KUCHING: A workshop to discuss ways to enhance Sarawak’s effort to get Unesco to recognise Kuching as a “City of Unity” under its heritage list will be held on Dec 11 and 12 at the state library.
1Malaysia Foundation is trying to get Unesco recognition and the workshop, to be organised in collaboration with Kuching North City Hall, will study the process and work required to expedite the proposal.
Kuching North mayor Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai said the programme was expected to attract some 150 participants from various government agencies and NGOs throughout the country.
“We are going all out to support the foundation’s initiative and get support from both the state and Federal governments. This forum will push forward ideas on how to carry out thorough research to get Unesco’s recognition.
“The Unesco recognition for Kuching can boost tourism and the economy here,” he said.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is scheduled to open the workshop.
“The workshop will also discuss Kuching’s city status on various levels, population density, political stability, culture, ethnic and religious diversity, equal work and education opportunities as well as acceptance of mixed marriages, racial harmony and tolerance among our diverse community as well as city administration structure.
“The findings will be submitted to the state government for further action. This is our forward approach to support the cause,” he added.
1Malaysia Foundation chairman Dr Chandra Muzaffar said the foundation was looking to initiate the move by writing to Unesco Permanent Delegation of Malaysia to submit the proposal.
“We are still in the planning stages but we will contact Malaysia’s permanent representative in Unesco. Support from the Sarawak government and the people is important to expedite the process,” he said.
Kuching was proclaimed as the country’s first “City of Unity” in August 2015, in conjunction with its 27th anniversary as a city.
The 1Malaysia Foundation, a civil society group set up to promote unity among the nation’s diverse communities, initiated the move.
Dr Chandra said interaction among the multi-diverse community in Kuching, with 700,000 population should qualify the state capital to be called City of Unity.
“Inclusivity can be seen in the fair employment opportunities, non-discrimination and balance workforce pattern including open education system to all.
“High tolerance and racial harmony among the state’s multi-ethnic community, combined with political stability, good health standard, the well-received cross-ethnic marriages contribute to this recognition,” he added.