Wednesday, March 29

New museum to be latest tourism attraction, add value to Sri Aman, says Abd Karim


Abdul Karim (first right) accompanies Taib as they walk to the main stage at Sri Aman Waterfront, the venue for Pesta Benak. – Penerangan photo

SRI AMAN (Sept 12): The Sri Aman Museum which commemorates the Peace Declaration between the government and the communists will be the latest tourism product for Simanggang town, said Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister disclosed that the museum will be sited at the old government resthouse where the historical treaty agreement was signed.

“The old government resthouse in Simanggang town is now being restored to be turned into the Sri Aman Museum. Next year (2023) will be the 50th anniversary of the Sri Aman treaty agreement that took place in that building.

“The Sarawak Museum Department and my ministry are trying to complete the restoration work in time for the launching of the museum next year,” he said at the closing of 2022 Pesta Benak at the Waterfront here yesterday.

The museum among others will provide a window into how life was during the days prior to the Peace Declaration and how Simanggang Division’s name was changed to Sri Aman Division to signify peace or ‘aman’ in Malay, he said.

“In those days before the treaty agreement, to travel from Kuching to Simanggang was hard due to the curfews, and people were worried about their safety,” he added.

He believed the setting up of the new museum would benefit the people of Sri Aman and Simanggang, in particular, as well as for the younger generation to have better understanding of the state’s history.

“In the coming years, visitors coming to Simanggang will be here not just to see the ‘benak’ (tidal bore) but also for its other tourism products,” Abdul Karim said.

At the same time, he called on district councils and offices in Sarawak to identify potential tourism products in their respective areas for his ministry’s attention.

The closing ceremony of Pesta Benak yesterday was graced by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.