Yiew taking photo of the fallen ceiling and safety net inside museum
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah State Museum is no longer serving its purpose of safeguarding the state’s priceless artefacts, said Api-Api Parti Bersatu Sabah Information Chief Yee Tsai Yiew.
She said the building’s dilapidated state is also posing danger, not only towards its staff but also to visitors.
Calling for its temporary closure to allow proper restoration and repair works, especially on the crumbling roof structure, she said the problem cannot be solved by just putting up netting.
“Putting up netting doesn’t eliminate the risk of the roof structure collapsing. The problem goes beyond this.
“If the safety of the public and department staff cannot be guaranteed, we urge authorities to temporarily close the museum until emergency rectification work is done. There should be zero tolerance towards building safety, especially one that is accessible to the public,” she said in a statement today.
Yiew had personally visited the site upon receiving numerous public complaints, discovering that the claims were true.
She said both the exterior and interior ceilings are fitted with large safety nets, presumably to prevent falling ceiling debris from crashing to the ground. Additionally, some of the roof beams showed signs of mould and decay.
According to Yiew, during her visit there were visitors present who could not help but expressed their grievances to her, questioning whether the authorities would only take action if a tragic incident occurs.
“Even foreign tourists were shaking their heads in disbelief at the state of our State Museum, and the ruined artefacts,” she said.
Yiew called on the relevant authorities, such as the State Works Department and the Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry to prioritise public safety and to conduct an immediate safety evaluation of the integrity of the building, especially the roof structure.
“The authorities should collaborate with professional institutions to conduct a comprehensive safety assessment and take necessary measures to ensure that the museum meets the required public safety standards.
“As an important cultural site, the severely deteriorated infrastructure of the Sabah State Museum has attracted widespread condemnation. Besides the negative impact on tourism, the primary concern is the potential threat to public safety, especially for children,” she said.
She emphasised that repairs must address the underlying safety hazards rather than being superficial, such as installing safety nets.
“The Sabah State Museum is not only a cultural venue but also a window for the public to approach Sabah’s history and culture. Therefore, public safety and comfort should be the primary concerns. The restoration of the museum will not only enhance Sabah’s image but also positively impact the development of tourism,” she said.
Furthermore, she said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Christina Liew, who recently officiated the “Our Craft, Our Culture” programme, themed exotic handicraft series event at the State Museum should follow up on her previous request for an immediate repair works, which seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
Nevertheless, Yiew clarified that she had no intention of interfering with the operations of any department but merely hoped that the relevant departments, based on considerations of public safety and the image of the State Museum would act promptly to provide the necessary repairs.
Photo 1: Yiew taking a closer look at the damaged ceiling
Photo 2: Yiew taking a photo of the fallen ceiling and safety net inside the State Museum
Photo 3: The exterior shot of the State Museum with the large safety net on the roof to prevent ceiling debris from falling to the ground
Photo 4: The fallen ceiling inside the State Museum
Photo 5: The water-damaged museum exhibit due to the leaking roof
Photo 6: A closeup of the exposed exterior roof