Abang Johari witnesses the presentation of MBOR certificate from Yeoh (third right) to Mohamad Abu Bakar.

KUCHING (Jan 2): The 99 metres tall flagpole at the Dataran Ibu Pertiwi here has been recognised by the Malaysia Book of Records (MBOR) as the tallest flagpole not only in Malaysia but also in the Southeast Asia.

Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg witnessed the presentation of the MBOR certificate by MBOR representative Edwin Yeoh to State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki during a walkabout at the Dataran Ibu Pertiwi yesterday.

Also present to witness the ceremony were Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian, Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah and Deputy Minister for Utility and Telecommunication Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi.

Speaking to reporters after the walkabout, Abang Johari said the flagpole, is an iconic project for Kuching and Sarawak.

“The placement of this flagpole near Fort Margherita and the Sarawak Legislative Assembly building, makes it an essential addition to the state’s tourism infrastructure,” he added.

Costing RM30 million, the flagpole was funded by Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Shell, and Petroleum Sarawak Berhad (Petros).

Abang Johari emphasised the multifaceted role of the flagpole, not only as a symbol of the region’s economic development but also as a vital part of Sarawak’s tourism landscape.

“The site of the flagpole boasts amenities such as an English Tea House, offering visitors a unique experience to capture the essence of the state’s history and progress,” he said.

Providing an insight into the inspiration behind the flagpole’s towering design, Abang Johari revealed its connection to the nine-pillar structure of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) building and the nine-pointed star on the state flag.

“We have nine divisions in Sarawak hence the nine-pointed stars in the Sarawak flag. That also is why the DUN building has nine pillars too,” he said.

Additionally, he said total height of the flagpole, including the foundation has reached an impressive 101 metres.

Looking ahead, Abang Johari shared plans for a monument at the Dataran Ibu Pertiwi, to showcase the history of the economic development in Sarawak contributed by Petros, Petronas, and Shell.

“Sarawak’s journey towards development commenced in 1910 with the advent of the oil and gas industry. Subsequently, in 1958, the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) was introduced to regulate oil mining activities in the region.

“Fast forward to 1974, the establishment of Petronas took place, assuming a pivotal role in overseeing the oil and gas industry.

“In the contemporary landscape, the management of oil and gas companies is a collaborative effort, with the Sarawak government overseeing operations through Petros, and the federal government playing a role through Petronas.

“As a testament to the state’s economic evolution, we aim to showcase this historical trajectory.

“The funding support for the Ibu Pertiwi Flagpole from Petros, Petronas, and Shell is a strategic move to portray the intertwined history of these three influential companies.

“Through this initiative, we seek to narrate the economic development of the state, highlighting the pivotal contributions of Petros, Petronas, and Shell,” he said.

Apart from that, Abang Johari said that the beautification project around Fort Margherita will also further enhance the area’s appeal, featuring a traditional English tea house that promises to attract tourists eager to savour local delicacies amidst the picturesque Kuching Waterfront scenery.