KUCHING: The Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts and the Sarawak Museum Department are on a mission to build and upgrade, more museums.
“Sarawak has many treasures that are of great tourism value,” minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah pointed out.
“Work is in progress to determine the displays at (colonial era) forts in Sarawak that have been gazetted as heritage buildings.
“The ministry and the department are working together to develop small museums throughout Sarawak. For the museum complex in Kuching, work on our old museum has been completed but the content (displays) is in progress.
“We are waiting for allocation to be approved (so that artefacts can be displayed). This will perhaps take more than a year for the department to organise and manage, but when it is completed, it will be part of the museum complex.”
Abdul Karim disclosed that visitors could have a museum jerayawara or tour.
He explained that visitors could start by visiting the old museum then move on to the new Borneo Cultures Museum and the nearby Islamic Heritage Museum as well as the Chinese Museum.
“Among others, we are also developing the Brooke Dockyard into a maritime museum and we want to set up an art gallery at the previous Kuching Municipal Council (KMC) building located opposite the Central Police Station.
“Bau is also another area where we want to develop a goldmine museum because of its rich gold mining history. To make visitors stay longer (in Sarawak), they could visit places like Mulu and Niah in Miri.”
Abdul Karim added that visitors could relax and enjoy live culture performances when the old State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building is converted into a centre for performing arts.
“These are part of the efforts to make Kuching ‘a city with a soul’ as envisioned by Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“These ideas came from him when he was the chief minister and it was passed down to current Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg. I’m also part of the continuing process of giving ideas.
“These ideas may be achieved during my time or for whoever is going to inherit the portfolio, to continue them.”