Abang Johari speaks during the opening of the Sarawak Mental Health Conference 2023 here yesterday. – Photo by Roystein Emmor

KUCHING (Aug 6): The current building that houses Chung Hua Middle School No.4 (CHMS No. 4) at Jalan Haji Taha here has been returned to the Sarawak government, said Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

The Premier of Sarawak said this came after the Sarawak Private Chinese Secondary Schools Charitable Trust agreed to return the building in exchange for the construction of a new school.

“I would like to share a development between us where I have negotiated with Chung Hua’s board of directors and they had handed back the Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah building back to the  government.

“Right now, we are in the administerial process. They will have a new school because the current location is not suitable for school. We will develop a new school for them,” he said at the launch of the Hikmah Exchange Convention Centre here in Jalan Haji Taha last night.

Abang Johari said the existing building used by Chung Hua Middle School No.4  will be turned into a heritage area, as the building was owned and built by Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdillah, a patriot of Sarawak’s independence who is also well-known as a leader of the Anti-Surrender Movement against the British Empire.

“I want to thank the charitable trust for their intention to establish a new school. But Malay land rights should also not be overlooked. We hope the building and surrounding area will be preserved as a heritage.

“The area, which will be a historic heritage area has been given back to the government and it will be a centre for us to remember the struggle in liberating Sarawak in Malaysia,” he added.

With Hikmah Exchange set to become Sarawak’s first smart building, Abang Johari believes that turning the historic building into a heritage area would further strengthen the preservation of the land from being eroded by the rapid development.

However, he said this would need more Bumiputera investors to participate in commercial property investment.

Thus, he called the Malay community to be involved in commercial property investment.