PAM Sarawak Chapter to launch ‘History of Architecture in Sarawak’ book


KUCHING: Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) Sarawak Chapter has produced a book on architectural history in Sarawak which will be officially launched at the Kuala Lumpur Architecture Festival today (July 6, 2018).

The title of the book is ‘The History of Architecture in Sarawak Before Malaysia’ – and is the first professionally researched book on the subject.

The book was a project which was initiated by PAM during the term of Past PAM president Ar Lee Chor Wah in 2009. After taking up the challenge of producing the book, PAM Sarawak Chapter set up a Book Committee under the Chairmanship of Past PAM Sarawak Chapter chairman Ar Ng Chee Wee. Other committee members include past chairman Ar Mike Boon, past chairman Hubert Kueh, and Ar Stephen Mong.

“From the beginning the Book Committee set the goal to produce a book which would contribute towards deepening architectural knowledge in Sarawak. As not much literature or research has been produced on this subject, it would proof to be quite a challenging task. The search for a suitable author finally settled on Dr John Ting – a Sarawak-raised architect who was at the time conducting his doctoral research on architecture during the Brooke era, which dovetailed nicely with the Committee’s intention for the book,” PAM Sarawak Chapter said.

The author Dr John Ting is currently an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Arts & Design at The University of Canberra, Australia. He has previously lectured extensively in tropical design, construction and Southeast Asian architectural history. He holds a PHD from the University of Melbourne, and a professional degree in architecture form RMIT University. His present research investigates the history of architecture in Sarawak, the vernacular architecture of Malaysia, and mobile and prefabricated timber buildings in nineteenth century colonial Southeast Asia and Australia. He also runs his own practice in Australia.

The book covers the history of architecture in Sarawak from pre-history to the period just before the formation of Malaysia.

The book contains many rarely seen photographs and drawings of historical buildings in Sarawak, some of which have since been demolished. Many of the photographs came from museum archives as well as personal collections of the photographers. Sources for the drawings include municipal council archives and the Jabatan Kerja Raya.

There are also specially commissioned drawings and maps which help to illustrate and clarify the content of the book. Altogether there are over 200 historic photographs, diagrams and drawings in the book, all of which have been properly credited to the source.

The book was made possible with the strong support and grants from PAM and Think City. To launch the book in Sarawak, PAM Sarawak Chapter is organising a talk by the author Dr John Ting at the PAM Sarawak Chapter Secretariat office at 7pm on July 12, 2018. Interested parties are invited to join the talk. The book will be on sale at RM150 per copy. For registration please visit