By Karen Bong
KUCHING, May 19: The Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts and Sarawak Museum Department is currently in the process of proposing and gazetting Fort Ranee in Saratok as a heritage building in Sarawak under the Sarawak Heritage Ordinance 2019.
Even though Fort Ranee is not the oldest building in Sarawak – that honour falls to Fort Emma in Kanowit which was built in 1851 – Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Snowdan Lawan emphasised that Fort Ranee played an important role as the administrative office since it was built by Charles Brooke in 1888.
“At one time, it was turned into the Saratok District Council office before being made into a Community Internet Centre in 2014.
“The Ministry is always putting in efforts to get the allocation to upgrade Fort Ranee so it can become a landmark for Saratok and as a tourism destination in Sarawak,” he told the august House when responding to a question from Mohamad Duri (PBB-Kalaka).
Snowdan said that after the upgrades, the Fort will be equipped with a gallery to showcase the history of the social development of the town and local community.
“For example, Fort Alice which had been fixed and upgraded has been turned into a Sri Aman Heritage Museum.
“In the fort, visitors can see for themselves and understand the objectives and functions of the fort, while appreciating the history and culture of the Sri Aman community.
“This applies to Fort Lily, Fort Emma, Fort Hose and Fort Brooke, all of which have been fixed and upgraded and will be readied with a gallery. These forts will become tourism attractions that can provide experience and appreciation for local social history,” he added. — DayakDaily