SIBU, Sept 3 ― The Sarawak government has taken steps to preserve old buildings across Sarawak by gazetting them as heritage buildings, said Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

“In the last two or three years, we have gazetted quite a number of old buildings not just in Kuching, but all over the state. Most of them are forts in Kapit and Kanowit.

“There are also old buildings ― in Kuching we have the post office and old court house gazetted as heritage buildings while in Sibu, Lau King Howe Hospital Memorial Museum and Al-Qadim Mosque have been gazetted. I am not sure about others,” said the Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts after launching Sibu Heritage Photography Contest 2022 here yesterday.

Even if old buildings are occupied, they can be gazetted to preserve the identity of certain places and buildings. Once gazetted, renovation and even repainting need some clearance from the museum department under Sarawak Heritage Ordinance, he pointed out, adding that heritage buildings even cover longhouses as a few have been gazetted.

“I think the oldest Melanau longhouse in Mukah has also been gazetted or planned to be gazetted,” he added.

Meanwhile, president of the Photographic Society of Sibu, Peter Lee Pui Weng, in his opening remarks said the photography contest aims to provide the opportunity to explore Sibu town and share their experience visually.

The closing is October 9 for submission of photos taken in Sibu between 2018 and 2022. Photos taken with smartphones are also accepted.

The contest is divided into three categories, namely landscape, people and food. The top three photos in each category will win cash prizes of RM3,000, RM1,500 and RM1,000 respectively while 10 consolation prize winners will each take home RM200.

Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Hii Chang Kee was among those present. ― Borneo Post