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Five Sabah buildings identified as historic monuments

KOTA KINABALU: The oldest training college in Sabah and the former location of the Cobbold Commission are two of five structures identified in a move to preserve more historical buildings in the state.

State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said the state Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment now provided a larger scope for older buildings here to be preserved.

The 2017 Ordinance widened the scope of subjects under its purview, Masidi added.

He said the state had not set a deadline for these buildings to be gazetted as heritage sites, which were built more than 50 years ago.

“We will continue the listing until all those that qualify are gazetted.”

Gazetted building sites must be preserved in their original form.

Tabling the 2018 state budget last week, Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman said Sabah aimed to preserve buildings that were at least 50 years old and have great historical value.

These include Turnbull Hall at Sabah College, which was named after Sir Roland Evelyn Turnbull, the second-last British governor in North Borneo.

Others include Kent College in Tuaran, built in 1952 and the oldest teacher training college in the state.

Also to be preserved is the former Wisma Radio Sabah along Jalan Tuaran here.

It was once used as the secretariat for the Cobbold Commission – the enquiry set up to determine whether the people of Sabah and Sarawak supported the proposal for the formation of Malaysia in 1962.

Source: The Star News

Much-awaited film on Sabah legend to premiere on Sunday

KOTA KINABALU: A much-anticipated film on the Sabah legend of Huminodun will premiere here on Dec 3.

The hour-long film tells the story of Ponompulan the daughter of gods Kinoingan and Sumundu, who sacrifices herself amid a famine so the people would have food. She later becomes known as Huminodun.

The legend is the basis of the annual two-day Kaamatan or Harvest Festival in Sabah.

The film was produced by Kota Kinabalu-based Siung Film Productions and directed by Aaron Cowan who was involved in Hollywood hits, including The Lord of the Rings, Avatar and Man of Steel.

There has been growing anticipation over the movie Huminodun since the release of its trailer on social media earlier this year which estimates the show attracted almost a million viewers.

This proves the interest the film continued to generate, Siung Films said in a statement yesterday.

It said Huminodun, filmed entirely in Kadazandusun, was a boost to Sabah’s burgeoning film industry.

Almost the entire cast and crew are Sabahans, with all the 250 visual effects created in the state, the company said.

The production was supported by the state Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, and the Kadazandusun Cultural Association, the latter’s Women’s Council and Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen) committee.

 

Source: The Star News

Marian Hill set to charm tourists with its unique attractions

SANDAKAN: Little-known Marian Hill here is set to be a new attraction with its pristine natural surroundings, as well as religious and historical significance.

A church has teamed up with Sandakan Tourism Association to promote the hill based on these elements, as well as the view it has from the hilltop.

During a recent hike with the media, St Mary’s Parish Pastoral Council chairman Pilis Malim said it took less than an hour to reach to the peak where climbers could see the expanse of Sandakan town below.

“The 2.5km journey provides views of beautiful flora.

“It begins from Marian corridor, a name dedicated to Mother Mary, who is the guardian of the parish.

“The first stop is a ‘Japanese Bunker’, which was used by the Imperial Japanese Army during World War 2,” he said, adding that there were about 10 bunkers in the area.

After a 300m climb, hikers will reach a 16m-wide by 8m-tall dam.

Pilis said the church committee members discovered the dam by chance when it was almost damaged by treasure hunters in 2013.

“The dam is believed to be built by a company in 1902 and was used by the Imperial Japanese Army as their main source of clean water.

“The committee renamed the structure as Mill Hill dam in honour of a visit by Mill Hill Missionaries at St Mary’s Cathedral here,” he said.

Hikers will continue their journey to Marian spring where Catholics believe that its water had miracle powers.

Pilis said the new attractions on Marian Hill would complement the other existing eco-tourism products in the district.

In 2015, the Sabah Forestry Department gave a licence for the church to conduct religious activities on the hill, which is located near the cathedral.

The Sandakan Diocese is working on providing infrastructure in fulfilling the hill’s status as a tourist destination that is on a par with other tourism products in the state.

Sandakan Tourism Association president Johnny Lim said he would soon invite the Sabah Tourism Board and tour agents to help promote Marian Hill.

Those interested to visit the hill can go individually but for a group of up to 15 people, they are required to book at least a week in advance.

 

Source: New Straits Times

Sabah passes 5 bills including on heritage conservation

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state assembly passed five bills related to heritage conservation, culture, biodiversity, railway and sewerage services today.

One of the bills tabled by State Tourism, Culture, and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi was the State Heritage Enactment 2017.

The proposed enactment seeks to make provisions for the conservation and perservation of state heritage, heritage site, and heritage object, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and for related matters.

“Sabah is a state with diverse ethnicity and culture as well as significance historical legacy that have become our pride. All these valuable treasures have attacted the attention of scholars, researchers and tourists.

“It is our duty to respect and protect them and for that reason the government is enacting the bill so the state heritage can be managed properly,” he said at the state assembly sitting.

Kamarlin said the existing Cultural Heritage Enactment (Conservation) 1997 covers only matters relating to tangible heritage, while care and protection aspects of integible heritage are not provided in the enactment.

“Procedures for gazetting and enforcemen powers are also not clearly defined. Therefore, this bill is aimed at improving the existing law by taking into consideration all categories of heritage and its importance,” he said.

In debating the bill, Junz Wong (Parti Warisan Sabah-Likas) porposed the proposed enactment to include protection of underwater cultural heritage.

This was following a controversial research undertaken by University Sabah Malaysia (UMS) in collaboration a local company Ugeens Berjaya Enterprise early this year.

The research focused on WW2 Japanese shipwrecks at popular diving sites in Usukan waters, where salvaging works on three wrecks were carried purportedly for UMS’ research

“We have seen the failure earlier Jan this year. This shows the importance of (having) this law,” said Wong.

In Jan, Ugeens Berjaya Enterprise commissioned a Chinese-registered dredging ship Chuan Hong 68 to conduct the salvaging works.

The process was brought to a halt after State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun instructed UMS to cease its research following concerns raised by the fishing and diving fraternity.

However, by then, the three wrecks sites, said to be teeming with marine life were later found to have been destroyed and the wrecks, missing.

Meanwhile, the Sabah Biodiversity Enactment 2000 tabled by Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin seeks to introduce new sections and amend certain words and expression as well as inserting new ones to the enactment.

The amended enactment will come into operation on Jan 2 next year and may be cited as the Sabah Biodiversity (Amendment) Enactment 2017.

Another bill – Sabah Cultural Board Enactment 2017 – seeks to amend the 1996 enactment to widen the functions of the Board in conserving and preserving culture.

Tabled by Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment assistant minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming, the bill will include establishment of mechanism for cultural conservation and to add art galleries in the function to establish, maintain, coordinate, and promote cultural centres.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister cum State Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan also tabled the two proposed enactments.

The proposed Sewerage Services Enactment 2017 seeks to provide for and regulate sewerage services and for matters connected therewith, while the proposed Railways Enactment 2017 seeks to revise and reenact a new law relating to railways.

 

Source: New Straits Times

Tattoos part of local culture, says Masidi

Kota Kinabalu: State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said tattoos in this part of the world have long been associated with culture and should not be equated with negative traits.

“In fact if you read the papers some of those caught for abuse of drugs are well mannered and groomed.

“So having tattoos alone does not reflect the character of a person. If you look at the Dayaks or Iban people in the olden days it is a sign of a warriors’ bravery and manhood.

“Even my late father he came back with a tattoo and later on in life I asked him about it, he said every brave man had to have a tattoo.

“In the case of North Borneo i.e. Sabah and Sarawak, tattoos are part of the local culture and have nothing to do with any negative implications,” he said, after officially launching the Third Sabah International Tattoo Convention 2017, Saturday. The event at Hyatt Regency Kinabalu would end today (Sunday).

Some 72 artists from 27 countries including Australia, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Iran, Finland, Mexico, China and Malaysia are taking part in the annual event.

“I have met (and spoken) to some of them (International and local tattoo artist participants) for the third year now and they are reasonable people. I don’t see them as a spokesperson for ‘bad habits’.

“Eventually it’s all about personal choice and what they want to put on their bodies.

Yes, there are issues but I think we should focus on the positive parts of the convention itself.”

On the event itself, Masidi said the number of (artists) participants to the event has grown. “We realise the response from the international community has been very good.

We may need to have a bigger venue because of this increase in a participants.

“I believe later on today and tomorrow the crowds will come over to admire the various works by tatooists and this can only mean this convention which started as a small event is slowly become a good draw for international participants and tourists.

“I believe Sabah will become more well known with this event. If you look at the number of nationalities of participants its obvious that the its reputation is growing far and wide and Sabah’s image is spread all over the world.”

Event Founder and Organiser Carlos Benny Majakim said the Tattoo Convention event attracts many nationalities and was a platform also for them to engage in an exchange of their art and culture in a way.

“So basically it iss also an event to educate (each other). The tattoo artists participating here are generally in their 20s but you can also see a few artists who are over 50,” he said. – Neil Chan

 

Source: Daily Express