KUCHING: Sarawak has identified 19 new historical buildings, monuments and sites to be added to its heritage list.

Urban Development and Tourism Minister Datuk Wong Soon Koh said the additional sites were approved by the state Cabinet last month and were now in the process of being gazetted.

The buildings, dating back to the 18th century, include the Tua Pek Kong Temple built in 1770, the Bishop’s House (1848), St James’ Church in Quop (1865), St Thomas’ Secondary School (1885), St Joseph’s Secondary School (1894), the Chinese Chamber of Commerce (1912) and a “baruk” or Bidayuh headhouse in Kampung Opar (1952).

Also approved were five historical sites in the Santubong area near here, including Bongkissam, where a Buddhist tantric shrine has been discovered; Sungai Jaong, where there are primitive rock carvings; and Tanjong Kubor and Tanjong Tegok, the sites of ancient Chinese cemeteries.

Wong said the newly-approved sites were all located in the Kuching division.

“Slowly we will identify and approve more buildings and monuments in the state’s other divisions,” he said.

Earlier Wong launched a book on Sarawak’s historical buildings and monuments, written by Heidi Munan and published by Marshall Cavendish under its “Thrills and Treasures of Historical Landmarks” series.

He also presented copies of the book to the Sarawak Tour Guides Association and the Association of Sarawak Inbound Agencies.

“The book will be particularly useful to tour guides and inbound agencies as it is important for them to be well-versed in our history, culture and heritage.

“We must do our homework and give accurate information to tourists,” he said.

[Source: “Sarawak identifies 19 new historical monuments and sites” published by TheStar.com.my]

Photo Credits: TheStar.com.my

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