KUCHING, July 25 — Sarawak minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today commended his state Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Ministry’s newest intern Violet Yong for her curiosity and keenness to learn more about the workings of the state government.
He said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak state government may include the DAP politician in its programmes to promote the hornbill state.
“She will be attached to the ministry’s agencies, including the Sarawak Tourism Board and the Museum Department.
“We may include her in our tourism promotion programmes in future,” he told reporters after opening a lecture programme of the 13th Asian Pacific Orchid Conference at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.
Karim, who is the state tourism, arts, culture, youth and sports minister said he liked Yong’s positive attitude, noting that the third-term assemblyman had asked many questions about his ministry’s activities during the last few assembly sittings.
“Her line of questions suggested that her knowledge on our activities and programmes is lacking,” Karim said.
He said he asked if she wanted to join his ministry as an intern for further insights into its programmes and she agreed.
Yong, the Pending assemblyman, started her six-month internship last Tuesday, Karim said.
Karim told Malay Mail later that a chart has been prepared to familiarise Yong with the role his ministry and its agencies play.
Earlier at the opening of the lecture programme, Karim said the state wants to tap into the fast growing orchid industry and to promote orchids as lucrative industry.
“As someone from the tourism industry, I am rather interested in the discovery, research and propagation and conservation of this exotic plant.
“Sarawak has one of the richest biodiversity in the world and this is also the case for orchid species, he said, adding that the state is also rich in traditional and cultural knowledge of orchid as medicinal plant.
He noted that Malaysia exported US$3 million worth of orchids compared to the more established orchid industries in Thailand and Taiwan, both exporting orchids worth about US$150 million last year.