Old DUN makeover marks another step in turning Kuching into “City with a Soul”

Karim (centre), Zuraini (to his right) and other VIPs participated in a symbolic cake cutting ceremony to mark the Gawai-Raya celebration.

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By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, June 28: Works to refurbish and renovate the old DUN building into a performing arts centre will commence soon, announced Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

The Tourism, Art, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister said the state government had already approved the design concept for the old state legislative assembly building.

“We will close the old DUN in short while to start the renovation. The performing arts centre, once completed and open to the public, will see the old DUN becoming a Sarawak pride.

“It won’t be called the Old DUN anymore, but our new masterpiece, a new state-of-the-art centre for performing arts,” he told reporters at his ministry’s Gawai-Raya celebration at the Civic Centre here today.

Ministry staff at the event.

Abdul Karim said his ministry had organised something grand to mark the closing of the old DUN before its makeover with the Festival of Music this weekend.

The event will feature musical troupes from Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“I love to see Kuching having this kind of facility for Sarawakians and for outsiders who come to Sarawak. A state and a city that have facilities such as this goes to show that the city has progressed and has an affluent society.

“This is what the ministry is trying to portray about Kuching,” he continued, explaining that introducing arts and theatre performances in Kuching were part of the vision to turn Kuching into a “city with a soul”.

Accompanying the minister at the event was his wife Datin Zuraini Abdul Jabbar, Assistant Minister of Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin, Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan lawan, the ministry’s permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee including some 400 staff from the ministry and its agencies. — DayakDaily