Why museum was named after Sakaran
Published on: Wednesday, April 22, 2015
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Kota Kinabalu: The grand opening of the Tun Sakaran Museum in Semporna this April 25 will coincide with the Regatta Lepa and the State Museum's 50th anniversary. The event would be officiated by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.

Sabah Museum Director Joanna Kitingan said the museum was named after former Chief Minister and Head of State Tun Dr Sakaran Dandai as a dedication to him.

"The land was a wakaf (land endowment) from Tun Sakaran. So that's why we named the museum after him and also to dedicate this museum for his contribution to the State and community," she said in a press conference, Tuesday.

The museum was built on an acre in Kg Inabah Kamal in 2009 and was only operable last year after a soft opening, she said.

"The museum has two floors. The first floor is dedicated mostly to his contribution to the State so most of this would be with his photographs and such.

"While the second floor is about the community in Semporna. So we'll have the faces of Semporna, all the ethnography and history of Semporna as well as the development of Islam in Semporna."

She said the development of the museum came under the 9th Malaysia Plan under the State development.

"From April 23 till 26, we have cultural activities for the students and public like cooking competition, handicraft and also igal-igal competition.

"The opening is also in conjunction with the Lepa Festival and the State Museum's 50th anniversary.

"This is another milestone for the State Museum. So at least people in Semporna now have their own museum where they can showcase their artefacts; the heritage of the local people."

Joanna also said the museum would also be part of a tourism product which tourists who come over for diving would be able to visit. She added that there is a library in the museum that would be developed into a centre for Bajau studies.

"There is a professor who will be conducting a dialogue with the local community. We have been working with them and they have agreed to help us build up the library. So we hope that researchers would also deposit their researches in Bajau studies."

Meanwhile, she also said the cost of building the museum was RM2.8 million and admittance would be free for the public. She said Semporna is the third district to have its own museum after Sandakan and Keningau and that the next district would be Kudat.

"Although the museum in Kudat has not started construction, it has already been approved. It would be the next in line.

"It takes about three years to build but it will take a long time as we need to fill it as well."

The museum, she said, also has a cafeteria and a small multipurpose room for the public to use.


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