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What should we name the biggest museum in Malaysia, which is now located in Kuching City?
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah hopes that the government would stick to Borneo Cultures Museum.
“Borneo is much well known by international scholars and researchers. Even though its name has not yet been decided, l hope Borneo Cultures Museum is to be maintained.” Abdul Karim was quoted as saying in the Borneo Post.
No formal name yet
The massive golden structure sits on a site which used to house the Dewan Tun Abdul Razak.
It’s unique structure, designed to represent the many cultures in Sarawak, is hard to miss when one enters the Kuching Heritage quarter.
The building, together with other museums within the vicinity, are collectively known as the Sarawak Museum Complex.
As there’s no formal name for the new structure, locals just refer to the new golden roofed Museum as ‘the new museum’.
Biggest museum in Malaysia
The cost to build the museum is said to be RM308 million and it has five floors.
With 6,000 sq meters of exhibition area, the museum is the biggest museum in Malaysia, and the second largest in South East Asia.
News reports have said that the museum will be divided into several sections with the ground floor allocated for cafeteria, the first floor dedicated to a children’s gallery (1st floor), and the rest of the floors made into an exhibition area.
The section for exhibitions will be divided to showcase items from ethnography, archaeology and archives.
With the museum already handed to the Sarawak Government, works are now in progress to prepare the museum for its grand opening.
It is understood that the grand opening will happen in April 2021 although details so far have been limited as Sarawak battle with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regardless, it is firmly believed that the opening of the museum will not be pushed back any further.
Locals in particular are excited to see what the new Museum will have in store as Kuching had been deprived of such educational facility for at least two years since the government decided to build the new museum and conduct restoration works on the older Sarawak Museum Old Building at the same time.
The reopening of both buildings, particular the new museum, will therefore be an exciting thing for many who miss going to such a place.
Hoping for a ‘good name’
That said, it is hope that the new museum’s name will be something that reflects Sarawak in general.
Being the biggest museum in Malaysia, the name should also immediately help promote Sarawak as a tourist destination, particularly among those into history and culture.
The name should also easy to remember so that it would be easy to mention in articles and conversations.
I don’t want to suggest any names, but I do hope those concerned would consider the three factors above when selecting a name for such an iconic landmark in Malaysia.
I say this because a name is a brand, a brand would be made stronger if everyone called it the same.
What do you think the new museum should be named?