Borneo Post, September 1, 2014

“8 lighted arches to enhance city’s beautification”

“Eight lighted arches will be erected along the Main Bazaar. (…) They will (…) compliment the ‘Golden Bridge’ to be completed by 2016 to link Petra Jaya and Kuching. Under the 11th Malaysia Plan, Brooke Dockyard will be restored and renovated into a maritime museum and business hub. While work for the Golden Bridge is underway, plans will be finalised to link the whole waterfront area comprising Kuching Waterfront, Kuching Esplanade, Sungai Bintagor Water Front and Jalan P Ramlee as a heritage trail of historic landmarks and monuments in the city. “To transport tourists and locals, a ‘Walk-on, Hop-off’ bus service will start in 2015 which encircles Satok and the new State Legislative Assembly Complex,” said (the Tourism Minister) Abang Johari.

Abang Johari who is also Housing Minister said shopowners in the area should, on their part, respond to the project by facelifting the facade of their historic shops. The state government he said, would provide a subsidy of 50 per cent for the beautification of their shophouses so the state can enjoy a boost in tourist arrival, while the shop owners benefit from having more customers.”


Borneo Post, July 28, 2014

“Masjid Bandar Kuching to be a heritage site”

The 180-year-old Masjid Bandar Kuching is set to be turned into a heritage site, with a new mosque to replace it on the horizon. (…) The original Masjid Bandar Kuching will still exist as a heritage site, but we will not carry out our prayers here – maybe use it for ‘madrasah’ purposes.” said Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman.

Borneo Post, July 26, 2014

An article presenting, in particular, the projets to enhance the Kuching water front : Kuching Waterfront Extension project (walkways, esplanade); Golden Bridge, to link the observation tower facing the Old Court House to the DUN (State legislative Assembly), part of the Halaman Heritage Trail project.

Sarawak Tribune, July 18,2014

“Ipoi: Santubong’s development to include restoration of historical sites”

The Sarawak Tribune reports that, in a a talk on Santubong archaeology, the Director of the Sarawak Museum Department mentioned that the development of the Santubong area includes the restoration of Santubong’s archaeological sites, including trails, signage, an information centre at the Bongkissam shrine site, and the gazetting of the sites under the Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993.

Borneo Post, June 6, 2014

“‘Buaya tanah’ Lun Bawang’s cultural heritage still visible”

On an initiative to enhance awareness of the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Ba’ Kelalan area (Borneo highlands)


Borneo Post,  June 1, 2014, Sunday

“Tourism Ministry mulls turning part of state capital into heritage site”

The Minister of Tourism announces the set up of a panel of heritage experts to prepare an application for Unesco World Heritage status for a corridor in the old Kuching quarters. A stretch from Padungan to the Sarawak Museum has been identified as as the potential corridor. “Listing these areas as a Unesco World Heritage site will take a considerable amount of time. We are however fortunate that these areas comply with all the criteria set by Unesco” said the Minister.


Sarawak Tribune, May 16, 2014

“Sarawak culture, heritage need to be preserved”


Borneo Post, May 15, 2014

“Sarawak Museum tasked with preserving culture, heritage”

In a speech to the State Legislative Assembly, Sarawak’s Social Development Minister stressed the important role of the Sarawak Museum Department, (SMD, under his Ministry), not only to run Sarawak’s museums, but also to take charge of  cultural artefacts, historical buildings, including historical and archaeological research. He gave an outline of the SMD’s work programme, which includes several temporary exhibitions, and, for example, discussions with he History Department of University of Malaya to review and revive  historical and archaeological research in the Sarawak river delta.  The recalls the current restoration projects of Fort Margherita (Kuching – RM 1.8 million funding from the National Heritage Department) and Fort Alice (Sri Aman, RM 5 million). He also said that the State government had approved the proposal to construct the new Sarawak Museum Campus – expected to be completed in 2019- and the Heritage Trail,  and that it is planned to refurbish the existing three  historical museum buildings.


Borneo Post, February 8, 2014

“Heritage area shop owners asked to repaint buildings”

“Shop owners in heritage areas have been asked to collaborate with the Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) to paint their respective buildings to portray a new image to both locals and tourists. Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said the council has been directed to improve the outward appearance of heritage areas while Main Bazaar would also be decorated with lights. “Once Main Bazaar is decorated with lights, it will be like Orchard Road in Singapore. DBKU has been given the money to do it. While maintaining the heritage in the city, we do not want our shops to look gloomy. “So I have requested DBKU to work with shop owners to paint their buildings. The expenses will be divided 50-50 among shop owners and DBKU. Where can you find such a deal?” he said”


Borneo Post, November 23, 2013

“Ipoi: ‘New museum next year’ will strengthen case for a heritage city”


Borneo Post,  November 22, 2013

“British museum tie-up for heritage trail”

“Sarawak will be collaborating with the Natural History Museum of London from next year to unlock the possibility of establishing a heritage trail for Kuching City, says Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg. (…) “We are planning to establish a heritage trail in Kuching City located mainly in the Main Bazaar area, the DUN complex area and the Astana as announced by the chief minister recently”, said Abang Johari”


Borneo Post, October 30, 2013

“NGO calls for task force to preserve heritage places” (Sabah)

The NGO  Heritage Sabah calls for the setting up of an Heritage ask force on identification, preservation and enhancement of heritage places in Kota Kinabalu. The NGO mentions that it undertook a preliminary investigation which led it to shortlist 49 potential heritage places within Kota Kinabalu City.


Borneo Post, September 16, 2013

“Cultural heritage law can be extended to marine sites’

Reacting to reports of plunder of WWII Japanese shipwrecks off the coast of Santubong, the Director of the Sarawak Museum advocates for  an extension of the Sarawak Cultural Heritage Ordinance 1993 to protect marine historical sites.


Borneo Post, August 21, 2013,

“Golden Bridge catalyst to closer interaction between both parts of city, says Taib”

Launching of the Golden Bridge project which is to link the observation tower facing the Charles Brooke Memorial (in front of the Old Court House) and the DUN (State Legislative Assembly). It will be pedestrian bridge with a budget of RM 35 million. The article includes an artist’s impression of the design.


Borneo Post June 1, 2013

“Heritage Legacy, riverside villages for vibrant Kuching”

As part of the plans to improve tourism infrastructure is a Heritage Legacy project with the help of a special fund, covering an area from the Museum to the the old State Legislative Assembly building, said the Minister of Tourism. He also mentioned the development of villages along the Sarawak River in Petra Jaya area.


Borneo Post, April 04, 2013

“Abg Johari: Govt developing state as tourism attraction”

(…) “Abang Johari said for a start, his ministry would develop the Kuching Waterfront where it would build a bridge from Kampung Boyan to Fort Margherita before continuing with other developments in other towns.

“A restaurant will be built at the top of the fort and I will adopt English concept for the eatery,” he said.” (…)


The STAR, March 23, 2013

“Going green big time”

Exerpt :

” (…) While it was crucial to build new buildings for development, Johari said sustainable measures should also involve the preservation of culture and heritage, especially in the older parts of the city.

“While they are colonial in origin, we can regard these structures as priceless heritage of ours in which not many cities on the world can claim to have. Thus we need to continue preserving this heritage as the city landscape is changing rapidly towards becoming a modern and vibrant place,” he explained.

Johari said for Kuching, these heritage sites would provide the city with a unique charm especially to first-time foreign visitors.

“There is a need to balance urban city growth with sustainable city development, and architects, planners and property developers certainly have a role to play in this endeavour,” he said.


The STAR, March 18, 2013

“State government to continue serving as caretaker of heritage buildings”

“The state government will continue to be the caretaker of heritage buildings like the old court house, the Japanese building and the old post office.

In fact, Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said, aesthetic upgrading works had been commenced upon these colonial buildings and also other infrastructure within the city’s heritage zone.

There was a proposal to have a joint management between Sarawak Incorporated Sdn Bhd and Merdeka Plaza to coordinate activities at the Waterfront and the heritage zone.” “But Merdeka Plaza is not taking over (the management of the heritage buildings, particularly the old court house),” he told a press conference here yesterday when asked to clarify on the matter. He said the heritage buildings would still be under the care of the state government. He also refuted claims circulated in Facebook that the state government was planning to knock down the old court house. “No. These are our heritage buildings,” he responded.

On the contrary, Johari said, the state was in the midst of boosting the tourism aspect of the whole area by adding on infrastructure like a pedestrian bridge across Sungai Sarawak to Kampung Boyan as well as activating the river taxi that would ferry people right up to Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.

In addition, he said, Fort Margherita would also be turned into a exhibit gallery on the Brooke family. He said one could even have tea there in British style.

Asked on the cost of the aesthetic upgrade for these heritage buildings, Johari said it could run into millions of ringgit.

The last time such an upgrade was done was 20 years ago.”


Borneo Post, March 17, 2013

“Sungei Sarawak as a tourist draw”


The Star, February 24, 2013

“Study being done to identify heritage zone in Kuching, says Johari”


Borneo Post, February 24, 2013

“Study on heritage zone underway — Abg Jo”


Borneo Post,  February 17, 2013

“Register your antiques now, owners told”


Borneo Post, February 15, 2013

“Art exhibition can help preserve local heritage”


Borneo Post, February 6, 2013

“Sarawak Museum holds talk on Japanese Occupation”


Borneo Post, January 27, 2013

“Take steps to preserve heritage of country, govt urged”

Borneo Post, December 31, 2012

“S’wak to bank on culture, eco-tourism”

Borneo Post, December 15, 2012

“Ministry drawing up master plan for ‘Halaman Heritage'”


Borneo Post, December 13, 2012

“Old city centre a ‘Halaman Heritage’ site”


Borneo Post, October 14, 2012

“Let’s join hands to preserve old Kuching”


Borneo Post, July 18, 2012

“Plans to rebuild suspension bridge hailed “


Borneo Post, July 1, 2012

“Bringing the world’s attention to Malaysia’s heritage “


 South East Asia Archeology, an independent  newsblog by archaeologist Hidalgo Tan  blog – March 29, 2012 :

“Sarawak sets up special budget to preserve relics from war”

“The state of Sarawak is setting up a special budget to help document the relics and history of World War II in the state, particularly in the interior where access can be a problem. However, the article makes it sound as if the senior citizens are the ones being called the relics!

“A special budget would be proposed next year to preserve and document war relics and history in Sarawak, state Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage, Liwan Lagang said today.

He said the amount to be set aside would depend on the scope of work but there was great urgency to do this as those having information on the war history and relics were all in their advanced age.

“As such, we have to do this fast. If these senior citizens are no longer around, we will be losing the information,” he told reporters after opening an exhibition on Bario Commando Heritage at the Art Museum, here.”

Read more:

Special budget to recover, preserve war relics in Sarawak
Borneo Post, 26 March 2012

Promoting World War II relics as state’s tourism product in the offing — Liwan
Borneo Post, 27 March 2012

Ministry to fund efforts to discover and preserve state’s wartime relics
The Star, 27 March 2012


Borneo Post, 11 Aug. 2011

Will Niah caves achieve Unesco world heritage site?

Borneo Post,  April 16, 2011

“Heritage trail to link Kuching Esplanade, Sungai Bintangor”

 “The construction of a heritage trail from Kuching Esplanade to Sungai Bintangor is set to turn Kampung Masjid into another tourist attraction along Sarawak River. According to Housing and Urban Modernisation Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg, the RM15 million project is part of the RM65 million budget approved by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to bring the Malay traditional village in Kuching into a modern environment. “When this project is completed visitors from Grand Margherita can walk right up to Brooke Dockyard, Sungai Bintangor and up to Satok.” “This project in Kampung Masjid will be named ‘Heritage Trail,” he said. (…) He added that in the project, Brooke Dockyard, which sits along the trail, would be turned into a maritime museum. (…) “Kampung Masjid will become a tourist attraction and it is set to improve the livelihood of residents there,” he said. “Apart from that, residents can also set up ‘homestay’, which is a lucrative industry,” he said. Abang Johari also added that the construction of the heritage trail is part of a long-term plan to transform all Malay villages in the city. “Soon, this waterfront will reach Sungai Lajim and transform this village into a tourist attraction with clean and modern amenities,” he said.


Borneo Post, April 24, 2010

Kuching sees its future as Heritage City

“Kuching city may become the next Heritage City after Melaka and Penang.Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit pointed out that Kuching city has all the prerequisites to achieve Heritage City status, which the federal and state governments will work together to achieve. “From the White Rajahs and the governor, the British colony government and the historical buildings that we have here, we will want to make Kuching the third Heritage City in the country”, Dawos told reporters. (…) Dawos, confident that Kuching City would attain Heritage City status, said: “I see no problem for Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to give the blessing and declare the city a Heritage City as we have many historical buildings and many others that befit the status.” He added that the federal government would help submit the application to Unesco once it had received it from the state government. According to Dawos, it would take between six months and a year for Unesco to approve the status, after evaluation on the ground.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan concurred with Dawos, saying that Kuching had all the fundamentals to qualify it to be a Heritage City. “We will submit the proposal to the federal government to forward to Unesco, and we are in the process of doing it,” said Dr Chan who is also Minister of Tourism and Heritage.”