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Mesmerising Korea Fest awaits visitors Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 September 2009 19:28

 

Kota Kinabalu: Invited guests were treated to an eye-opener of what to expect during the two-day Saranghaeyo Korea Festival at the opening ceremony at 1Borneo, here, Thursday night.

Mesmerising Korean dances, unique dishes, cultures and many other interesting experiences await visitors when the inaugural event opens to the public from today (Friday) to Sept. 27 at 1Borneo.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun, Ministry's officers and staff, Sabah tourism players and members of the local media were treated to two traditional dances and performances by award-winning hip-hop group Extreme Dance Comedy and other performances.

He hailed Korean presence, already a fixture in Sabah scenario, as a manifestation of close relations between the State and Korea.

Attributing it to the diplomatic ties between Malaysia and Korea bonded since February 1960, he said the confidence Korea has in Sabah is not only aptly displayed through its close geographical distance but also through economic relations.

As a result, he said many Sabahans have learned to savour Korea's famous delicacy, kimchi, a spicy fermented vegetable serving. "To us in Sabah, this is symbolic to Korea confidence to the State," he said.

Sabah, he explained, is different compared to other states in the peninsula, where unity among the more than 32 ethnic races is very prevalent.

"It is not surprising if you find there are Christian and Muslim family members living together and getting along just fine in a house," he said to the Korean guests who included Korean Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Yang Pong Ryull.

Because of the excellent natural wonders Sabah has, Masidi delightfully invited Korean film producers to consider the State as their shooting location.

He assured that the Sabah tourism authority would do its best to accommodate them should they decide to accept the offer.

Over the years, he said Sabah has been host to a number of international actors such as Datuk Michelle Yeoh and most recently Zhang Zi Yi, co-star in the award-winning movie "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon."

As Sabah and Korea are in Asia, he said they should strive to work together for a common good.

He said Sabah is proud that many Koreans have chosen to make the State as their holiday destinations.

Some 80,000 Koreans, he said, visited Sabah annually, which represents 35 per cent of Korean arrivals to Malaysia, making it one of the top East Asian arrivals.

Sabah's enchanting beaches, mountains, golf courses and resorts, and foremost the warmth of Sabahan hospitality were the key reason for their strong support to the State's tourism.

"As a result, a number of Koreans have decided to make Sabah their second home through the MM2H programme," he said.

Thus, he said, the two-day Saranghaeyo Festival would provide an additional avenue for the two societies to get to know each other's culture better as well as forging stronger ties between Korea and Malaysia.

Also present were Sabah Tourism Board (STB) Chairman Datuk Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin, Permanent Secretary Datuk Suzannah Liaw, Mayor Datuk Iliyas Ibrahim, STB General Manager Datuk Irene Charuruks, Korea Tourism Organisation Managing Director Kim Kee Hun and LG Malaysia Managing Director TY Ko.

Source: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=67795



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