Sport of kite flying grounded
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE lack of a proper venue for kite flying could ultimately spell doom for the traditional outdoor sport.
Hj Mohd Abu Bakar, the advisor to Brunei’s Kite Association ‘Pekikik’, said that there has been a major decline in the popularity of the sport in the Sultanate in recent years.
He explained that this was due to the activity being banned in public areas for safety reasons.
“There is a law that prohibits us from flying our kites in public areas... which is understandable because it is dangerous as it could disrupt aerial activities (such as flights of helicopters and airplanes),” he said.
According to Hj Mohd Abu Bakar, who is also the Kg Kiulap village head, the law was introduced in 2011 to ensure the safety of both kite fliers and the general public.
He said that kites are only allowed to take flight in certain areas which would not disturb aerial activities.
“Those looking to fly their kites are allowed to do so at Tungku Beach but it is not well maintained,” he said.
“Trees have grown and there is limited space therefore there isn’t enough wind to fly the kite,” he explained.
The advisor added that he felt the activity may disappear completely due to the space issue.
“It is really sad to see one of our traditional activities disappear. Nowadays kite flying isn’t popular... It wouldn’t be popular in the future either,” he said.
Hj Mohd Abu Bakar hopes that Tungku Beach will be further developed to ensure kite flying lives on.
He added that the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has spoken with the association in search for a solution but nothing has been decided yet.
He, however, pointed out that both the government and private sector have invited the association to assist in kite flying workshops throughout the years.
“It is good to see that schools, departments and others are taking action by organising workshops for this traditional activity but even with the workshops, there is still no venue for people to use their new skills to fly their kites,” he said.
The Brunei Times