A building to serve 100 years, says Asfia

KUCHING: The new State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building, set to become a landmark for the state, is expected to be of good use to the state for a century to come.

DUN Speaker Dato Sri Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar said a parliamentary building usually served the legislature for 100 years.

“When you build a parliamentary building, it must be for 100 years, for the future and beyond,” he told a news conference held at the new DUN building near Astana in Petra Jaya yesterday.

Asfia said the new building, much like the Sydney Opera House of Australia and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, “is handicapped friendly”.

Two books namely, ‘The New DUN Sarawak Building – Symbol of the People Sovereignty’ and ‘Change and Continuity’ would be launched in conjunction with the grand opening of new DUN building on July 27, he revealed.

Institute of Architect Malaysia compiled ‘The New DUN Sarawak Building – Symbol of the People Sovereignty’, which contains the construction of the new DUN complex as well as depicting the design and architectural values of the building.

‘Change and Continuity’ is authored by Asfia, who largely elaborates on the historical background of Sarawak’s legislature – the oldest legislature in Malaysia.

“The book compiled by Institute of Architect Malaysia will enlighten audience on not only the design of the new building but also the aspirations of the architects with special remarks by Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud,” Asfia said.

“For ‘Change and Continuity’, it is mainly to trace the history of legislature of the state,” he added.

The new DUN building will be opened by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin in a grand ceremony that will include a regatta and a float procession on Sarawak River.

The 218th Rulers’ Conference will be held at the meeting chamber on July 28 and 29.

Asfia added: “This is the only DUN building in Malaysia whose official opening will be graced by Yang di-Pertuan Agong and attended by rulers and representatives of the various states.”

He said such grand opening alone had already written a historical record for the new DUN building, not to mention it becoming a landmark for the state.

The grand opening will begin at the atrium of the new building with Taib’s official remarks and royal address by the King.

The King and sultans will then sign on a plaque.

The new building, perched on the promontory by the pristine bank of Sarawak River, is nonchalantly nestled between the Astana and Fort Magharetta.

“Most parliaments in the Commonwealth are located either on a hill or by a river. Our new DUN building is on the hill and by the river.

“It stands majestically as the most breathtakingly beautiful landmark of the state. It is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and the best in South East Asia,” he added.

The new complex will hold up to 108 honourable members. Presently, there are 71 assemblymen and assemblywomen statewide.

It has nine floors with a height of 27.7 metres, a diameter of 30.9 metres and a total area of 760 square metres. The chamber where meetings are held is at the eighth floor.

(Taken from Borneo Post)