Thursday, November 24, 2005

Mustapha Gallery to enhance tourist draw to Sabah


Kota Kinabalu: Tun Mustapha Gallery at the Yayasan Sabah here was unveiled on Wednesday to hoteliers and tour operators in an effort to offer yet another tourism product.

Deputy Director of Yayasan Sabah (YS), Dr Johan Arriffin A. Samad, said the gallery was initially set up in honour of a leader who was instrumental in leading Sabah to gain its independence.

Basically, he said the objective of the gallery is to provide information pertaining to the late Tun Mustapha's political struggle.

These, he said, include his sacrifices and contributions to nation building, particularly those that pertain to Sabah's independence through Malaysia that had resulted in the blessings, peace and prosperity enjoyed by Malaysians in Sabah today.

"It is hoped that through such awareness, the people will understand and be more appreciative of the late Tun as our early leader and will value the unity and harmony among multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-cultural people who formed the very core of the late Tun's struggle," he said.

Dr Johan, who is also Chairman of the Tun Mustapha Gallery, said they are confident that the gallery would be able to attract a steady stream of visitors and inevitably complement the on-going visits by tourists to the unique YS building.

"As such, I hope you could add in the list of your (tour operators) tourism destinations of the potentially important and interesting new tourism site," he said.

He said many tourists from abroad would stop by the building every day, snapping pictures with the unique tower in the background.

However, he said the value of the pictures could be further enhanced with the basic knowledge of the landmark structure through a brief tour in the gallery and explaining the man behind the building.

Depending on who the visitors are, he said the gallery would also serve several purposes such as a source of accurate and interesting political history, information about the nation building process and instrumental role played by Mustapha.

He said Mustapha's legacies include guiding Sabah's independence through Malaysia and also the various socio-economic developments during his tenure.

The gallery, he said, houses various pictorial illustrations and artefacts with informative captions about Mustapha beginning from his childhood days up to his demise.

"To the tourists, the gallery would compliment their visit to the Menara Tun Mustapha.

"It is for this reason that major players in the tourism industry, would find the gallery worthy of inclusion in your brochures and schedules and also make it as one of your tourism destinations," he said.

In addition, he said the facility would also benefit the research community in their scholarly works.

Visitors must pay entrance fees to go inside the gallery located next to the Tun Hamdan Theatre at the Yayasan Sabah and it is open daily from Tuesday to Sunday except on Monday.

Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah would officially open the gallery next month.

Source: Daily Express

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