STB office has colourful history

KOTA KINABALU, 22 March 2017: Last week, Sabah Tourism Board’s office building passed its 99th anniversary and is now counting down to centennial celebrations set for 16 March 2018.

The gazetted building is probably the oldest tourism board building in ASEAN and in its own right an important heritage attraction that draws photographers and tourists on city tours.

It is viewed as an icon representing the state’s efforts to preserve and restore historical buildings to bring heritage to the forefront of tourism promotions.

Sabah Tourism Board building in 1918.

Sabah Tourism Board (STB) is now planning celebrations to mark the 100th year. The building was officially opened by the state’ governor 16 March, 1918.

STB’s news release on the anniversary noted that the building was one of just a few to survive heavy bombing by allied forces when Sabah was under Japanese occupation during the Second World War.

Today it is one of the only three buildings in Kota Kinabalu gazetted for conservation and heritage.

The other two heritage buildings are the Atkinson Clock Tower and the Lands and Survey Department building, which were later converted to the Department of Social Welfare that was destroyed by fire in 1992.

The STB office building was originally the Government Printing Department, but was later renovated in 1936 to house the Treasury, Audit Office, a bank and the Post Office.

The building underwent restoration in 1989 and it was officially reopened 19 January, 1991, to house the Sabah Tourism Promotion Board.

On 16 March, 2011, the Kilometre Zero mark or Km 0 was established by the Royal Institute of Surveyors, Sabah, in front of the STB building. It now marks the starting point of all km measurements to all places in the state.

Sabah Tourism Board chairman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said a series of activities would be organised gradually leading up to 16 March, 2018.

“This is a historical moment for the city as it adds value and characteristics… It is also a milestone for Sabah Tourism, its employees as well as the public to witness a centennial celebration of a heritage building,” said Joniston.

(Source: STB)