Abang Johari (centre) and wife Datuk Amar Juma'ani Tun Tuanku Bujang (left) accompanied by Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (right) at the “Muzikal Sarawak Harmoni: Pemimpin Berjiwa Rakyat — Hati Ke Hati” programme. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The Sarawak government will spend over RM200 million to upgrade the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building here to become a centre of performing arts.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that the allocation would be included under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).

Abang Johari

“The state government will develop a panggung budaya (cultural theatre) with state-of-the-art facilities where our old DUN building will be turned into a centre of performing arts equipped with advanced technological facilities.

“The upgraded building will have a big theatre and also a small theatre equipped with modern technology as well as recreational spaces. We want Sarawak to have the best panggung budaya in Malaysia,” he said.

He said this when officiating at a ‘Muzikal Sarawak Harmoni: Pemimpin Berjiwa Rakyat — Hati ke Hati’ programme held at DUN building here on Saturday night.

Abang Johari added that with the upcoming new building, Sarawak would be able to provide a platform to develop its arts and culture as well as to hone the existing talents among Sarawakians.

“Although the state government is focusing on infrastructure and economic sectors in developing the state, we do not forget to develop our arts and culture. That is why we establish our own medium for us to showcase our distinct arts and culture.

“Alhamdulillah the state now has its own television channel — TVS. From there, we will work on to lift our arts and cultural heritage to a higher level,” he added.