The chief minister believed performing arts could help create a healthy and balanced modern society.
He said gone were the days when people would flock to see plays and dramas such as in the 1960s.
“That generation is gone. We need to develop new talents and revive the interest so that we can create a market for this activity …We need to revive some drama activities in Sarawak.
“People are getting very busy nowadays and we have to find out what are the popular versions of drama that young people will love,” he told reporters after closing the Chief Minister’s Challenge Trophy Inter-Teacher Training Institute Drama Competition for Sarawak Zone in Kota Samarahan.
Taib said for a start, trainee teachers needed to be exposed to all levels of drama production — from script writing to performing on stage.
With sufficient interest, training and experience, these teachers could then impart their skills and knowledge to their students and create a young generation who would be curious and attracted to drama, the chief minister said.
He said teachers could also work with the people on the ground where they were teaching like associations or villagers towards this end.
“When we have a state theatre (in the future), drama activities can be enjoyed by the younger generation,” he said, adding that Singapore was doing very well in drama.
Earlier in his speech, Taib said stage performances like drama could act as a communication tool to convey the message of change experienced by a country during the process of social and economic transformation.
He pointed out that conflicts could occur between rural and urban folks in their daily lives as presented in one of the dramas — ‘Wasiat’ — and therefore, it was essential to create an understanding between the people to reduce possible conflicts.
He said the development of a country should not only emphasise its growth in wealth or gross national product (GNP) while neglecting other areas such as arts.
“A nation’s economic development should be accompanied by development in the social and cultural fields as well. Everyone of us have a role in contributing towards social development.
“We could equip ourselves to become a cultural people, to become a member of the society to enjoy arts,” he said.
Taib suggested that teacher training institutes in Sarawak hold a symposium or seminar on drama next year in connection with the 10th anniversary of the competition.
“I hope the four institutes could organise something like a symposium or seminar about drama to celebrate the 10th anniversary. It would help to further promote arts in the state,” he said.
He also suggested that teacher training institutes in other parts of the state host future drama competitions.
Tun Abdul Razak Teachers’ Training Institute deputy director Mohd Lin said this year’s competition was themed on education, and the champion would represent Sarawak at the national-level competition next year.
He commended the participants, who came from different teaching courses, for pooling together their resources for the love of performing arts and their commitment to learn and impart whatever knowledge and experiences they had gained.
The drama entitled ‘Wasiat’, performed by Tun Abdul Razak Teachers’ Training Institute in Kota Samarahan emerged champion in the competition and took home the Chief Minister’s Challenge trophy as well as the champion’s trophy, RM1,500 and certificate of participation.
“Wasiat’ also earned Mohd Nur Asri Hamdan the Best Director Award; Jack Joannaes Limbing who played the leading role as Faruk and Jamal the Best Male Actor Award; and Zainal Abidin Abdul Wahab who played Tok Penghulu and Wak Leman the Best Supporting Male Actor Award.
Tun Abdul Razak Teachers’Training Institute also swept the Best Choreography and Best Script awards.
The first runners-up was Batu Lintang Teachers’ Training Institute of Kuching with the play entitled ‘Ilang’, while the two consolation prizes went to Rajang Teachers’ Training Institute in Bintangor with the play entitled ‘Sidak Mek Maseh Terit’ and Sarawak Teachers’ Training Institute in Miri with the play entitled ‘Satu Keluarga’.
The Best Female Actress Award went to Merina Akim from Rajang Teachers’Training Institute who played Cikgu Emon; Best Supporting Female Actress Award went to Rozana Ahmad from Sarawak Teachers’ Training Institute in Miri who played Dayang Sutinah; and Best Costume Award went to Batu Lintang Teachers’ Training Institute.
Social Development and Urbanisation Minister Dato Sri William Mawan, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Naroden Majais, Asajaya assemblyman Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Tun Abdul Razak Teachers’Training Institute director Datin Zahrah Bujang were also present.
The Borneo Online
Ulasan: Pak Ngah ada bersama dalam majlis tersebut. Ada kesilapan dalam laporan akhbar berkenaan. Timbalan Pengarah IPGM Kampus Tun Abdul Razak memaklumkan bahawa "mungkin akan ada pertandingan drama peringkat kebangsaan antara 28 IPGM pada tahun depan dan ini merupakan suatu kelebihan kepada semua IPGM Zon Sarawak kerana telah berpengalaman mengadakan pertandingan drama ini... dan bukannya sebagaimana yang dilaporkan... iaitu juara pada tahun ini akan mewakili Sarawak ke peringkat kebangsaan... haru betul...