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Event

SARAWAK RIVER VIRTUAL ART COMPETITION 2020 (SRVAC2020) FINALIST AND WINNERS

27 Nov 2020, Friday – With this year’s theme, “Be Part of the Solution, Not Part of the Pollution”, the organiser, RCE Kuching, in collaboration with UCSI University, Sarawak Multimedia Authority, Old Kuching Smart Heritage (OKSHe), and Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad successfully organised the Sarawak River Virtual Art Competition 2020 in conjunction with World Rivers Day. The two-month virtual art competition was open to all Sarawakians aged 16 years old and above.
The competition was aimed to improve our society’s awareness on the importance of Sarawak River as part of the Kuching SMART initiatives and also in efforts to mainstream education for sustainable development, as well as to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG 6-Clean Water and Sanitation & SDG 14-Life Below Water). Despite of the challenges due to current pandemic Covid-19, the organisers took the initiative to stage the award ceremony for SRVAC2020 virtually via online platform for the first time this year to announce the winners of the competition. The virtual ceremony was attended by several stakeholders including representatives from RCE Kuching, UCSI University Sarawak Campus, Sarawak Multimedia Authority, Old Kuching Smart Heritage (OKSHe), Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad, judges, and contestants. It was officiated by the Guest of Honor, Yang Berbahagia Datu Dr. Sabariah Putit, Deputy State Secretary, Performance and Service Delivery Transformation. In her speech, she hoped to see Kuching to one day be an environmental-friendly city, and for Sarawak people to have cleaner and more beautiful water sources now and for future generations. Moreover, she added that events related to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be done more frequently to raise awareness on Sarawak’s rivers among Sarawakians.
With more than 80 paintings submitted from talented youths throughout Kuching region, all of which created an impact on Kuching society. 20 paintings were shortlisted and showcased during the award ceremony. Out of these, 3 were given top prizes winners whilst 5 were given consolation prizes. The evaluations were based on professional judges and public voting. The paintings were submitted through OKSHe’s official website, the main online platform for SRVAC2020. The top and consolations winners received cash prizes, UCSI study bursaries, and e-certificates. (Student’s name?) from SMK Pending won the main prize for this edition of the Sarawak River Virtual Art Competition 2020. With the new ways of conducting online ceremony, the winners’ prizes were presented virtually by the guest of honour, YBhg Datu Dr. Sabariah Putit and Mukvinder Sandhu Kaur, COO of UCSI University Sarawak Campus & Vice Chairperson of RCE Kuching. On top of that, a video of the contestants’ feedback and write ups were played during the award ceremony to share their experience of participating this competition, especially during this pandemic.
 
Categories
News

CM wants state’s economic ecosystem to be more conducive for youths to develop talents (Video)

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg wants to transform the state’s economic ecosystem to be more conducive for youths to develop their talents.

He said one of the areas the state would be focusing on is the creative industry, in which Sarawak has an abundance of young talents.

“For instance our creative industry, we have the talent. That’s why you notice some of the national singers are from Sarawak.

“Even in Hollywood we have James Wan (film director from Sarawak),” he said during a special meeting with the press recently in connection with his third anniversary as Sarawak’s sixth chief minister.

Abang Johari said because of that, the state government is in the midst of turning the old State Legislative Assembly building into a performing arts centre.

This is so that Sarawakian young talents can build up their talent and showcase them worldwide.

“I mean that is the trend for the future. But the talent can be stunted if the ecosystem is not there.

“When you can sing, you don’t have a venue to showcase your singing talent, where else can you sing? In your bathroom?” he said.

Another example he cited was a famous local Malaysian actor Tony Eusoff, a Bidayuh from Siburan who is now one of the top actors in the peninsula.

Abang Johari said the state leaders must first have faith and confidence in carrying out these policies that would benefit Sarawakian youths in the future.

He said Sarawak has all the resources and necessary ingredients to move forward in such manner, so long as the leaders are confident and Sarawakians are not shy to showcase their talents.

“A lot of Sarawakians are working overseas. The reason is because the opportunities here do not match with their training. That’s why they are overseas.

“In other words you have to upgrade your economy that will match with their training. If you are trained in data analytics, so your economy must be based on digital,” he said.

That was one of the reasons why Sarawak Pay was created, he added, so that Sarawakians who are knowledgeable in digital and information technology can work with Sarawak Pay and such.

To date, he said Sarawak Pay has handled over RM100 million worth of transactions since its inception in November 2017.

“Whether you like it or not, we have to lift our economy and provide the economy that will match with the training, and Sarawakians are talented. You go overseas, a lot of our Sarawakians are overseas, and they have done quite well,” said Abang Johari.

However, he said it does not mean that only Sarawakian youths bounded to Sarawak can find opportunities here.

He emphasised the importance of education where Sarawakians should and can excel in all spheres of talents, including sports.

“You know, you cannot only talk about Sarawak. You have to also talk about the capacity of Sarawakians because you can also operate beyond Sarawak. So that is why education is important.

“Now we are providing the right ecosystem, as I’ve mentioned earlier, the areas we are looking into include education, building international schools, so Sarawakians can excel in all spheres, including sports,” said Abang Johari.

He added: “So what I’m saying here is, what we are doing now is to create this environment, it’s up to Sarawakians themselves now.

“There are many opportunities, up to you to take up the opportunities.”

[Source: “CM wants state’s economic ecosystem to be more conducive for youths to develop talents (Video)” published by BorneoPost Online]

Categories
News

Kuching-born James Wan to produce ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ TV series

Amazon has given a series order to their planned adaptation of the horror film I Know What You Did Last SummerVariety has learned.

Development of the series was first reported last year. The YA series is described as a modern take on the hit 1997 horror film.

In a town full of secrets, a group of teenagers are stalked by a mysterious killer a year after a fatal accident on their graduation night.

Like the film, the project is based on the 1973 novel of the same name by Lois Duncan.

“The best horror franchises always have another scare coming, and this I Know What You Did Last Summer series from Sara Goodman is a perfectly twisted update to the iconic slasher movie,” said Albert Cheng, COO and co-head of television for Amazon Studios.

“Any way you slice it, our global Prime Video customers will love this modern take on the fan favorite film.”

Goodman will write and executive produce. Shay Hatten, Erik Feig, Original Film’s Neal Moritz and Pavun Shetty, and Atomic Monster’s James Wan (the Kuching-born director known for helming The Conjuring film series), Rob Hackett and Michael Clear will also executive produce. Sony Pictures Television will serve as the studio.

“We are thrilled to have I Know What You Did Last Summer with our incredible partners at Amazon Studios,” said Jason Clodfelter, co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios.

“Neal Moritz and Original Films’ development consistently fires on all cylinders and that is proven once again with Sara Goodman’s contemporary and pulsating character weaving suspense thriller.”

This marks the latest YA series to get picked up at Amazon. The streamer previously gave out series orders to the YA dramas The Wilds and Panic, with other such shows currently in development. – Reuters

[Source: “Kuching-born James Wan to produce ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’ TV series” published by TheStar.com.my / Handout]

Categories
News

Why James Wan Was The Right Choice To Direct A Castlevania Movie

James Wan recently let it slip that he was attached to a live-action Castlevania movie; his career proves he’s the perfect choice for this movie.

James Wan revealed he was temporarily attached to a Castlevania feature film; he’s the perfect director for the job even though the video game franchise hasn’t come to life as a live-action movie yet — here’s why.

Many video game franchises tackle undead monsters, but Castlevania has become a staple of the industry. The ongoing saga of the Belmont family against Dracula and his evil army is the perfect material to get the feature film treatment. Although he’s yet to tackle vampires, James Wan has turned into one of the biggest filmmakers in horror, and has built an incredibly eclectic career that has embraced many different varieties of genre filmmaking since he started. Wan has not only had a hand in the creation of popular horror franchises like Saw and Insidious, but he’s also built his own connected universe of movies that stem from the success of the subversive haunted house movie, The Conjuring. All of Wan’s work has helped him become one of the most ambitious and exciting voices in the film industry, so if anyone was going to properly tackle Castlevania, it’d be him.Continue Scrolling To Keep ReadingClick the button below to start this article in quick view.

Many of Wan’s most memorable projects are within the horror genre, but he’s also created some massive action blockbuster movies like Furious 7 and Aquaman. Wan is a director who has shown a repeated affinity for the action genre. He also manages to maintain that same level of artistry through the set pieces that he creates, whether they revolve around scares, fight sequences, or car chases. Wan is known for blending horror and action sensibilities because they’re the style of movies that speak to him the most. Wan recently shared some unused monster designs for the demonic Valak from The Conjuring 2on social media, which went hand-in-hand with the news that he was at one point attached to direct a Castlevania movie. The project never came to pass, but Wan is absolutely the best person for the job.

Valak’s Demon Nun appearance in The Conjuring 2 struck such a nerve with audiences that it earned its own spin-off movie, The Nun. However, Wan’s original approach for the demon was a much more traditionally gothic monster, which was apparently the same approach for his take on the powerful vampire, Dracula, for his proposed Castlevania movie. Wan’s representation of Dracula looks Satanic in nature, and more like a demon than a fashionable vampire. Castlevania is a series that’s full of classical monsters, so it’d be genuinely exciting to see Wan’s unconventional approach for Castlevania’s large bestiary of creatures. Some of the aquatic monsters in Wan’s Aquaman feel like they could be out of Castlevania as well, and give an impression of what his interpretation of the material might have looked like, had it come to pass.

Wan knows how to expertly balance both action and horror; Castlevania is one of the franchises that’s most emblematic of this particular mix of genres. Wan has such love and respect for both of these areas, which is the main reason why he’d make sure that both aspects got their due recognition in a Castlevania movie. Another name that has been floated around for a Castlevania feature film is Paul W.S. Anderson, who has a notable reputation with video game adaptations, in particular his Resident Evil movie franchise. Anderson could no doubt handle the task, but much like his other projects, it would likely prioritize the action rather than horror, which was an often-heard critique of later Resident Evil sequels.

The opposite would be true with Wan, which is what’s necessary for a proper take on Castlevania. It’s not just another action series with monsters. As James Wan has created some deeply terrifying monsters for his many movies, and seems to have his finger on the pulse of what would work for a live-action update of the popular video game franchise, it’s a shame that he didn’t get to do the same with Castlevania.

[Source: “Why James Wan Was The Right Choice To Direct A Castlevania Movie” published by screenrant.com]

Categories
News

Malaysian-born director James Wan makes it to 100 most powerful people in entertainment list

PETALING JAYA, Oct 17 — Kuching-born Australian filmmaker James Wan has landed a coveted spot on The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 Most Powerful People in Entertainment 2019 list.

The Aquaman director who is best known for The Conjuring supernatural horror films was placed at No. 80, marking his debut on the list.

According to the showbusiness magazine, this year’s list is the most diverse yet.

The 42-year-old director-producer, who is based in Los Angeles, California, earned a spot on the list thanks to a deal with indie production house Starlight Media.

“A financing pact with Starlight Media allows him to make edgier fare; once he wraps indie Malignant, he’ll focus on Aquaman, working on the sequel to his US$1.1 billion (RM4.6 billion) DC hit,” The Hollywood Reporter published.

The list also featured quick-fire questions with Wan where he was asked to name the best or worst thing about the current merger mania that is sweeping across Hollywood.

“The fun thing is seeing different worlds and characters cross into each other’s stories and the possibilities of IPs getting integrated into other mediums and platforms.

“But of course, one or two people controlling everything is never a good thing. It limits individualism and creativity,” said Wan.

Among the questions asked included his last big splurge (vintage furniture) and his go-to podcast for a long drive which Wan said he prefers listening to music from the 1940s and the 1950s.

The Perth-raised director who is engaged to Romanian-German actress and producer Ingrid Bisu revealed in the interview that he had always wanted to own a small eatery business.

The Hollywood Reporter’s 100 most powerful people in entertainment 2019 list featured the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Brad Pitt, and Barack and Michelle Obama for their production company’s Netflix deal.

The top spot was retained by Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger following a US$71.3 billion acquisition of Fox assets and generating a record US$8 billion at the box office.

[Source: “Malaysian-born director James Wan makes it to 100 most powerful people in entertainment list” published by Yahoo News]

Categories
News

Awang Tengah: S’wak tops M’sia’s most preferred investment destination in first 3Q of 2020

KUCHING (Nov 13): Sarawak ranked first as the most preferred investment destination in Malaysia in terms of investment value in manufacturing sector for the first nine months of this year, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan today.

The Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development said Sarawak continued to be an attractive investment destination in the country despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“My ministry will continue to engage with investors either in person or online. For the first nine months of this year, Sarawak ranked number one as the most preferred investment destination in Malaysia in terms of investment value in manufacturing sector, with a total value of RM15.8 billion as in the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) report,” he said when delivering his winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.

Awang Tengah said Taiyo Yuden, Western Digital (HGST), IMM Technology (Iljin) and X-FAB were proceeding with their expansion plans in Sama Jaya High Tech Park valued at RM6.46 billion due to increasing global demand for mobile devices, hard disk drives, serves, energy storage solutions and automotive products.

He said a South Korean company was pleased with the recent findings conducted by the state and his ministry was confident that the company would choose Sarawak for its RM2.3 billion investment.

According to him, investors from China are also in the midst of applying to enter Sarawak to further their feasibility studies in bathymetric for their proposed US$5.2 billion oil and gas project in the state.

“An MoU was also signed recently between SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd and Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation and ENEOS Corporation on the establishment of a hydrogen production facility in Bintulu.

“We have also commenced discussions with another foreign company on their proposed hydrogen project,” he said.

Awang Tengah said the joint venture between Japanese companies and Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation’s (STIDC) subsidiary on biomass industrial fuel pellets project was at the testing stage.

The project, he said, was worth RM126 million and expected to commence construction at Tanjung Manis in mid-2022.

He informed the august House that the RM500 million battery project, a joint venture between China and Sarawak companies, at Demak Laut was under construction.

“The RM5.7 billion methanol plant in Kidurong is under site preparation and similarly, the RM17.05 billion steel project in Samalaju is expected to commence site preparation soon,” he added.

He pledged that his ministry would continue to facilitate all these investments so that Sarawak did not miss out on these opportunities even during this Covid-19 pandemic.

[Source: “Awang Tengah: S’wak tops M’sia’s most preferred investment destination in first 3Q of 2020” published by Borneo Post Online]

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M’sian wins New Talent Award

A MALAYSIAN filmmaker has been recognised as one of the best new directors at the National Film Festival For Talented Youth in the United States, reported Sin Chew Daily.

Mickey Lai, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcasting (Hons) from Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, was presented with the New Talent Award for her film The Cloud Is Still There (pic).

The short film was part of Lai’s coursework in completing her master’s degree in Film and Television Production at London’s MetFilm School.

It tells a story of a Christian woman and her relationship with her Taoist mother, which is based on Lai’s life experiences.

Lai said she wanted to highlight the different ways the mother and daughter prayed to God in a bid to save the terminally-ill grandfather.

“I wanted to explore the conflict in many Malaysian Chinese households with different beliefs. I wanted to produce a film that tugs at the heartstrings of viewers, ” she said.

The Cloud Is Still There won Lai best film director in the South-East Asia Short Film Festival in September and had been nominated in the Norwich Film Festival and the National Film Festival For Talented Youth.

> As many as 200,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are expected to close for good at the end of the conditional movement control order, said Datuk Michael Kang.

The SME Association of Malaysia president told Sin Chew Daily many businesses were seriously affected by the first MCO in March and they would no longer be able to service loans due to the impact from the latest restrictions.

The worst affected, he said, were those in the hospitality sector, event management, arts and craft, and shopping malls.

The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.

[Source: “M’sian wins New Talent Award” published by TheStar.com.my]

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Western Digital agrees to invest a further RM2.3b in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — Western Digital, a leading digital storage equipment manufacturer, has decided to invest an additional RM2.3 billion to upgrade its facilities and boost its production capacity in Malaysia.

“This was agreed on during a meeting between Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and group chairman of Western Digital Malaysia, Datuk Syed Hussian Aljunid, today.

“This raises Western Digital’s total investment in Malaysia to almost RM18 billion,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement today.

The new investment would go towards the expansion of facilities and factory capacities at Western Digital Media Penang and Western Digital Sarawak.

According to the PMO, interest among companies to increase investments in Malaysia reflects the government’s capability in managing the economy and investors’ confidence in the country’s administration and stability as the world grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The prime minister, who is pleased with the new investment, welcomes any investment from companies that invest in high-impact and technology-based industries in the country.

“The government, through the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti), Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida) and other related agencies continue to be committed in attracting investment and convincing investors to invest or make additional investment in Malaysia,” the PMO said.

It said the new investment would create job opportunities for more than 2,000 people.

The export value of Western Digital from Malaysia amounted to RM18 billion in 2019.

[Source: “Western Digital agrees to invest a further RM2.3b in Malaysia” published by Bernama / Malay Mail]

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Western Digital to spend another RM2.3bil in Malaysia, cumulative investment rise to RM18bil [NSTTV]

KUALA LUMPUR: American hard disk drive manufacturer and data storage company Western Digital will invest an additional RM2.3 billion to expand its presence in Malaysia.

The new investment will take Western Digital’s total investment to almost RM18 billion since establishing its operations in the country in 1973.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), in a statement, said the additional investment was agreed upon during a meeting between Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Western Digital (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Syed Hussian Aljunid today.

The PMO said the new investment would be used to expand the facilities and capacity of Western Digital’s plants in Penang and Sarawak,.

This would benefit the country’s economy and provide employment to more than 2,000 people, it added.

The new investment by Western Digital reflected the government’s ability in managing the economy and bringing back investors’ confidence despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the PMO said.

Muhiyiddin welcomed any company wanting to invest in a high-impact and technology-based industry here, it added.

“The government through the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Malaysian Investment Development Authority and other related agencies are always committed to attracting investment and convincing investors to invest or make additional investments in Malaysia.

“Western Digital’s additional investment reflects high confidence of foreign investors towards the government in helping investors to expand their investment and operations in the country,” it said.

[Source: “Western Digital to spend another RM2.3bil in Malaysia, cumulative investment rise to RM18bil [NSTTV]” published by New Straits Times]