KOTA KINABALU: SABAH needs a new and bigger museum complex, which would cover the historical facts of all Sabah ethnicities under one roof.
State Culture, Tourism and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said it was better to have a single unit of museum to showcase Sabah’s cultural diversity rather than building a number of ethnic museums.
“We are noted for our tolerance and unity. I think we should reflect that in the museum. You can have the Kadazandusun section, the Chinese section, the Murut section and others (under one roof). I prefer a single unit of museum because this reflects Sabah.
“Let’s get our priorities right. In whatever we do here, it should reflect the harmony and integration of the people of Sabah. That includes our museum,” he said.
Masidi was commenting on the proposal to set up a Chinese Heritage Museum in Sabah.
In September last year, Professor Danny Wong Tze Ken, who is attached to Universiti Malaya’s Department of History, said there was a need to establish such a museum in the state to document the past contributions of the Chinese people to Sabah.
Wong had noted the Kinabalu Guerrillas was an important part of the Chinese contribution in Sabah.
Last week, the Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah president Tan Sri T.C. Goh said the association would undertake the setting up of a Chinese Heritage Museum in Sabah if approved by the state government.
Goh said the museum would lead to further enhancement of the existing long-established Sino-Malaysian relations through historical and cultural exchange programmes between Sabah and China.
Kapayan Assemblyman Dr Edwin Bosi had suggested that the burned-down old building, which used to be the office of the Social Welfare Department, opposite Suria Sabah Shopping Mall, to be turned into a Chinese Museum.
The site was where the historical transfer of the colony from the North Borneo Chartered Company to the Crown took place in 1946.
Masidi, however, noted that the area was not available due to some legal issues connected to the site.
“Nevertheless, if the Chinese community can find a place to put up a (Chinese) museum I am sure the state government would be very considerate and probably give the land at a terminal cost.
“But generally, I prefer to have a new museum complex with a bigger area to cater to many sections, including the Chinese community,” he stressed.