Old Kuching Smart Heritage initiative to be reviewed, refined for future devt to boost tourism

Datuk Sebastian Ting

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, May 7: Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Datuk Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew reveals that the development principles of the Old Kuching Smart Heritage (OKSHE) initiative with its achievements over the years will be reviewed and refined for future development to boost tourism in Kuching City.

Ting said Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) is mandated to oversee the initiative and to further translate the OKSHE practices and framework into the local city character statement for North Kuching City development.


He highlighted that the OKSHE initiative spearheaded by the Sarawak government marks a groundbreaking endeavour to rejuvenate Old Kuching into a heritage tourism destination.

“This visionary project stands as a testament to the collaboration between local authorities, private enterprises, and various industries.

“The involvement of non-governmental organisations, media, and the local community, together with higher educational institutions and training centres, underscores a collective commitment to the OKSHE mission,” he said in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) sitting here today.

Ting was responding to Satok assemblyman Ibrahim Baki’s question on whether the ministry has any character statement blueprint on OKSHE for reference and guidance for future development to boost tourism in Kuching City during the Q&A session.

He further highlighted the OKSHE initiative encompasses Kampung Heritage, Historical Monuments Heritage, Historical Business Heritage and Riverfront Heritage, covering large areas of the city from old Padungan to Kubah Ria.

“This initiative is a strategic endeavour to harness both the tangible and intangible heritage assets of Old Kuching by transforming them into unique tourism products and services tailored for both international tourists and domestic visitors.”

Responding to a supplementary question by Ibrahim on how much has been done throughout the implementation of the OKSHE initiative, Ting revealed that since the establishment of OKSHE in 2018, a total of 103 projects have been planned with 68 completed, 17 in progress and the rest to commence this year.

He further disclosed that among the projects completed are Kampung Heritage Perahu Tambang Facelift, ‘Program Temasya Warisan Old Kuching Smart Heritage’, ‘Bengkel Seni Hadrah Melayu’, ‘Pertandingan Suntong Tutok Warisan Satok’, and ‘Bengkel Tenun Songket Sarawak’.

As on the plan for the OKSHE initiative, Ting said under the initiative, a realignment workshop of OKSHE’s functions will be organised this year.

He added that among the other programmes to be implemented is the revitalisation of Kuching City’s river transport which seeks to create awareness and enhance the beautification of Sarawak River Heritage, the “Perahu Tambang” and WARISANKU 2024.

“Other cultural programmes with various activities included food heritage, traditional martial arts performances, traditional performing arts and traditional games.

“There will be also Kuching Heritage Lighting and Flora Festival, a programme on the prominence and beauty of Kuching City heritage which will highlight dazzling displays of light structures, flowers and garden related activities,” he said. — DayakDaily