Stories, news, update from KePKAS

Sabah’s biggest graphic mural of historical Clock Tower

The newly-opened Hotel Sixty3 at Gaya Street here will be unveiling Sabah’s biggest graphic mural of the Atkinson Clock Tower for a two-day exhibition to be held in conjunction with the “Bonding with Gaya Street” event this weekend.

The 8’ x 48’ graphic mural, depicting KK city’s oldest landmark, the Atkinson Clock Tower, will be the highlight of the exhibition that will be placed in the atrium of the hotel.

The mural will be an artwork collage of various old photographs of Jesselton township combined to create an image of the clock tower. It will be the largest graphic bunting ever produced of the 107-year-old historical lock tower that has now become the most important historical marker for the city of Kota Kinabalu.

The Atkinson Clock Tower (ACT) exhibition will showcase the importance of the Atkinson Clock Tower as KK city’s historic landmark with old photos taken over the past 107 years of its existence by the past and present residents of Kota Kinabalu (then known as Jesselton).

Richard Nelson Sokial, a local heritage advocate who is assisting in curating the ACT exhibition together with Sabah Museum, praised the hotel management for its interest and support in promoting the event.

Sokial is also a member of the “Bonding with Gaya Street” organizing committee under the North Borneo History Enthusiasts (NBHE) group that is aiming to bring the local community together in rediscovering the history of KK city’s early town centered around the activities of Gaya Street — then known as Bond Street.

“The graphic mural of the Atkinson Clock Tower is a huge and generous gesture by Hotel Sixty3 in support of promoting our local history,” he said. Sokial is confident that with ongoing efforts to create awareness of the importance to preserve heritage in the city, more and more local business establishments are seeing the potential of heritage as a branding and tourism product by supporting the preservation of existing historical structures and their immediate surroundings.

Lisa Sabrina Ambrose, general manager of Hotel Sixty3, said the hotel is excited to be involved with a project that is so close to the heart of the Gaya Street community.

“We hope that this exhibition will encourage the public to learn more about the city, so that when they walk along Gaya Street they can retrace the history of Kota Kinabalu,” she said.

Formerly known as Nosmal Court, the premises of Hotel Sixty3 was renovated and completed early last year and is one of the few examples of architectural readaptation projects in Kota Kinabalu that have mostly kept the character of the original building’s modernist architecture from the early 1960s.

Apart from rare old photos and information about the Atkinson Clock Tower and heritage preservation efforts, a multimedia presentation will also be shown about the Atkinson Clock Tower as an effort by Sabah’s younger generation to preserve their local history.

In support of the Atkinson Clock Tower exhibition, Hotel Sixty3 will also display its own private collection of old photos taken during North Borneo’s colonial era along its hotel’s corridors.

The Atkinson Clock Tower exhibition will be held at the first floor atrium of Hotel Sixty3, located in front of the Sabah Tourism Corporation building on Gaya Street. It will be open from 8.30am to 6.30pm as part of the “Bonding with Gaya Street” event.

Early birds visiting the exhibition will also be able to redeem free cups of coffee sponsored by Cap Kuda Coffee Company at the first floor atrium. The coupons will be distributed along Gaya Street during the two-day event.

A coffeetable book titled “Colonial Towns in Sabah: West Coast” by PAM Sabah Chapter will also be on sale at the exhibition featuring 12 colonial townships in Sabah’s west coast.

Source: Borneo Post

Praise for bonding KK folks with city’s history

The community heritage exhibition “Bonding With Gaya Street” earned praises from Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir at its launch, here, Saturday. “This programme is connected to City Hall’s vision, which is to make Kota Kinabalu a Nature Resort City, a firmly developed city, friendly as well as peaceful by 2020.

“It also gives the younger generation an opportunity to gain an insight into the uniqueness of Gaya Street through exhibits which showcase its social history, lifestyle and culture, old buildings and shophouses, significant events and incidents, which have influenced the community along Gaya Street throughout the ages.”

“I believe visitors will have the opportunity not only to see the natural beauty of the city, but also a chance of looking into the lifestyle pattern of its community as well as gather bits and pieces of its history as they go along the exhibits,” he said at the Lintasan Deasoka in conjunction with the 12th City Day celebration.

Daily Express is a co-sponsor of the event. The first headquarters of Sabah Publishing House, the publishers of both the Daily Express and Overseas Chinese Daily News, were among the street’s pioneer establishments.

Madingkir reminded patrons and business proprietors along Gaya Street to maintain the cleanliness of the city. He also suggested repainting and renovations to be done on buildings along the street, where necessary, in order to lift the image of the city as well as ensure the buildings are safe.

Earlier, Organising Chairperson Datin Fazar Arif said the focus was on Gaya Street because it is the origins of Jesselton and Kota Kinabalu.

Thus the project is named ‘Bonding with Gaya Street’. Part of Gaya Street was also known as Bond Street in the old days.

“We are all very familiar with Gaya Street but we just don’t look around, we tend to take it for granted. So this exhibition is about slowing down and noticing the details.

“Our objective is to celebrate community and celebrate community history which goes back to the beginnings of Gaya Street as we know.”

She also credited the North Borneo History Enthusiasts (NBHE), a fairly random group of bloggers comprising Sabahans from all walks of life.

“It’s not like we’re learned academics but it’s very much based on love of history and stories as well as collecting stories and old photos from people of Gaya Street.”

She said the first shophouses were built along the area called Bond Street that would later be re-named Gaya Street. The event also saw the soft launching of the NBHE book titled “Bonding with Gaya Street”.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr. Yee Moh Chai , City Hall Director General Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, founder of the NBHE group, Justin Sunam Wong and Madingkir’s wife Datin Florence Malangkig.

Source: Daily Express

Local authorities urged to highlight uniqueness of their areas

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman wants local authorities to identify and highlight the potential and uniqueness of their respective districts at the international level.

“This includes historical aspects of a place, the uniqueness of ethnicities and sub-ethnic groups, various cultures, potential for tourism and other efforts and programmes which can generate income, strengthen cooperation and unity,” he said at the 2012 Tawau International Cultural Festival.

In his speech, which was read out by Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Yahya Hussin here last night, he commended the commitment of local authorities for an event which showcased the culture of 26 ethnicities in Tawau, including food, dance, traditional costumes and wedding customs.

“This festival is a good medium to foster ties between leaders and the community to uphold our cultural heritage, unite and strengthen understanding as well as respect among our community of various races, religion and cultures,” he said.

Musa said that in the regional context, the festival’s theme ‘Kebudayaan Untuk Kedamaian Serantau’ (Culture for Regional Peace), also played a big role in reviving the spirit of goodwill and togetherness among neighbouring countries.

Source: Bernama

North Borneo Railway steam train service back on track again

The North Borneo Railway steam train service is back on track after an absence of six years.

“This is the only one of its kind in South East Asia which I think Sabah should leverage on, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Masidi Manjun at the re-launching of the North Borneo Railway here, Saturday.

The North Borneo Railway is a joint venture project between Sutera Harbour and the Sabah State Railway Department, which was temporarily closed in September 2005 due to the upgrading works of the railway track.

The three-hour train service will operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Tanjung Aru to Papar.

Masidi said Sabahans should be proud that despite the developments and the modernisation of the transport industry, the State has somehow managed to save one of the last remnants of colonial transport.

“I believe that this is going to be a winner and be very popular among tourists just by looking at all the amenities and facilities that are served on board,” he said, adding that it is very important that the standard of service is maintained continuously.

“I have always advocated that there are things in Sabah that we need to maintain for instance old shop houses in Tanjung Aru, which we need to strengthen the structure and convert into something that we can actually add value to what we already have.

“We have to keep in mind that development is not just about building tall buildings, its about the convenience of the people, you need to look beyond the building itself to appreciate what you are going to put into the city.

“If the city is congested with buildings, obviously traffic jams will follow next and at the end of the day, your intentions of wanting to enrich the city would actually backfire because people will stop patronising the city,” said Masidi, adding that is why the same principle should apply to a product like this North Borneo Railway,” he said.

On the recent opening of an ‘upside down’ house in Tuaran, he said, there is a need to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas to continue to interest people in the tourism industry in Sabah.

On whether his Ministry will promote it as a tourism product, Masidi said as long as it complies with the safety standards there is nothing wrong with it.

“For me its not just about being upside down, its about creativity and that’s what we need, it’s not about doing the same thing over and over again but trying to do something new because the same thing all over again will only give the same result,” he said.

In another matter he said: “I am very happy to announce that we may have exceeded our projected tourist arrivals of 2.63 million, however, we’re still counting and we may have reached a figure of somewhere between 2.75million.”

He also assured that his Ministry is working very hard to go for alternative routes following Malaysia Airlines’ decision to cut a few routes.

“I went to Shanghai in December to meet up with China Eastern Airlines and immediately they have started their charter flight service to Kota Kinabalu.

“Hopefully by the end of this month, I will again go to Guangzhou to meet the China Southern Airlines and again its my sincere wish that they will come and start their service in Kota Kinabalu,” he said.

Also present were Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir and Sutera Harbour Resort Chairman Tan Sri Ahmad Kamil Jaffar, among others.

Source: Daily Express

Insight into human-crocodile conflicts by satellite tagging

A satellite tagging project has been started, to tag selected male crocodiles in 10 main rivers of Sabah, as part of an on-going project to gain insight into human-crocodile conflicts.

So far, two Kinabatangan river crocodiles have been tagged by the Sabah Wildlife Department, through its Wildlife Rescue Unit and Danau Girang Field Centre (DGFC), the latest being a 3.6 metre saltwater crocodile named Lais, on January 27.

DGFC director Dr Benoit Goossens said most human-crocodile conflicts involved large males of the species.

By tagging these animals, long term seasonal movements can be established, which would then help determine how lack of food may be forcing them to consider humans as a source of protein, he added.

“We plan to focus on 10 main rivers in Sabah and fit satellite tags on the male crocodiles in each of these rivers.

“We will also carry out surveys and collect samples to identify patterns of gene flow between the rivers and also to get an overall picture of fertility within the population,” said Goossens who is also leader of the Kinabatangan Crocodile Programme, in a press release issued yesterday.

The 10 rivers are Klias, Padas, Paitan, Sugud, Labuk, Kinabatangan,Segama, Kalumpang, Kalabakan and Serudon, with emphasis on two rivers with different degrees of human pressure — the Kinabatangan and Paitan.

Sabah Wildlife Department director Dr Laurentius Ambu attributed the recent successful tagging of the crocodile in the Kinabatangan river to both the Wildlife Rescue Unit and DGFC’s hard work. Ambu said the Wildlife Rescue Unit, funded by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort and Le Meridien Hotel, has been extremely active since its creation.

DGFC Manager Mark Rampangajouw said a camera set up in the cage had allowed the project team to catch good shots of the crocodile as it took the bait and moved into the trap.

The satellite tagging project is currently funded by the Chester Zoo in Chestershire, UK and DGFC.

Source: Bernama