Sabah to restore razed British colonial building

KOTA KINABALU: The old British North Borneo Chartered Company office building which was destroyed in a fire years ago is set to be restored.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said this is part of the Sabah integrated cultural mapping system development project, and the study of the old welfare office building (that used to be in Kota Kinabalu) restoration project which was approved by the state government this year.

“A funding of RM2mil has been allocated for the mapping development system, while RM200,000 has been set aside for the study of the old welfare office restoration project,” he said when opening the Bajausama Cultural Festival in Tuaran yesterday.

“The mapping system is to transform the management of information regarding Sabah’s ethnic cultures from the old way to a modern and digital method,” said Hajiji.

He said this mapping system is set to see the redevelopment or restoration of the British North Borneo Chartered Company which was destroyed in a fire years ago.

“The plan is to preserve the historical site and the building into a cultural art gallery that would boost Sabah’s efforts to nurture its cultural heritage,” he said.

The Sabah Cultural Board will be tasked with these two jobs, said Hajiji, adding these are some of the many initiatives to diversify and increase tourism products in the state as the government aims to hit three million tourist arrivals this year.

Other than culture and arts tourism, community-based products such as ecotourism is gaining momentum among local and international travellers, he said.

He urged local ethnic associations to push for their own cultural programmes and related developments, and to start community-based tourism in their own localities.

Sabah, said Hajiji, is blessed with a uniqueness in its cultural and ethnic diversity, and thus, it is up to Sabahans themselves to turn these into important assets that needs to be protected and promoted.

Speaking on the Bajausama Festival which started last Sunday, he hoped it can be a medium for all to come together, and at the same time, encourage the youth to be more active in arts and cultural activities.

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Bajausama Festival , hajiji


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