Some traditional houses and huts at the Sabah Museum in Kota Kinabalu are in bad shape and poorly maintained. Pix by Olivia Miwil

MANY visitors are unhappy with the poorly-maintained heritage village attraction at the Sabah Museum in Kota Kinabalu.

Some tourists said they were disappointed with the attraction, which was supposed to provide a glimpse into the way of life of ethnic groups in Sabah.

Johann Sia, 34, from Tuaran, said the heritage village showcased traditional houses, but most of them were unkempt.

He said most of the wooden structures were surrounded by overgrown grass, which was an eyesore.

“When I visited this museum two years ago, it was not this bad.

“It is shocking. The heritage village looks like it has been abandoned.

“I was afraid that snakes and other creatures may suddenly appear from the overgrown grass.

“There are dried leaves and debris scattered all over. It certainly is a dirty sight.”

Another visitor from Perak, Syafiqah Ahmad, said she had looked forward to learning more about Sabah culture and discover the architectural styles of traditional houses.

“I was so disappointed to see that some of the traditional houses were poorly maintained.

“As soon as I crossed a suspension bridge that connects the state museum complex to the heritage village, I did not feel excited about it anymore.

“The bridge and houses are damaged.

“Many visitors are saddened by the sight. The attraction should be a good platform to learn about the people of Sabah,” she said, adding that it was her first visit to the museum.


Fallen leaves on the bridge connecting the Sabah Museum to the heritage village. Pix by Olivia Miwil



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A Sabah Museum spokesman said it would address the problem soon and pledged that visitors would not be inconvenienced.

He said though maintenance staff had never neglected the cleanliness of the heritage village, certain issues were beyond its control, especially when it came to the affects of bad weather.

He said there was a lack of manpower to maintain the cleanliness of the place, adding that the problem affected the cleanliness of the main building, the road, pedestrian pathways, plots for plants, the heritage village and other places.

He said the situation was worsened by strong winds or storms as they brought leaves and tree branches.

Having an attraction spanning 16.9ha meant that cleaners needed a longer time to clean every spot as they did the work in stages.

He said the heritage village had 24 traditional houses and 14 ‘sulap’ (huts).

“It is hard to get new raw materials to replace or fix the dilapidated structures. The raw materials include ‘nipah’ leaves, ‘nibong’ and round woods native to rural areas,” said the spokesman.

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