KOTA KINABALU: Build a new museum that reflects the harmonious cultural integration among the people in Sabah, suggested Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.
Masidi said the suggestion to turn the burned-down old building next to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) in the city is not possible as the site is tied up with some legal issues.
“I am sure the Chinese community can find a place to put up the museum. I am sure the state government will be very considerate and, probably, in giving the land at a nominal cost,” he told the press at the launch of CAMACA at Jalan Dewan here yesterday.
“But generally, I would prefer that we have a new museum complex, bigger area with a lot of sections.
“We are noted for tolerance, we are noted for unity. I think we should reflect that in our museum. You can have your Kadazan section, the Chinese section, Murut section but, I think, personally, as a single unit of museum because that is Sabah,” he added.
Masidi reckoned that talks of having a dedicated museum could spark other demands and requests that would not end.
“So, let’s get our priority straight. Whatever we do in Sabah, I think it should reflect the harmonious nature in the integration of people in Sabah and that should include the museum,” he explained.
The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) president, Tan Sri TC Goh, had expressed the association’s readiness to set up the proposed Chinese Heritage Museum for Sabah should the state government give the green light.
Goh said this in welcoming the recent call made by Kapayan assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi, urging the government to turn the burned-down old building next to Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC) into a Chinese Heritage Museum.
Special Tasks Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Teo Chee Kang also welcomed the proposal and said the state government would be willing to facilitate the implementation of the meaningful project, which had actually been put into action during the tenure of former FCAS president, the late Datuk Seri Panglima Sari Nuar.
On another development, Masidi anticipates that the state would probably receive the tourism tax disbursements from the federal government under a different name on the basis of giving back to the state.
“It should be more than what we expect but it is up to us to tell them that we need this money to do promotions, for example, and they will give it to us, which may, ultimately, be more than what we ask for,” he hoped.
When it comes to the tourism, Masidi said growth will largely depend on the availability of hotels in Sabah.
Source: Borneo Post