KUCHING: Contractors who come across historical relics when doing excavation work must immediately stop their task and inform the relevant authorities.
Assistant Tourism Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the Museum Department will be dispatched to sweep the area and collect samples.
He advised that if it is not possible for the contractors to stop their excavation work immediately, digging must be done manually without the use of any machinery.
“Stop using the machinery as soon as possible. If you still need to dig, please do it manually to avoid these relics being broken.
“We need to unearth these relics in its original form. It would lose value if it is broken and in pieces.
“Old relics provide evidence to the history of our city and civilisation,” Lee told reporters recently after visiting various heritage sites at the city centre.
He reminded contractors to inform their clients that work needed to be stopped to avoid any conflicts, particularly project delay.
On Jan 6, construction workers on a drainage project near the Central Police Station at Jalan Khoo Yeang unearthed pieces of ancient Chinese pottery and porcelains dating back over 200 years from the Qing Dynasty era.
The Museum Department, led by its deputy director Dr Charles Leh Moi Ung, immediately screened several areas within the vicinity and found over 200 pieces of broken ceramic, porcelain bowls and plates in the next few days.
The department was also hoping to discover old coins to help determine the date and time when trade activities had taken place in the area.