Monday, July 01, 2013

Sarawak earmarking heritage and colonial buildings

SIBU: The state government is carrying out a study to identify all heritage buildings, including colonial buildings, to preserve them as part of heritage.

Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang, who disclosed this, said the study would be done in stages to ensure that these buildings of historical value and tourism potential are not knocked down or overtaken by development, but to preserve them for generations to come.

He was asked on the measures taken by the state government to preserve the heritage of colonial buildings for future generations and the tourism sector.

“All colonial buildings in the state should be preserved as they are part of our heritage. It is not easy to find such structures these days and so by all means, we should preserve them,” he told The Borneo Post when met here.

Liwan, who is also Belaga assemblyman, added: “In fact, we are going stage by stage to preserve all these heritage buildings where we have already identified quite a number of such structures.”

Asked on the progress of the study, he disclosed that they were targeting those heritage buildings now in danger of extinction while those yet to be affected by development would be dealt with later.

“Yes, the study has started, but our priority would be on those that may be affected by development and we will move in on those still safe, slightly later.

“In doing so, we will be able to keep the structures intact and preserve them for our future generation,” he said.

He also noted that colonial buildings have good tourism potential, adding, “that is why it is important for us to publicise and inform people of the heritage value of these buildings (in order) to preserve them.”

On Sarawak Museum Department’s plans to set up Wallace Gallery in Sarawak Museum in recognition of Alfred Russel Wallace’s contribution to the state’s history, Liwan said he was supportive of such a move.

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