Sarawak to operate own TV station

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg delivering his speech during the Sarawak Day celebration in Miri today.

KUCHING: Sarawak has been granted a 10-year licence by the multimedia and communication ministry to operate a television station.

TV Sarawak will operate from here.

Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said Sarawak Media Group (SMG), a Sarawak GLC, would manage and operate the television station.

He hoped that TV Sarawak can start its technical trials by the end of this year.

According to him, the television station would be a free-to-air channel, also providing online publishing and information services.

“I would like to call on all our local creative industry players to grab this golden opportunity once TV Sarawak is fully operational,” he said in his speech during the Sarawak Day celebration in Miri today.

Meanwhile, Sarawak’s Transport Minister Lee Kim Shin, who is the minister-in-charge of the event, said the celebration, themed “Excellence Sarawak”, is being celebrated differently this year due to the pandemic.

It was streamed live via TV3, the Sarawak Public Communication Unit (Ukas), Sarawak Event Channel, Astro Awani and Facebook Live.

“This way, Malaysians will be able to witness the historic celebration in Sarawak despite the pandemic,” he said, adding that the celebration was meaningful for all Sarawakians.

According to him, 57 years ago, the British colony had handed over the administrative power to the state, leading to the appointment of the late Stephen Kalong Ningkan as the state’s first chief minister.

“Sarawak Day represents an identity for Sarawakians and also reflects the sacrifices of our past leaders,” he said, adding that the late chief minister Adenan Satem had declared July 22 as a public holiday to commemorate Sarawak’s independence from British colonisation.

“It is also imperative that Sarawak history, relating to the formation of Malaysia under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, the Cobbold Commission report, the Inter-Governmental Committee report, the salient provisions in the Sarawak and Malaysian Constitutions and other relevant historical facts, should be incorporated in school textbooks.

“This is to promote better understanding among the young generations in the country so that the rights and interests of Sarawak will not be questioned or challenged unnecessarily,” he said.

The event was held at Pullman Hotel in Miri with not more than 250 invited guests.

Among the programmes held were an opening dance featuring a combination of traditional Sarawak dances, a special documentary titled “Marek Kinek Tok & Kelak”, which featured the history of Sarawak, a medley of “Sarawakku Sayang and Pertiwiku Tercinta”, and a sitcom entitled “Kampong Selepas Putus”, focusing on the state’s economic, infrastructure and social development.

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