Inject Some Borneo into Your Inbox

Each week we deliver the most interesting news that's going on in easy-to-read bites of info.

Thoughts

Ahmad Deedat “Amadeus” Ibrahim

Mathematics Lecturer

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), Kuching

I’m seeing a polarised segmentation of palate-ial preference (not gonna apologise for the pun). Under the Satok flyover and other places, we are acquainted with the sight of food trucks listing (supposedly) affordable offerings. In the malls, we are seeing the proliferation of high-end consumer franchises; Tony Roma’s, Nando’s and Sushi Zanmai come to mind. Both markets have a good size of clientele. But neither is taking away from the custom that older hipster and traditional markets usually get. My take? It’s exciting in that we are getting more options. On the other hand, it’s a bit discomforting that it might be a symptom of growing socioeconomic divide. But, food is food and I’m gonna try every one of them. The world’s gonna end soon, why not eat in the meantime?

San Lun

Proprietor

Madeleine Café, Kuching

People are getting more healthconscious nowadays. Upon returning to Kuching, I made an overhaul to all my recipes; which is to reduce the sugar level. However, it’s not just reducing sugar but also maintaining the balance of the whole dish.

Vincent Hon

Sales Representative

Master-Pack (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd

Food and the culture of eating in Sarawak’s urban society have undergone some form of transformation. In the past, there were limited restaurants, cafés, food courts and hawker stalls to dine at in Sarawak. This has changed a lot today, with so many new eating outlets in all forms, offering endless choices of both local and international food and beverages. We can see that this has become a huge attraction for food lovers. Sarawak has a lot of food choices and factors such as working far from home, as well as food varieties served at many different premises, encourage the practice of eating-out among the people of Sarawak. Restaurants, food courts and hawker stalls now service not only those who want to have quick meals, but also those who want to spend quality time over some good food with their friends and family.

Stanley Collin anak Awen

Student: Bachelor’s Degree of Civil Engineering (3rd Year)

Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, Kuching

Well I think anyone who has always been wanting to try a certain dish from another continent (influenced by the Food Channel etc.) can really benefit from all those new restaurants that have popped up, that serve different cuisines of the world. For example, I’ve been wanting to try Mexican food since I was a kid and I can’t wait for an authentic Mexican restaurant to come to Sarawak. Who knows, my neighbours could be big fans of Mexican (food) as well? There is no known chance of it not being successful here due to pricing or conservative people, but the risk is worth taking for anyone open to food from around the world.

Stephanie Jong

Outlet Person In Charge

Level Up Fitness, Kuching

Generally, I think it’s interesting that trends come and go, including food. And I like how people are open to explore certain foods regardless of whether or not they will like the food. But I do hope that the local delicacies of Sarawak will remain WELL-MAINTAINED for as long as they can because those are part of distinctive culture. There are also “new trends” that are probably mostly hipster and cater to the younger generation. A lot of these are gimmicky. I hope the locals do not stray away too much from the originality of our cuisines, with so many food trends going on.

Stansfield Chua

Chief Technology Officer

Go Seafood Sdn Bhd

Changing food trends means an opportunity for the palate to sample and experience new cuisines and fusions while at the same time create a platform to propel the recognition of local dishes and cuisine. Food is a universal commodity that transcends individuals and bring communities closer.

Muammar Quaddafi bin Abdul Razak

Manager, Public Affairs Section

Bintulu Development Authority (BDA)

Being an industrial city, we constantly bring in investors from overseas – China, Korea, Japan, Norway, England etc. So naturally, we needed to beef up our F&B offerings. New restaurants have popped up, that cater to their taste buds. Of course, they would also want to look for Sarawak delicacies and Bintulu has that as well – including traditional food like Ti’Ong and Teves. I personally think that the diversity in our F&B offerings is a good thing, as people are now able to choose between local cuisine and international fares. Bintulu residents are always excited to try new restaurants. And they will usually post about their experiences at those outlets on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. This will attract people from as far as Miri, Sibu and Kuching, and even overseas, which is of course good for the local economy.

Donald Phin

Proprietor

D’lite Mart

Nothing beats traditional Sarawakian food - I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of Kuching staples, laksa and kolo mee! I think it’s a good thing that people have a choice when food shopping, since our options available in the past were limited. However, even with all the varieties of food available and with the upcoming trends in the future, traditional local cuisine will never go out of fashion in Sarawak.

Dato Ir. Winsel Ahtos

C&S consultant

Digital technology will change the way we connect with people, through the Internet and other communications means; transform the way we conduct business and place entertainment at our fingertips. The minus side will be loss of privacy, freedom, security and how to deal with the virtual world.

Eddy Puah

Senior Manager

Distrepark Sdn Bhd (Amcorp Group)

Advancement in technology has improved our lives. From simple things such as sensor lighting, energy saving appliances to homes we can manage with the touch of a screen from miles away, the future is exciting as technologies continue to advance. Future homeowners will benefit tremendously from this advancement.

Peter Moon

IT & Social Media Consultant

We are now living in an era where almost every household has more than one smart devices, most commonly the smartphone. Washing machines, ovens and even air-conditioning systems are now utilising smart technology, which can be operated by your smart phones. The digital age is here, embrace the change, it could be more ergonomic to your daily living routines.

Eugene Yap

Manager, EYL Solutions Enterprise

Digital technology is definitely a huge convenience in today’s lifestyle. For example, smart home owners can do everything from setting the security alarm to unlocking the door for the kids or making sure they do their homework instead of watching TV, all via the convenience of their smartphone or tablet, even when they are miles away from home. Forgetting your house keys is fast becoming a thing of the past as smart homes are keyless.

NorAishah Tan binti Abdullah

Managing Director

Alam Didik Sdn Bhd

Being able to control my house alarm and view the CCTV from my mobile phone is super convenient and a life saver. Thanks to the ever revolutionary cycle of the digital world.

Frances Tan

Head of Science Department

Lodge International School

We cannot deny that digital technologies have revolutionised home living - from programming laundry in washing machines to connecting house alarms to mobile phones! In the end, it’s whether the technology is user friendly, safe and well covered by technical support for it to bring convenience rather a needless frustration.

Francis Ding

Former Director

Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS)

We have much to offer in terms of both indoor and outdoor sports. Our indoor sports facilities such as our badminton halls meet international requirements. Our latest aquatic centre in Kuching is also of international standards. When it comes to outdoor sports, we have Baleh-Kapit for white water rafting, for example. We also have extreme sports like the annual Sibu International BASE Jump, which attracts foreign participation. I do hope that the event will gain momentum. I’ve seen it personally and it is a very interesting sport. Overall I think that we are definitely going in the right direction in terms of developing our sports tourism.

Jackie Ting

Managing Director

Megalanes Sarawak

We are working together with Amateur Bowling Association of Sarawak (ABAS) in hosting of international tournaments. We are very proud to be working together with a very successful sports association to promote tourism through our sport of tenpin bowling. Now that we have the perfect venue for the sport, it is only prudent and timely that we do so for our beloved State Sarawak. We are definitely on track. ABAS has already received positive feedback that many top international bowlers from overseas will be coming for the Sarawak International Bowling Championship 2017 in September this year. This championship will also attract domestic tourism as most states in Malaysia have indicated their interest to send their athletes here. ABAS has also successfully bid for the 18th Asian Schools Bowling Championships 2017 to be held in November this year. Preparations had been done through Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress. More than 15 countries have indicated their interest to participate i.e. Singapore, Philippines, Australia, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Macau, Kuwait, Chinese Taipei, Brunei and Malaysia. We are very excited about these two prestigious events and are looking forward to putting Sarawak on the World Tenpin Bowling map.

Mark Ferguson

General Manager

Merdeka Palace Hotel & Suites

In recent years we have seen many major sports events - such as SUKMA, National Paralympic Games, the Chief Minister’s Cup ITF Junior Circuit tennis championships, South East Asian Squash Championships and more recently the Badminton Malaysia Open and Bola Sepak Rakyat - taking place in Kuching. This has resulted in increased occupancy rates for our local hotels and is good for business in general.

Linus Chin

Associate 2

Ernst & Young

Rower

Sports have been a big part of my life since growing up, from running to rowing. As an athlete in Sarawak, it’s incredible to see the growth of sports tourism throughout the years. For instance, the annual Sarawak Regatta is one of the biggest sports event in Sarawak that attracts people from all over the world, be it athletes or supporters. Personally, it is the only competitive sport that unites the strengths of both the rural and urban Sarawakian to battle ferociously for the championship title against each other, and also other countries.

Goh Kwong Hua

Project Assistant

RDA Industry Sdn Bhd

Ultra Runner

Not only can sports tourism create healthy lifestyle and promote health awareness among local citizens, it is also a way to attract tourists, boosting local sports and tourism industries at the same time. I believe Sarawak is on track in terms of sports tourism, but there needs to be improvement in terms of logistics, such as direct flight/highway access between each city for more convenience and lower transportation costs.

Shirly Ann Clarke

Manager, Group Corporate Communications

Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad

As evident in the increasing trend of sports tourism in Kuching in the last couple of years, Sarawak definitely has proven itself to have the potential to host largescale sports tournaments, be it local or international. We should, and I think we have leveraged on our unique culture, nature and adventure to position the State as a major sports tourism destination. Definitely can been seen are the improved sports venues and facilities – so, yes we are getting there.

Albert Tan

Owner

Revolution Run

Sarawak is a land rich in beautiful jungles, rivers, mountains, limestone caves; probably one of the best in the world. It would be good to have large scale events each year to attract visitors as part of their holiday destinations, where they can enjoy participating in a sports event and have a vacation simultaneously; a Runcation! On top of road runs, it would be equally good to promote and support eco sports such as trail run, caving, kayaking and mountain biking events. Our beautiful jungles of Borneo, we should be proud of that! Upcoming trail event: Borneo Padawan Eco Challenge 22nd October (Stay tuned via Facebook Page EpicBorneo)