KUCHING (May 23): The Borneo Cultures Museum received 121,379 visitors this year as of May 18, said Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.
The Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister said this brought the total number of visitors since the museum opened in March 2022 to 680,714.
He pointed out for last year, Malaysians made up 547,803 or 97 per cent of visitors, while 11,532 or 3 per cent were foreigners.
For January to mid-May 2023, the number of Malaysian visitors stood at 114,096 (94 per cent), while 7,283 (6 per cent) were foreigners mainly from China, Indonesia, and Australia.
“Since its opening, notable guests of the museum include foreign ambassadors and ministers, consulates, State and Federal government agencies, various educational institutions, and private non-government organisations (NGOs).
“Among distinguished guests of the Museum include Her Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Raja Permaisuri Agong, who visited on March 29, 2022 and July 5, 2022,” Abdul Karim said in his ministerial winding up speech in the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.
He said distinguished guests who visited in 2023 include German Economic Delegates on Feb 18, 2023; former Ambassador of Saudi Arabia on March 2, 2023; Raja Puan Muda Perak on March 7, 2023; the China Embassy visit to Malaysia on March 22, 2023; Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia on March 28, 2023; deputy-director general of the General Office Fujian Province of the China Fujian Delegates on April 17, 2023; and the High Commissioner of Brunei on May 26, 2023 among others.
He said the museum also received visits from various educational institutions such as preschools, primary and secondary schools, and public and private universities.
Aside from that, the facilities at the museum, which include an auditorium, a function room, a temporary exhibition hall, and an arts and crafts gallery, have hosted 123 events since August 2022.
“These include workshops, conferences, exhibitions, school programmes, TV filming, art performances, and school and college graduation ceremonies,” he said.
Abdul Karim said the feedback has been very positive from locals and foreigners, adding that visitors were impressed by the way the artefacts were exhibited in the museum, which has set a high standard for other museums in Malaysia to emulate.
He said the Brooke Coal Mine at Gunung Ngili, Simunjan; the Japanese structures from before World War II at Kampung Siniawan Jepun, Serian; and the megaliths culture at Bario have been identified and proposed to be gazetted as heritage buildings, monuments, and sites under the Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 2019.
He added community engagement programmes on heritage conservation will be held among local communities and non-governmental organisations, as well as related agencies in Serian, Simunjan, and Bario.
He said the programme will include the conservation and preservation of tangible and intangible heritage such as historical and cultural buildings, monuments, and sites.
“My ministry will work closely with the Sarawak Museum Department to implement these important projects,” he said.