THE Sarawak government has approved an allocation of RM250 million for the setting up of an archive centre in Kuching to house the state’s historical properties.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg (picture) said a lot of the state’s historical properties were located abroad and Sarawak intended to get all of them such as the Malaysia Agreement 1963 documents, currently placed at the National Archives (United Kingdom) in London.

“The archive centre will be linked to the libraries in Sibu and Miri via the Internet so that the people can get references on the history of Sarawak.

“Those who need more detailed information can come to the archive centre themselves,” he said when officiating at the launching of Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, Sibu branch located in Jalan Tun Tuanku Bujang, Sungai Merah, here, today.

Through the archive centre, Abang Johari said Sarawak could exchange documents with libraries around the world that have Sarawak-related data in their possession.

“The development of traditional and digital libraries must go in tandem as they are important for economic development in this country.

“We do give our attention to libraries and now we are restructuring where we have put libraries under the Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA).

“We still need the hardcopy (printed materials) but we cannot shy away from the digital ones as over time, digital library will become part and parcel of the development in this country,” he added.

He also stressed the importance of reading and gaining new knowledge to create new economic activities which could drive Sarawak to become a developed state by 2030.