KUCHING: The proposed Museum of Modern Sarawak (MMS) is poised to be a timeless world-class museum.
To be completed in three years time, the museum will showcase the sacrifices of past and present leaders of Sarawak, including all heads of state and chief ministers.
The museum, sited on a small hill facing the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex, is being built as a turnkey design by Naim Holdings Bhd in collaboration with Singapore’s Padi Gallery and Design – a specialist in museum design.
Padi has been involved in projects such as Maritime Museum Singapore, Muzeum Adat in Negeri Sembilan, Muzeum Tekstile (Kuala Lumpur), Gallery Perdana (Langkawi), and Cheng Ho Museum (Malacca).
During the earth-breaking ceremony on Thursday, Social Development Minister Tan Sri William Mawan said MMS was destined to become a historical building.
Since independence, he said, state leaders had done much to develop the state for the benefit of the rakyat.
“Some 50 years ago, the per capita income was RM680, but it has gone up to RM40,000 today.”
Mawan said the state would not be what it is today if not for the contributions of past leaders, especially Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.
“Not only did he (Taib) build a strong economic foundation during his tenure as chief minister, but he also raised the image of Sarawak, which attracted investors to the state.”
Meanwhile, a statement stated that the contemporary 10,000sq.m of egg-shaped three-storey gallery building signified the birth place of the state highest leaders, who have the vision of promoting and fostering sustainable development of the state.
All its three levels are vertically linked by three-meter wide ramp.
The internal ramp shall provide more efficient space inside in terms of internal circulations and to add dramatic experiences to visitors, who uses the ramp.
The building is elegant and simple in terms of facade treatment and will be clad with aluminium panels and slanting glass strip panels to reflect Sarawak as modern and progressive and the leader’s vision towards a developed state.
It will have office, souvenir shops, VIP room, collection spaces and outdoor cafeteria, and the large space on the ground floor is ideal for interactive, cultural, and other types of exhibitions.
A featured fountain is proposed in front of the main gallery building. It will be in a cascading form that embraces the contours of the landscape.
“It is made up of nine stairs to symbolise leadership and achievement in life. Each step will have a sculpture of its own, and each sculpture represents the colourful culture of Sarawak.”