New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building

The New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building (Malay: Bangunan Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak Baru) is the current state legislative complex of Sarawak, located in Kuching, Malaysia. It houses the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly where state assemblymen from all over Sarawak will meet and preside over debates and passing of laws. The complex is located at the north bank of the Sarawak River in between The Astana, which is the official residence of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri (Governor) of Sarawak and Fort Margherita.

The building was officially opened by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Terengganu on 27 July 2009 followed by the Rulers’ Conference in the building complex. This nine-storey high building is the venue for future Sarawak’s new state legislative assembly sittings. The distinctive “payung” (Umbrella) roof of the new DUN complex is an iconic landmark for Sarawak.

The architecture of the new complex combines unique elements of Sarawak’s heritage with state-of-the-art intelligent building automation systems, multimedia communication facilities, and environmentally friendly features. The new complex development covers an area measuring 172 acres (0.70 km2) near The Astana (Governor’s Residence) on the banks of the Sarawak River in Petra Jaya, Kuching. The new chamber can hold up to 108 members, each with their own office. It also has 142 seats for civil servants, 86 in the VIP gallery and 106 in the public gallery. Its architecture and design have meticulously taken into account the future needs of elected representatives.

The building is fully equipped with high-tech information and communication technology. This new DUN complex, perched on the promontory on the bank of the Sarawak River between the Astana and Fort Margherita, has been described as one of the most beautiful buildings in Southeast Asia. The best view of the complex is from the Kuching Waterfront.

It is also a depiction of the state’s struggles and achievements over the years after gaining independence through the formation of Malaysia and as a multi-racial society. Reinforced by nine gigantic pillars and numerous arches, the building reflects the sovereignty of the people’s power as well as the support of all the races in the state.

The contract for the design, construction and completion of the new complex was valued at RM296.5 million (705,680USD). It was completed on 31 May 2009. The project is a joint-venture of Sarawak’s leading construction companies – Bina Puri Holdings Bhd, PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd and Naim Cendera Sdn Bhd. PPES Works (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd is 51% owned by KLSE Main Board-listed entity, Cahya Mata Sarawak Berhad and 49% held by state-owned Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC). Meanwhile, Naim Cendera Sdn Bhd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Main Board of Bursa Malaysia listed entity Naim Cendera Holdings Berhad.

The Sarawak State Assembly complex’s opening in July cost the state government more than RM1mil and nearly half of the amount went to organising a river float parade and fireworks. Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said RM581,179 (138,309.52USD) was spent on the ceremony and RM437,250 (104,064.26USD) on the river float parade and fireworks display at night.

“The expenses were in line with the grandeur of the ceremony, which was graced by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, the rulers as well as local and foreign dignitaries,” said Datuk Awang Tengah. The state government also bought luxury cars for the ceremony which were later deployed for the use of various state ministries and government agencies. Approved permits were obtained from the Federal Government and the cars were bought from Brunei at a reasonable price.

Photo by: Sakura Engly & Wikipedia