Preparation for kite festival underway: Resident
BINTULU: Preparations for the fifth Borneo International Kite Festival here with theme ‘Kite for peace’ from Aug 2 to 9 is being carried out accordingly.
“Everything has been taken into consideration including the A (H1N1) scare,” the Resident Ismail Mohd Hanis told reporters after chairing a committee meeting at his office recently.
He acknowledged though that the participation this year by both local and international enthusiasts might be lesser than last year’s because of the health scare.
“I wish to assure the people and the participants alike that all the necessary precautions have been taken to avoid any untoward incident.
“With three more weeks to go before the festival I can say that I am satisfied with all the preparations the committee has undertaken,” he added.
He said that they would monitor the H1N1 situation here among the international participants.
“If there is any detection of H1N1 cases in Kuala Lumpur International Airport involving international participants (of the kite festival), we will take further action to minimise the risk of the virus spreading here,” Ismail said when asked if the organiser would conduct on-the-spot check like what was done to reveller at Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching recently.
“About 80 participants from 16 countries have confirmed participation in the fest, and we are now waiting for conformation from Italy and Brazil,” said Hussin Harun, vice-president of Malaysian Kite Flying Council.
He said Japan was sending the biggest contingent this year with 20 participants. Other countries sending participants were New Zealand, Australia, China, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, France, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, the Philippines, Austria, India and Portugal.
Hussin also said fewer participants could be expected this year because of the H1N1 scare, and the fact that the (kite) festival clashed with similar festivals in Japan, Australia and several European countries.
“However, with efficient networking, we were still able to get several participants from these countries,” he added.
Deputy chairman of Bintulu Development Authority Dato Sri Celestine Ujang, who also attended the meeting, meanwhile urged the locals to come to the merriment.
“There will be ‘Kite Queens’ clad in full costumes of the various ethnic races in the state taking to the field to fly the kites,” he added.