20/08/2023 11:43 PM

KUCHING, Aug 20 (Bernama) -- Sape or sampe, the traditional lute of the Orang Ulu community of Sarawak, has been chosen to be featured at the Asian Games Museum in Hangzhou, China, among other cultural crafts from Malaysia.

Proton Edar Sdn Bhd (Proton) Deputy Director of Marketing and Network Support Steven Zhou Qi said the national automotive company is driving the initiative to promote the traditional musical instrument globally as part of its effort to boost Malaysia’s tourism sector post-COVID-19.

“We want to be the bridge, so, we organise events that not only promote the spirit of Asian Games but also local products that can be broadcast internationally and will result in more international tourists coming to Malaysia,” he told a press conference after the Sarawak edition of the Asian Games Nation Drive here, today. 

He said the traditional lute will be displayed alongside other cultural crafts from every state in Malaysia, which will be selected through a voting process on Proton’s social media channels. 

He said the first edition of the programme was held in Sabah and the next edition will be held in the peninsula.

The two-day programme was held in conjunction with the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou 2022 to take place from Sept 23 to Oct 8, of which Proton has been named as one of the official vehicle brands.

During the programme, 14 local media practitioners had the opportunity to go on a 280 km test drive trip in various Proton’s flagship and premium models such as Persona, Saga, X50, X70 and its latest model, X90. 

The participants which also involved Proton’s product specialists and staff left Kuching for Telok Melano via the Pan Borneo Highway, before returning to the city, and today they embarked on a 40km journey to the Sarawak Cultural Village in Santubong.   

At the event, Sarawakian boxer, Daeloniel McDelon Bong handed over a sape replica carved in wood, which embodies the Asian Games’ essence namely unity, sportsmanship, shared values and cultural exchange, to Proton.

The 24-year-old Sri Aman native, nicknamed 'Kilat Boy' said the opportunity to showcase the Sarawak sape on the international stage is an honour to the local communities in the state that is known for its diversity and racial harmony.