The Sabah government has gazetted 24 historic places as state heritage sites, a minister said today, 22 February. The move is part of the provision made by the recently passed State Heritage Enactment 2017 bill.
Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Masidi Manjun said the implementation of the enactment had been entrusted to the Sabah Museum Department.
The gazetted historic sites include the old Kota Kinabalu post office now the office of the Sabah Tourism Board, the Atkinson Clock Tower, the Kota Kinabalu Padang Merdeka, the Mat Salleh Memorial in Tambunan and Semporna's Tengkorak Hill archeological site.
Among the seven sites to be gazetted are the Melalap train station in Tenom, Sabah College's Turnball Hall in the capital city, Tuaran's Kent Teachers' College and Batu Tinagat lighthouse in Tawau.
"With this enactment, we hope to be better able to study, research, assess and gazette these historic places as heritage sites for the sake of the state and future generations" Masidi said.
"We hope all sections of the community would appreciate our heritage and alert the museum department if they find any new historic places for further action.â€
"This move will also be good for the state's tourism industry as tourists are set to appreciate the heritage sites even more.â€
Masidi was speaking while launching a briefing session for the implementation of the enactment here today.
Later during a press conference, Masidi stressed that the state government does not aim to take ownership of the gazetted heritage sites.
"The ownership remains with the owners, and the government only aims to help the owners preserve and also restore their sites if this is necessary" he said.
"We'll get the funding for the site restoration from our general budget if this is needed.
"But if the historic places are self-sustaining, they can share the restoration expenses with the government.
"Whether a site needs restoration will be subject to an evaluation process.â€
According to Masidi, the bill for the enactment was passed last November and gazetted the next month.
It repeals the precious enactment and will be implemented along with a 1977 enactment that preserves ancient artefacts and treasures, he said.