KUCHING (Feb 15): Sarawak will see the opening of six museums this year as the state government aims to show the world its diverse heritage, said Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
The Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts said the six museums are the Brooke Dockyard Industrial Heritage Museum, Santubong Archaeological Park, the Wallace Centre, Limbang Museum, Rumah Sri Aman Gallery, and the old Sarawak Museum where content development works will be ongoing.
“The Sarawak Museum Department will however open the old Sarawak Museum building for tours starting March this year,” he said during the Sarawak Museum Department’s appreciation and bonding night here yesterday.
He said the Sarawak Museum Department will also have 14 other projects in 2023 including the conservation and upgrading of Brooke-era forts – Fort Emma, Fort Brooke, Fort Lily, Fort Hose, Fort Sylvia, and Fort Arundell.
On the recently opened Borneo Cultures Museum, he said it is the second largest museum in Southeast Asia and the largest in Malaysia.
“The museum contains a total of 1,462 artefact collections to be exhibited to visitors. Since opening on March 9 last year, the museum has received a total of 600,165 visitors as of February 13 this year.
“Visitors who visit the Borneo Cultures Museum are not only local tourists but also tourists from abroad,” he said.
He said as of Feb 13 this year, 13,764 overseas visitors have visited the museum including from Indonesia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Australia, Brunei, France, Japan, Korea, Germany, and the United States.
Abdul Karim pointed out Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah has visited the museum twice.
“Among the achievements of the Borneo Cultures Museum is being awarded the Gold Award for the Museum of the Year category by the Malaysian Tourism Council last year too,” he said.
Meanwhile Abdul Karim revealed the Museum Department is moving its journals online as e-journals in line with international standards.
Various initiatives are actively being carried out such as obtaining a Journal Management System in collaboration with the Sarawak Service Modernisation Unit and Sarawak Information System Sdn Bhd (SAINS), he said.
“In addition to the Sarawak Museum Journals, the Sarawak Museum Department has also published other books, including books related to museums and collections in the department’s possession.
“Last year, the department’s publishers successfully produced eight book titles too, as a result of research by the curator of the Sarawak Museum Department together with external researchers,” he said.
He added Sarawak has also been chosen to host the national level International Museum Day celebration this year by the Malaysian Museum Department.
Among those present during the event were Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Sebastian Ting, Deputy Minister of Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan, Deputy State Secretary Datu Hii Chang Kee, ministry permanent secretary Datu Sherrina Hussaini, Malaysian Museum Department director-general Datuk Kamarul Baharin A Kasim, and Sarawak Museum Department director Nancy Jolhi.
The Borneo Post, by Matthew Umpang