Study to help assess Kuching’s conservation efforts

KUCHING: The Sarawak Heritage Society (SHS) is looking forward to working with the state government on a baseline study to compile data on Kuching’s heritage zone.

SHS president Datuk Robert Jacob Ridu said the proposed study would provide an expert assessment of the conservation potential of the city’s heritage.

It would also present technical suggestions on conservation planning for specific assets such as the old Brooke Dockyard and Hokkien school building at Jalan Tabuan.

“We talked to the Chief Minister about building a database of the core area of Kuching and he said, do it. He wants it because he has been talking about digital data.

“We suggested that we could help in the design of the study to get data so that we know the inventory of buildings and what needs to be protected.

“Once that is done, it can be used for planning and zoning,” Jacob said after leading a courtesy call of SHS committee members on Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the state legislative assembly.

He said SHS also proposed an assessment of the existing public policies and regulatory framework on heritage conservation and provide recommendations where necessary.

In addition, it would continue to raise public awareness through site visits, talks and social media communication.

In return, SHS requested the state government strengthen enforcement of existing building and heritage regulations, draw up a cultural heritage management framework and consider allocating funds for conservation projects.

Jacob said the Chief Minister was not only receptive to SHS’ ideas but had already thought about them himself.

“We are on the same wavelength, so this makes it easier for us. Obviously we will continue to have this conversation,” he added.

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