Sunday, June 16

Sarawak eyes historical notes from British Museum


KUCHING: The state government is trying to get back documents containing historical facts on the trial of Rosli Dhobi from the British Museum.

Minister of Tourism Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg admitted yesterday that it was a herculean task but “we will try out best”.

“To retrieve historical documents from their (British Museum) archives is not easy but we will try to collaborate with them,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between I-Systems College Kuching and Hilton Kuching here yesterday.

“If at the end we can’t get the original copies at least we should get hold of certified copies endorsed by them.”

Abang Johari added that these historical documents were meant for the proposed Brooke Gallery at the historical Fort Margherita, which is currently being renovated.

He said the state government had been communicating with Jason Brooke, grandson of Anthony Brooke, and he had agreed to loan important personal documents and belongings of the Brooke family for the proposed gallery.

On the renovation of Fort Margherita, Abang Johari said the work cost a few million ringgit and was scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.

“When it is completed it will serve as an additional attraction to our visitors. Fort Margherita is more towards the Brooke family era and so we will exhibit the Brooke’s personal and historical documents and belongings from that era.

“According to Jason, they have got a lot (of personal historical documents and belongings). Besides, Sarawak Museum also has some records but not as much as the Brooke family,” he said.

He said the government also welcomed individuals wanting to lend their private collections of anything related to the Brooke history for exhibition at the gallery.

“If they are willing to exhibit their private collections in the gallery why not. They are most welcomed,” said Abang Johari, who is also Minister of Housing.