Dr Sim (second right) and Abang Johari (fifth right) seen witnessing the presentation of the MBOR certificate from Yeoh (fifth left) to Abu Bakar (third right). Also seen are Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (fourth right), Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah (right) and others. — Photo courtesy of Sarawak Protocol, Ceremony, and Event Management Unit

KUCHING (Jan 2): Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian describes the towering flagpole at Dataran Ibu Pertiwi here as a gift to the people of Sarawak, thanks to a collaborative effort by petroleum industry giants Petros, Petronas and Shell Malaysia.

He said that the emergence of the landmark in the heart of Kuching is a grand gesture of celebration for the 60th anniversary of Sarawak’s Independence.

“The newly named Dataran Ibu Pertiwi proudly hosts the tallest flagpole in Southeast Asia, standing at an impressive 99 metres.

“This monumental structure is now officially recognised as the highest flag pole in South East Asia,” he added in a post on his official Facebook page on Monday night.

According to him, the symbolic gesture not only marks a significant milestone in the state’s history but also reflects a shared commitment to the growth and prosperity of Sarawak.

He also commented that the iconic site, situated next to the Fort Margherita, also boasts a rich history that has witnessed various chapters unfolding.

“Now open to the public, the area promises to become a focal point for locals and tourists alike. An English Tea House, set to serve English high tea and a diverse range of western cuisine, adds a touch of charm to the vibrant atmosphere,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Sim expressed his fascination for the area surrounding Dataran Ibu Pertiwi, as in a fascinating parallel to the towering flagpole’s height of 99 metres, the entire area shares a thematic connection to the number nine.

Highlighting the significant and remarkable connection to the number nine, he pointed out that on one side of the towering flagpole is the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) building — an institution with a storied history spanning more than 150 years and holding the distinction of being the oldest of its kind in Malaysia.

“The current Sarawak Legislative Assembly building, adjacent to the flagpole, boasts nine floors and nine pillars,” he said while emphasising the numerical motif.

The significance of the number nine was further underscored at it is also the largest single-digit number, highlighting the symbolic importance attached to the numerical theme within the locale.

“The adjacency of the 99-metre flagpole to the DUN building further reinforces the connection, as the number 99, being the largest two-digit number, adds another layer of numerical significance to the overall landscape.

“This intricate interplay of numerical symbolism enhances the area’s cultural and historical richness, creating a unique and noteworthy aspect of Sarawak’s landscape,” he said.

Dr Sim made the remarks after accompanying Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg for a walkabout at the Dataran Ibu Pertiwi.

Abang Johari and Dr Sim also witnessed the presentation of the Malaysia Book of Records (MBOR) certificate by MBOR representative Edwin Yeoh to State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar which recognised the flagpole as the tallest not only in Malaysia but also in Southeast Asia.