SIBU, Oct 21 — The state government has approved RM250 million for the development of archives to preserve and store materials and records on Sarawak, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg.
He noted that many of Sarawak’s treasures were still being stored outside the country.
“We want these items returned to Sarawak and we will keep them in good condition so that they are not being damaged by climate, atmosphere (and so on),” Abang Johari said when officiating at the Sarawak State Library (SSL) Sibu branch at Jalan Tuanku Bujang, Sungai Merah, today.
He recalled that he had visited the London Library where the original copy of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 was kept.
“For the first time, I saw our boundary stretching from a village in Lawas and heading towards our territorial waters. That was where I saw it,” he said.
Abang Johari said the state archives would also allow the exchange of digital documents among local libraries and those overseas, where data related to Sarawak was stored.
“That is why our archives are very important and we have approved an allocation of RM250 million to do archives. I feel these archives can be connected to (State Library branches in) Sibu and Miri through Internet connection.
“And if there is a need for further references, we can go to (State Library) Kuching to get details that we require,” he said.
Abang Johari also said Sibu would become a learning city, revealing that he had requested University College of Technology Sarawak (UCTS) to carry out research on timber and reforestation.
Earlier, Sarawak State Library Board of Management chairman Tan Sri Hamid Bugo disclosed that Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting had suggested that they request from the state government additional area near the new library for recreational purposes.
“Clarence had said the council was willing to let go the piece of land (opposite the library) which is currently under SMC (for some areas to be turned into recreational area),” Hamid said.
Sarawak State Library Sibu serves the central region and would assist the government to reduce the digital divide between the rich information and knowledge with the underprivileged group.
Sibu is expected to function as the digital information services portal for the central region of Sarawak. — Borneo Post