Tour guides for Sarawak mosques to enhance tourism activities

Abdul Karim (right) launching the information kiosk at the Kuching City Mosque. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: The state Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry supports a proposal to have mosque tour guides as a way to enhance the tourism industry.

Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the proposal by the Sarawak State Mosque Charitable Trust (LAKMNS) was in line with the ministry’s vision of introducing the state’s heritage sites, including the Kuching City Mosque, to visitors.

“Skilled tour guides who are well-versed can contribute to the tourism industry.

“Tour guides play an important role in providing information about local attractions, their history and significance, so that visitors can appreciate them better, ” he said when launching an information kiosk at the Kuching City Mosque here.

The kiosk, which provides information about the mosque’s history on an interactive screen, was put up by LAKMNS in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and the Old Kuching Smart Heritage (OKShe) initiative.It also offers visitors the opportunity to experience being in the mosque through augmented reality.

Karim said the kiosk was part of the OKShe initiative to introduce the city’s heritage buildings and sites to locals and tourists.

“This initiative comes from the state government’s efforts to boost tourism by focusing on heritage.

“We are confident that our heritage buildings and sites, which are rich in culture and history, can attract visitors, ” he said.

LAKMNS chief executive Datuk Abang Abdul Wahap Abang Julai said the kiosk would serve to provide information about the Kuching City Mosque to the public.

He said the mosque was one of Kuching’s historical landmarks dating back to 1839.

“This is one of the earliest mosques to be built in Kuching before the arrival of James Brooke in 1840.

“It was rebuilt over the years to meet the needs of the growing Muslim population in Kuching, ” he said.

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