KUCHING, July 4 — A new Astana Negeri, the official residence of the Sarawak governor, will be built to replace the present building, Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said today.
He said he has seen the plan of the new state palace, which will be built near the vicinity of the Astana that was built in 1870.
“The present Astana is a bit run down. We want to turn that Astana into another museum where we can showcase artefacts related to the governors,” he told reporters after meeting with the Association of Art and Culture Activists here.
He said gifts received by the past and present governors would be kept in the gallery of the current Astana when it is converted into a museum.
“That is the plan of the state government. When the design of the new Astana is already there, then it is probably when it is going to start construction,” he said, adding that everything is in the plan.
“It is just waiting for the word. Even the site has been identified. It is going to be a very nice structure, a nice building. It will make us very proud,” he added.
The present building is located on the north bank of the Sarawak River, facing the Kuching Waterfront.
It was built in 1870 by Sir Charles Brooke, the Second White Rajah of Sarawak, as a gift for his marriage to Margaret Alice Lili de Windt.
The Sarawak governor now is Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, who was appointed to the post in 2014, after serving as chief minister for over 30 years.