Monday March 18, 2013
State government to continue serving as caretaker of heritage buildings
By VANES DEVINDRAN
KUCHING: 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.