MIRI: The batik industry is a potential money-spinning tourism product that is still largely untapped in Sarawak.
Sarawak Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said there was a need to give the batik sector a boost, especially in Miri which borders with Brunei.
“There is huge potential here for batik blouses, shirts and textiles because Bruneian women from across the border have a keen interest in buying these fine clothing materials,” he said yesterday.
“Miri does not have big centres to showcase our batik and turn it into a major tourism sector.
“This is something we will want to look into since it is a potential lucrative sector,” he added.
An exhibition and warehouse sale of batik textiles and clothing from all over the country was held at the Miri Civic Centre over the past three days and it drew big crowds of people from Brunei.
Lee was surprised that the organisers of the event did not inform his ministry nor had a launch ceremony.
“The event was organised by various batik entrepreneurs from the peninsula states and their counterparts here.
“It could have been a big tourism draw if promoted widely,” he stressed.
The event venue had a steady stream of buyers and visitors, many of whom are from Brunei.
Housewife Andika Bohmin from across the border in Kuala Belait said Malaysian batik was of high quality and 50% cheaper than the ones in Brunei.
“I love the flora design and the silk and cotton batik,” she said.
The batik on display were made by entrepreneurs from Sarawak, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Johor, Penang and the east coast states.
Source: The Star