Promote culture through Internet: Shabery

Posted on 13 Oct 2009

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IT savvy youths can help promote local culture, traditions and food through Youtube or Facebook

KUCHING: Youths who have deep knowledge and skills about Internet should help to promote the local culture, traditions and food to the outside world.

Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said yesterday in the Internet age, such promotion could be done through Youtube or Facebook, which youths were capable of doing.

He said the country, and Sarawak in particular, with many ethnic groups were rich in culture that should be promoted to outsiders.

He regretted that youths preferred Western culture, but did little to promote the local culture and traditions.

“Instead of watching the Western culture, why can’t you (youths) take the initiative and effort to promote our rich local culture and traditions,” Shabery said. He was launching the carnival – ‘Rakan Muda Wawasan Desa Etnik Sarawak’ at Kampung Annah Rais, about 60 km from here at Jalan Puncak Borneo.


Mambong Member of Parliament Datuk Dr James Dawos was among those present. Saying that not all Western cultures were bad, Shabery urged youths not to blindly emulate and idolise them to the extent of forgetting and ignoring their own culture and traditions.

“The richness of our local culture and traditions must be preserved and maintained. We must regard them as our pride and identity,” he stressed.

According to him, about 40 per cent (800,000) of the two million population of Sarawak were youths, and they play a pivotal role in preserving the culture and traditions of their respective community. In an effort to intensify youth programmes in Mambong parliamentary constituency, Shabery pledged an allocation of RM30,000.

At a press conference later, Shabery wanted to see at least five centres in every district in Kuching Division to carry out “ethnic-based” youth programmes to showcase the various traditions and culture of the different races.

He pointed out that the government was willing to provide allocations as it was mindful that such program-mes were beneficial to foster closer relationship among the people of various races and religions.

According to him, the state was given about RM170,000 last year to organise various programmes for youths.

He said there were about 200,000 registered Rakan Muda members in the country and of the figure 32,000 were in Sarawak.

The minister hoped that individuals and corporate organisations would come forward to help the government in organising more programmes for youths.

By Jacob Achoi