The Old Welfare Building in Kota KinabaluPosted on May 11 in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia Explorationby ShelynPrint
The hotel that we stayed during our trip in Kota Kinabalu, Eden 54, is located smack dab in the middle of Kota Kinabalu city, surrounded by three commercial banks and several tall buildings includes new Suria Sabah shopping mall. Amongst all high rise buildings and commercial lots, nothing captivated me more than a building ruins mysteriously exists in the heart of the vibrant city of Kota Kinabalu.
“Is the remnant of the building so important that it can neither be restored nor fully demolished?”
“Is the place so haunted that they want to imprison the ghosts here so the ghosts won’t travel anywhere else in the city?”
“Are people in Kota Kinabalu too artistic that they must draw graffiti on the buildings so the state government retains this ruins as a place for artists to let off steam?”
All these doubts lingered in my mind until I was back to Kuala Lumpur and did some research of the place.
This building was once a Land and Survey building then converted to be used by the Department of Social Welfare and also the office for the Society for the Blind. This building is one of the oldest in Kota Kinabalu, a remnant from the British North Borneo administrative era. A proposal submitted by the Sabah Art Gallery, to reuse the building as the art gallery premise in November 1992 was never made possible; the building was mysteriously destroyed in a fire on the morning of 31st December 1992, leaving behind concrete portions of the building that we see today. ~ Excerpt from Rungitom
Creative and passionate Sabahan art enthusiasts have then converted the place into a colourful graffiti heaven, a place for local artists to practice their skills and to express their arts creativity. Every single wall and column are filled with unique graffiti that carries different meaning of which ones need to appreciate them in order to realize the message of each graffiti. The place eventually became a creative playground for local shutterbugs to make full use of their skills and to remind the people of the existence of such historical spot in Kota Kinabalu city.
Ever wonder where exactly the place is? It’s just right opposite Suria Sabah mall and you won’t miss it with the colorful graffiti stands out from the dull color buildings surrounded it.
For more information:
Jesselton township history
The old welfare building detailed history