KUCHING: Strong winds lashed the city late Thursday, damaging the roof of the new Sarawak Museum Campus here. The contractor was immediately notified and ratification works followed.

Commenting on the incident, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said, “Yesterday (Thursday) we knew that there was an exceptionally strong wind that uprooted seven trees in front of the chief minister’s (Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari) house.

“It is not easy to bring down a tree that big, you know.  And not only the trees are affected, but some other new buildings as well, including this museum.”

Abdul Karim, who was speaking to reporters after attending the opening of the World Crafts Cities Network Forum in conjunction with the 10th Biennial World Eco Fibre and Textile (WEFT) Forum, Exhibition and Fashion Show themed ‘Dress and Cultural Identity’ at the new Sarawak Museum Campus, said the museum is still under warranty.

“The contractor had looked into the damage and they came to fix it right away to ensure there is no leak,” he said, adding that the new museum is set to open to the public by the end of next year.

“I would like to see it open much earlier, but it needs more time because the artefacts have to be arranged and labelled properly to make things look interesting.

“I really can’t wait to see this coming up, and I believe it will be a state-of-the-art museum,” he said.

He expressed his confidence that in two years’ time, Kuching will be a centre of attraction
as another museum (part of  the Sarawak State Museum), which in currently under construction, will be completed and open to the public as well. 
“When these two museums are finally open, Kuching will be very interesting. “It will be a must-visit tourist attraction,” he added.