Brooke Era Forts To Be Museums

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KUCHING: Five forts, all built by the White Rajahs, are to be conserved, upgraded and turned into regional museums.
They are Fort Lili in Betong, Emma in Kanowit, Hose in Marudi, Sylvia in Kapit and Brooke in Meluan.

The forts are named after important figures during the Brooke family administration of the state.

Fort Lili, for example, was named after the Ranee of Sarawak, the queen consort of the second White Rajah, Charles Brooke.

Her maiden name was Margaret Alice Lili de Windt.

Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Hamzah, winding up debate on his ministry today, said the conservation and upgrading of the old forts indicate the presence of “something valuable and relevant” to be shared with the public.

Karim said the conservation and upgrading work on Forts Lili, Emma and Hose would start sometime this year while Forts Sylvia and Brooke would be next year.

Karim, who was tasked to take charge of the portfolio only a week ago, also told the assembly that the Sarawak Craft Council, had been tasked to co-ordinate the development of handicraft “in tandem with the tourism industry”.

The council, he said, will this year continue its core programmes to achieve sustainable growth through market development and penetration, and product development.

He said the council would participate in 12 promotional events at both local and international levels this year. –