Abdul Karim (sixth left), Dayang Morzanah (seventh left) and Hii (fifth left) with the Excellent Service Awards recipients. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: The state government is always passionate about promoting and preserving the culture and history of Sarawak, said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He stated that Sarawak is rich with history, culture and arts from the various ethnic groups across the state which should be preserved and portrayed to the younger generation and visitors.

“That is why we want to lift this historical heritage so that it can nurture interests among the younger generation.

“Whatever (proposal) is being brought to the state Cabinet, it will always get the Cabinet’s endorsement because everyone especially our Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is very passionate about the state’s arts and culture,” he said.

He said this when speaking at the Sarawak Museum Department’s “Jasamu Dikenang” appreciation dinner held at Waterfront Hotel here on Friday night.

Abdul Karim also mentioned that the staff of the Museum Department must be proud of being part of the department as it is undergoing a large restructuring process in transforming the state’s museum industry.

He stressed that the department must not weigh heavily towards heritage that belongs to only a particular ethnic group in the state when it comes to showcasing cultural materials in the museum.

Abdul Karim delivering his speech.

“We have so many races and ethnic groups in Sarawak so we should try to portray the rich culture of all ethnic groups in the museum as much as possible.

“Likewise, we wish to build and preserve the state’s rich diversity in and around the state,” he added.

Abdul Karim also advised the staff of the Museum Department to work together in unity as each of them has special tasks which can contribute and create a big impact to the organisation.

The same event witnessed Abdul Karim presenting Excellent Service Awards to seven staff —– Dora Jok, Mona Octavia Sulai Albans Melling, Chai Siaw Ching, Sharon Cynthia Samuel, Sabiah Atim, Erwan Husaini and Alexson Norbert.

He also presented certificates of appreciation to two retiring staff, Johan Mohamad and Sarkawi Bujang.

The Kumang/Queen title at the event was awarded to Hajah Shazwanna while Alvin Ikom Berayon won the Keling/King title.

Amongst those present were Abdul Karim’s wife Datin Zuraini Abdul Jabbar; the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee; Sarawak Arts Council chief executive officer Sharkawi Amit; Sarawak Tourism Board chief executive officer Sharzede Salleh Askor; Sarawak Craft Council representative Dennis Lang; Friends of Sarawak Museum president Anita Guha MacGillivray and executive director Louise Macul; Sarawak Museum Department former acting director Tazudin Mohtar; and curator Dayang Morzanah Awang Haddy.