KUCHING: Locals should consider lending their age-old artefacts to the Sarawak Museum so that they can be shown to the outside world.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan said one of the museums that needs artefacts is the Chinese History Museum, which was recently refurbished and upgraded with multimedia features at a cost of RM1 million.
“Anyone with artefacts hopefully can lend those to us for a few months, so that we can show (the unique items) we have here,” he said during the soft re-opening of the Chinese History Museum at the Kuching Waterfront yesterday.
The museum receives 25,000 visitors every year and Dr Chan said it can attract even more tourists as it is now a ‘live’ and interactive museum.
He said the museum is also safer because security has been enhanced at the Kuching Waterfront.
After touring the museum, Dr Chan said he was very impressed with the new multimedia features, which can be played at the press of a button or triggered when someone enters a particular section.
“Even though it is only 2,000 square feet, you can see how much information you can get here. Like musical instruments, the moment you press the button, you will be shown not just the photo of the instrument, but also the music it plays.
“Likewise for the dialects, if it is Hakka, then there will be a voice in Hakka. If it is Hokkien, the voice will speak in Hokkien. If you go to certain places, it will trigger off a show of the Chinese community. These are all automatic,” he said.
Dr Chan, who is also Tourism and Heritage Minister, said the state government allocated RM500,000 to top up the funds raised by the Chinese community on a one-to-one basis for the refurbishment.
He pointed out that the museum has transformed from what it was in 1993.
“Seventeen years is a long time. So we also have to upgrade the floor and roofing. The upgrading work is well done, I think tourists will be impressed. And I also hope people in Kuching will also spend an hour or so here to learn about history,” he said.
He added that the relevant authorities should constantly update the museum’s displays.
The building was formerly a Chinese Court building in 1912, and then the Chinese Chamber of Commerce building from the 1930s until it was converted into a museum.