KUCHING: The curtains have come down on the Sarawak Old Building Conservation Workshop, which began on Monday, at Merdeka Palace Hotel here.
Organised by Sarawak Museum Department, 52 participants from various agencies attended the workshop to gain knowledge and to get exposure about conservation of old historical buildings.
The closing ceremony was officiated by Dayang Morzanah Awang Haddy, curator in Enforcement Department of Sarawak Museum Department, representing acting director Suria Bujang.
Morzanah said that the conservation project was still new to state agencies and to themselves, and listed as part of the 11th Malaysia Plan.
“Our Sarawak Museum is a building from 1891, so we have been waiting for a very long time for conservation to be done on the museum.
“We want to follow strict conservation methods; which means conserve, preserve and restoration of the building, in order to maintain the original structure of the historical building,” she told the press yesterday.
“Our role is not only to preserve all these buildings as a continuation of the architectural history and Brooke history, but we also learn about the buildings built during the Brooke era.
“We want to tell the story of the past to the present,” she said.
Besides that, Morzanah also mentioned that Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah tabled a continuance to Sarawak Cultural Ordinance 1993 at the DUN sitting last year — the approval of Ordinan Warisan Sarawak.
“The government has also provided RM308 million for Sarawak Museum Campus, along with the conservation project.
“With the fund, we want to cover everything; the tangible and intangible — the building and the story of the building,” she said.
Morzanah also shared that 12 of the historical forts in Sarawak had gone conservation work, including Fort Lily in Betong, Fort Alice in Simanggang, Fort Emma in Kanowit and Fort Brooke in Meluan.
“There are still many forts that have not been gazetted or no longer exist, as these historical forts tell a major history of administration during the Brooke era.
“We have to cooperate with the public so that they are knowledgeable about how conservation should be done,” she stated.
“We hope those who attended our workshop for the past two days have gained a lot of knowledge about the importance of conserving and preserving our state’s iconic and historical buildings,” she said.