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Malaysian beca to feature at Expo 2020 Dubai


KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian classic traditional trishaw, or locally known as beca, will be featured as an attraction giving millions of visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai a unique and quaint experience of Malaysia’s culture and tourism.

Eight units of the beca, presented by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) to Expo 2020 Dubai, arrived in Dubai, UAE and were received by Expo 2020 staff earlier this month.

Expo 2020 Dubai themed “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” is a global expo participated by 192 countries and organisations including Malaysia. It will open its doors on 1 October 2021 and run for six months until 31 March 2022.

The world expo, governed by the Bureau International des Exposition, expects to receive millions of visitors from across the globe and will showcase innovations, breakthroughs and ideas from around the planet to enable action towards a better world.

Expo 2020 also promises visitors exciting daily events, showcasing the best of technology and creativity as well as celebrating cultures of the world.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Malaysia to attract the anticipated millions of visitors from the UAE and all over the world. This will create awareness among visitors on our country and pique their interest in visiting Malaysia,” said Mr. Shahrin Mokhtar, director of Tourism Malaysia Dubai.

The three-wheel beca are handmade and customised by traditional trishaw makers in Malacca. It took about two months to build and assemble the fully- handmade beca.

The beca portrays a unique trait of Malaysian heritage, culture and society.

They were the original mode of transport since the early 20th century before the arrival of comfortable taxis and public buses. Thousands of them shaped Malaysia’s transportation system during the historical days, especially among the Peranakan community of Malacca and Penang states, and the Malay community of Kelantan and Terengganu where they were used to transport goods and people.

Today, they are popular tourist attractions, many decorated with artificial flowers with a boom box under the seat, providing local and foreign tourists a scenic, relaxing spin through streets and corners.

“Culture and tourism will be key highlights and a permanent feature in Malaysia Pavilion’s Energising Harmony segment where visitors will get a captivating glimpse of how Malaysia is ‘Truly Asia’, with its diverse cultures and people of multi-ethnicities living in harmony, contributing to the nation’s progress,” added Mr. Shahrin.

Despite the Covid-19 global pandemic posing challenges to shipping and delivery, the eight units of trishaws arrived safely in Dubai and were received by Shahrin and Expo 2020 Dubai staff.

“We thank Expo 2020 Dubai for this great opportunity for us to promote Malaysia as an ideal place to visit to people from all over the world in one location, at Expo 2020 Dubai,” Mr. Shahrin added.

MOTAC will also fly in a cultural troupe to enthrall Expo visitors with daily cultural shows and craft demonstrations at the Malaysia Pavilion’s amphitheater.

The Malaysia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai is themed “Energising Sustainability”. Malaysia’s overall participation at Expo 2020 Dubai is led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation with Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre as implementing agency.

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