24 gazetted heritage sites in Sabah – Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: The State Government has gazetted 24 places as heritage sites in the state.

They include the old post office building which is now the Sabah Tourism Board office, Atkinson Clock Tower, Community Hall in the city, Padang Merdeka, Mat Salleh Monument in Tambunan and the Skull Hill archaeological site in Semporna, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun.

Speaking at the launch of the State Heritage Enactment Act at the Sabah Museum near here yesterday, Masidi said the benefits of having these places gazetted as heritage sites included financial assistance for their preservation.

He said several other places would be gazetted as heritage sites, namely Sabah Turnbull Hall, the old RTM Building, Melalap Train Station and Kent Teachers College.

“I hope that more buildings will be nominated,” he said, adding that the recognition did not mean that the heritage sites would be taken over by the government.

“The ownership will not change …What we want is for the structures to be maintained and preserved. The Sabah government will help in terms of financing the preservation and restoration works, if any,” he said.

He also said the owners were not obliged to agree to their buildings being turned into heritage sites.

Masidi said the State Heritage Enactment 2017, passed by the Sabah State Legislative Assembly last year, was important to facilitate efforts to study, manage and gazette heritage sites in the state.

He said the new enactment was better than the Cultural Heritage (Conservation) Enactment which was repealed, as it was more comprehensive and easy to understand.

“With the new enactment, the efforts to register the state’s heritage will be done by the museum, however, it will not work out if there is no support from other agencies.

“Hence, the assistance and cooperation of all parties, especially the district offices, is essential to ensure successful implementation of this enactment,” he said.

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