the event back as soon as they get a favourable update from the State Disaster Management Committee.

Sarawak has urged that all government and public gatherings, involving the participation of more than 50 people, to be postponed or deferred to a later date.

In PENANG, Tourism, Arts, Culture and Heritage exco Yeoh Soon Hin urged all recreational, leisure or entertainment activities, events and mass gatherings be postponed until further notice to reduce Covid-19 transmission.

“We believe that prevention is the best solution. Social distancing is critical to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“Public health safety should be the highest priority. Hence, in view of this, I strongly urge the public to actively respond to this call and cancel their events immediately.”

Yeoh added that in an effort to reduce the virus transmission, the Penang government has already cancelled all mega events in the state, including the Penang Dragon Boat Regatta, George Town Festival and George Town Heritage Celebration.