KUCHING, Nov 18 — Kuching has now become the first city in Malaysia to be accepted as a member of Unesco Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in the field of gastronomy, state Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah announced today.
He said the Kuching City South Council and Kuching City North Council received an official letter from Unesco two days ago on the acceptance.
“We are proud because Kuching is the first city in Malaysia which is admitted to the UCCN list,” Karim said at a press conference.
He said his ministry expressed its sincere appreciation to the federal Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, especially its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri for supporting Sarawak and facilitating the submission to Unesco.
He said the application of Kuching City to Unesco was a team collaboration of his ministry and the two City Councils who were backed by a number of Sarawak stakeholders.
“The application represents the synergy between public institutions at federal, state and local authority level with the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
“They include Culinary Heritage and Arts Society Sarawak, a broad coalition of stakeholders tasked with the promotion and preservation of the state’s gastronomic traditions, and Society Atelier Sarawak, which previously spearheaded a successful application to list Kuching as a World Craft City under the World Crafts Council,” Abdul Karim said.
He said the different ethnic groups in Sarawak with their unique heritage menu and food preparation techniques have helped to the team to build a strong case to get into the Unesco UCCN list.
He added the state’s bountiful harvests are the winning factor and the stories ought to be told to the World.
Abdul Karim believed that Kuching City’s acceptance as a member of the UCCN is an outstanding achievement and will have a positive impact on local socio-economic development.