Build museum that showcases cultural integration – Masidi

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

Oath stone brings focus to Keningau Heritage Museum

ASIDE from being known as a town in interior Sabah, Keningau is not known for much else. But this looks likely to change with a decision that will result in having a piece of Malaysian history permanently placed there.

Earlier this week, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup announced that the ‘oath stone’ (or Batu Sumpah) that pledges the support for Malaysia by the people of ‘interior Sabah’ will be placed permanently at the Heritage Museum (Musium Warisan) in Keningau.

The stone was planted in the compound of the Keningau District Office for many years. It caught widespread attention when someone uprooted it and returned it sometime later with some inscriptions chiseled off.

An uproar ensued because the words ‘ugama bebas dalam Sabah’ had been removed. After interventions by numerous parties, the new-look stone which will find its home at the Keningau Heritage Museum will have all the original wordings of the stone, except that they are now etched in a metal sheet mounted on a stone. So much about the stone; but what about its new home?

The Keningau Heritage Museum was established in 2008 and is located at what was formerly a government rest house built in 1946 and completed in 1947.

The rest house was built by the Borneo Construction Company Ltd. It lays claim that many Malaysian luminaries such as Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak, had visited Keningau and stayed at this historic rest house.

Today, visitors can view various aspects of Keningau’s history, covering the culture, history, zoology, ethno-botany and sports. What used to be probably the only place to spend a night for visiting government officials 50 years ago has been turned into a local museum that houses numerous historical collections dating back to the colonial days, ranging from artifacts and old photographs.

Some of these items were donated by either expatriates who used to live here or by descendants of famous families of the area.

There are two large antique Chinese jars donated by a man who claimed that spirits live within. A guest at his house claimed he saw the image of a lady emerging from one of the jars.

The owner, sold to a common local belief that many old jars are the abode of spirits, decided that he did not want them anymore in his house and donated them to the museum. Other amusing exhibits are some photos of a beauty queen (Ms Julita Angian) of Keningau in 1958 including a recent photo of her.

All in all, the Keningau Heritage Museum is certainly one of a kind a good way to spend a morning or an afternoon, especially when there’s someone at hand to share a tale or two about the origins of the oath stone.

To the uninitiated, Keningau can be accessed via the Kimanis Road, or following the recommendation of this writer, via the town of Dongongon in Penampang and up through the cool of the Crocker Range to Tambunan, with its terraced rice fields, and then to the central valley of Keningau. This route, is about 131km and between two and a half hours drive or more, depending on the number of stops you make and traffic.

A large number of lorries still use this route when transporting goods to and from the interior. Keningau was known for logging and some downstream timber industries. Oil palm dominates the landscape. The town itself has a reputation of being ill-planned. One former chief minister labelled it a ‘rojak town’ some years ago.

The majority of Keningau’s inhabitants are Dusuns and Muruts with a sprinkling of Chinese and many recent Indonesian immigrants. Keningau gets its name from Kendingau, which is the local name for the spice “cinnamon”.

This used to be collected and exported worldwide during colonial times. Keningau has also bred many of our local leaders who were instrumental to our independence from colonial rule, and the formation of Sabah as part of Malaysia.

Source : New Sabah Times

Sabah to get two new museums, says state assistant minister

KOTA KINABALU: Two museums – in Kudat and Ranau respectively – are currently being developed as an addition to the existing 11 museums and galleries in Sabah.

The new facilities are Tun Mustapha Museum (in Kudat) and Ranau Dusun Civilisation and Ethnic Heritage Museum, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Pang Yuk Ming during the question and answer session at the state assembly sitting here.

In response to Datuk Mohamad Alamin’s (BN-Bongawan) question on possibility of building mini museums in each district, he said there is no such plans at this moment.

“The development of these two new museums will boost research, documentation and publication fields to uplift the functions of museums as knowledge building institution in the form of exhibition, collection, history, culture as well as nature besides becoming a tourist attraction at that area.

“While we have no immediate plans for mini museums, my ministry via State Museum Department welcomes any initiative by any communities in Sabah that wished to create their own museums in respective districts,” he said.

State Agriculture and Food Industry Assistant Minister Datuk Musbah Jamli replying to a separate question, said 104 individuals from 12 countries have been caught for attempting to bring in animals and various animals produce through Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) last year.

“From the total, 40 percent of 42 are individuals from China, 24 from Hong Kong, 10 from Taiwan and nine from the Philippines, among others.

“Total value of seizure is 282.84 kilogrammes worth RM23,143,” he said in response to Datuk Ahmad Bujang’s (BN-Sindumin) inquiry on how many have been detained for breaking the laws in bringing in animals and plants through the state’s entry points.

In the same year, 44 fighting cocks worth RM16,000 and 33 poultry (chickens and chicks) worth RM6,790 have been confiscated through Sandakan entry point and Tawau ferry jetty.

“No individuals have been detained on committing the offence of bringing plants from outside into the state’s official entry points.” he added.

Source: New Straits Times