Posts Tagged 'Activity'

A New Committee Born

Text Law Siak Hong
Photographs James Gough

The 13th Annual General Meeting was a disappointment – there was no quorum.

Nevertheless, our special guest, Kenneth Wong presented his talk on cultural landscape. Judging from the active participation in the Q&A session that followed, it was enthusiastically received.

But without quorum, the AGM had to be re-convened quickly to elect a new committee. Quick action was taken to arrange a new venue, and extra effort was made to invite the members. Our Hon Sec James even contacted all the voting members by phone and email to urge them to attend the AGM. This time, we achieved the numbers. On the evening of 6th April, in a function room at the Perak Golf Club, we dutifully elected the new committee from the members in attendance.

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Missing from the photograph is, of course, the photographer, Hon Sec James.

In his opening remarks, out-going president Mohd Taib congratulated the efforts of Han Chin Pet Soo and Ho Yan Hor, two history interpretation centres in Ipoh Old Town. He expressed the wish that Ipoh will see similar efforts which showcase the Malay and Indian communities in Ipoh.

Significantly, Mohd Taib pointed out the down side of UNESCO listing, “hastening the loss of hometown character to hyper-commercialisation”. A fair warning, indeed, as we witness the effect of increased tourism on Penang and Melaka post inscription as UNESCO world heritage sites.

He applauded initiatives such as Ipoh Kreatif, Borak Art Youth and The Other Festival, efforts supported by the state government, for bringing life to Ipoh through culture and the arts.

He mentioned the encouraging effort by Nor Hisham, our new committee member, in having drafted a heritage map which focuses on street names in Ipoh Old Town. He recalled the overwhelming support of young academia in Sawalunto, Sumatra and appealed to younger members to come forward and serve in the PHS committee.

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Voting in progress

The new committee was quick off the mark; five days later, they met to decide on the office bearers. There was renewed enthusiasm with a determination to activate a programme for members, highlighting membership drive and outreach to the community of heritage lovers in Perak.

So, PHS members and the general public are in for some high profile activities. To succeed, many volunteers will be required. When you read our appeal for help, do not hesitate to join in the fun and do your bit for PHS.

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New line-up for 2016-2018: Front row (l-r) Phillip Pu (Honorary Treasurer), Mohd Taib bin Mohamed (President), Jaki Mamat (Vice President) and James Gough (Honorary Secretary). Back row (l-r) Committee members: Law Siak Hong, Audrey Shanta, Jayakumary a/p Marimuthu, Sam Tan and Mohd Tajuddin bin Mohd Tahi. Not in photo: Nor Hisham bin Zulkiflee, and Meor Harun bin Meor Osman.

 

NOTICE OF MEETING

The 13th Annual General Meeting, 2016

of the
Perak Heritage Society

will be held on
26th March, 2016 at 2:30 p.m. 

at Sarong Paloh Event Hall,
No.12 & 14, Jalan Sultan Iskandar
(Hugh Low Street), 30000 Ipoh.

AGENDA

  1. President’s Address
  2. Minutes of the 12th Annual General Meeting
  3. Annual Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Election of Office Bearers.
  6. Any Other Matters
  7. Post AGM

“Cultural Landscapes” by Kenneth Wong

  • Renew your membership before the AGM, so you can vote.
  • Non-members are welcome as observers – why not sign up for membership?
  • Come enjoy the power point presentation by Kenneth Wong, PhD.
  • Tea and refreshments will be served.
  • Meeting will end before 5:30.

 

For PERAK HERITAGE SOCIETY
Mohd Taib Mohamed
President

Darryl Collins Talk 2014

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From Cambodian villages to cities:

Preservation of

traditional Khmer wooden houses

An illustrated talk by 

Darryl Collins

13 July 2014 (Sunday)

8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Sarang Paloh Event Hall

No.12-14, Jalan Sultan Iskandar (Hugh Low Street),

Ipoh Old Town

Admission by donation:

PHS members RM15

Non-PHS members RM25

Reservations:

Peggy 016-5230711 or

Hong 017-5061875 or

Perakheritage36@gmail.com

To avoid disappointment, book now!

Organisers:

Perak Heritage Society

Sarang Paloh Event Hall

Summary of talk

This talk explores the development of traditional Khmer wooden architecture in Cambodia from early Angkorian to modern periods. Traditional wooden architecture can be identified from bas-reliefs on stone temples to pagoda and palace wall paintings from the early 20th century. Recently, the Center for Khmer Studies conducted workshops, documented the architecture of wooden houses existing throughout the country and classified domestic architecture by style. Because of changing attitudes & lifestyles, old wooden houses are disappearing. Preserving them by moving and restoring them is one great way of saving the best examples.

Darryl presents a series of photographs which document living with traditional Khmer wooden houses – utilising interior furnishings and adopting environmental spaces for contemporary living.

The length of the presentation will be about 60 minutes.

About Darryl Collins 

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With a background in the Arts of Asia, Darryl Collins studied at Sophia University, Tokyo (1978-1981). Later, he spent two years travelling as a curator for The Shogun Age Exhibition from the Tokugawa Art Museum, Nagoya (1983-1985). He gained his Master of Arts in art history at the Australian National University in Canberra in 1993. He first journeyed to Cambodia in 1994 with a team from the National Gallery of Australia, to work with an Australian Government funded project at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. He co-authored Building Cambodia: ‘New Khmer Architecture’ 1953-1970, published in 2006 and for some five years lectured at the Department of Archaeology, Royal University of Fine Arts, Phnom Penh, and completed in mid-2004 a 1-year consultancy with the Department of Culture and Research, the APSARA Authority, Siem Reap. In 2004, Darryl began part time work at the National Museum in Phnom Penh as manager for the 9 year Collection Inventory Project. He registered works of art and transferred early French records of the museum onto a purpose-designed database.

Darryl resides in Siem Reap and spends his spare time writing and researching art, architectural and cultural topics.

 

 

More than an Annual General Meeting

By Law Siak Hong

The meeting room for the AGM

Because of the Annual General Meeting (AGM), the nearly-completed shophouse No.24 on Panglima Lane got a last minute clean-up for the occasion. The different levels built into the interior were adapted to our needs. In this flowing space, the AGM felt like a minor cultural event.

What a difference professionals made to the quality of our lives. Our gratitude to Nick, for hanging the photographs and making cosy the setting for our AGM; and to Zemang, for setting up the video installation and perfecting the synchronisation. The video installation was the conversation piece. The photographs were much appreciated, even though they had to be viewed in available light. The high tea by Pakeeza Restaurant was more than satisfying; most of us had multiple servings.

Despite our effort to inject interest in this annual gathering for members, the AGM, again, did not get a quorum; it was concluded in the presence of observers and invited guests who out-numbered our members two to one. I hope more members will come to the AGM next year to form the new Management Committee. For the absentees, read below what you have missed.

Hayati Mokhtar:  Video Installation:  “No.55, Main Road”

From ground to the level of the video installation

About the video maker: Hayati Mokhtar studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design (B.A Hons) and Goldsmiths’ College, University of London (M.A). She lives and works in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She utilizes the moving image in examining places and landscapes. Her video installations have been shown in Malaysia and internationally.

The video installation with bio-data of Hayati Mokhtar

About the video: Shot in full HD, “No.55, Main Road” infers the address of a century-old shophouse in Kampong Kepayang which is the home of 87-year-old “Uncle” Chang Ching. Consisting of one main road, the trunk road between Simpang Pulai and Gopeng, south of Ipoh, the fate of this virtual ghost town is sealed by the dominating, fast and incessant flow of traffic which besieges the shophouses. Hayati observes, “The sound of traffic is there, always.” The three-channel 17-minute video appears on three LED screens, played continuously, with a sound track of passing traffic and two of Uncle Chang Ching’s favourite classic Mandarin pop songs. The video portrays Uncle and invokes the historical cultural landscapes of the tin mining towns of Perak. Of her work, Hayati writes:

“The truth is bleak: soon, the town that one sees now may not exist at all. The District Council considers these two rows of old shophouses structurally unstable and therefore unsafe both for inhabitants and passers-by. In 2010, when the video was made, they have been marked for demolition, under Section 83 of the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974. The overriding motivation behind this move is: the trunk road needs to be widened again. There is a chance that one row will be saved on the side opposite Uncle’s shophouse, given the presence of the mosque at the end of the row. And the Malay village and orchards near the Raia River will be spared. But the coherence of Kampung Kepayang, built up over more than a century, will be gone. Some of the townsfolk are resigned to the loss of this place; others don’t really care. As for Uncle Chang Ching, who has lived here for 50 years, he is determined to stay put and live out what remain of his days.

“The work is spread across three screens: one shows a long tracking-shot across the fronts of shophouses; the centre screen is a static shot of Uncle’s living room, open to the road; the third screen reveals details of this living room, and of spaces to the rear of it that are glimpsed down a passage. By reading horizontally across the screens, one image can broaden the understanding of another – and there is a sense of concurrency as well as sequence, forming a diffuse narrative. For instance: in one screen, notices telling the occupants to quit their building are posted; this contrasts with, in another screen, the air of long-standing permanence in the ordered clutter of Uncle’s possessions and photographs – treasured souvenirs and left-over stock of valves and resistors from the days he ran a radio and TV repair business.

“Uncle’s stubborn attachment to his home and the town so familiar to him is an act of resistance to the dictates of a short-sighted bureaucracy that is acting to facilitate supposed progress. In shophouse No.55 joss-sticks are lit while a kettle boils; the key is in its usual place by the back door. Yet, what remains of the next shophouse is only a facade. Further down the street there are more abandoned buildings: strangely beautiful and melancholy structures that are littered with remnants of belongings, photographs and altars – and with staircases that persist simply as a pattern running up a wall. Each of them invites us to construct an imagined past although some of them offer more clues than others.

“Less pervasively, less overbearingly, there are the reflections of the traffic. Flickers of light are cast on the scene by passing cars and lorries as they hurtle along the road that cuts through this one-street town.

“This work emerges from my preoccupation with the ‘hold’ that places can have over us – be it a hometown or a house. Perhaps, this is because they epitomize our desire for a sense of belonging and continuity as we are forced to reconcile with a modernity that appears not to accommodate such needs. ‘No.55, Main Road’ focuses upon the transition, the process during which ‘a place becomes a space’. But here we see in juxtaposition both the persistence of the personal realm, the daily ritual and its fragility up against the ungovernable forces of the outside world, and indeed, up against neighbouring shop-lots that have already succumbed to dereliction.”

Looking down to the video installation from the upper level

We have good news for you: Hayati’s next video installation on the Falim House is a work in progress. I heard that it will involve twenty-eight screens. Falim House should have been a “national heritage”. For its relevance to Perak, PHS will do its best to bring the world premiere of this work of art to Ipoh. To do that, PHS will need your volunteer power and financial support. What a challenge that will be.

Alan Ng:  Photographs:  The Falim House

The servery on the ground level with Alan Ng’s photographs hung in the space of the old shelvings

About the photographer: Born and bred in the sleepy yet famous tin mining town of Sungei Lembing, Pahang, Alan Ng spent much of his childhood roaming the nearby forest, fishing in the river, improvising toys and inventing games. From this outdoor pastime, he developed a love for heritage and old things, and an enduring passion for photography. His love for nature and jungle trekking remains, and the rainforest is a recurrent theme in his photographs.

He works exclusively in black-and-white photography, with a Hasselblad. Over the years, his pursuit of photography has also helped him make a living: he prints off traditional silver gelatin glass plates and negatives, often for artists and professionals such as Soraya Talismail and Raja Zainol Ihsan Shah, custodian of Sultan Ismail’s collection of photographs.

His photographs have been exhibited at Sutra House, Kuala Lumpur. He has also helped curate various group exhibitions, notably “Never-ending Peace and Love”.

A pair of photographs with religious subjects

He never quite embraced the digital revolution. Instead, he daydreams and follows the dictates of his own rhythm to produce beautiful monochromatic prints of evocative, memorable images to fill the void in a world given to instantaneous and often throw-away colour imagery.

About the photographs: Alan Ng is a poet. Through his lens and by his hands, images become stunningly beautiful photographs, printed on silver gelatin fine art paper. His photo-prints are archival; they will last a hundred years, and in optimal condition, a hundred more.

Three photographs in a row

Alan explored the Falim House. Looking into every nook and corner in every room, taking pleasure in the rich textures presented by the abandoned objects and relying on available light, he composed selectively. He saw objects with layers of dirt and vines creeping into the building. He says, “It was as if they wanted to talk to me.”

With these photographs, Alan has preserved for posterity the melancholy Falim House in evocative and, definitely, saddening images.

Photographs on upper level outside the meeting room

10th Annual General Meeting of the Perak Heritage Society, 2013

Date: 11th May 2013

Time: 3:00 p.m.

Venue: No.24, Lorong Panglima, 30000 Ipoh

Refreshments will be served.

Panglima Lane – the venue for PHS AGM, by courtesy of Mike Singh.

Panglima Lane The venue’s side to Jalan Bijeh Timah, by courtesy of Mike Singh.

No. 24 Panglima Lane – the venue for PHS AGM, by courtesy of Mike Singh.

Dear members and friends,

This is going to be a very special PHS AGM.

In this edition of our annual event, for your love of heritage and your sensory pleasure, we will be showing a unique combination of works of art about our Perak heritage. We have also lined up great refreshments, sponsored and catered by Pakeeza Restaurant, Ipoh’s famous food outlet.

You can kill two birds with one stone: attend the AGM and take a walk down the lane and see what’s going on in this famous lane. But first, let us meet at Lorong Panglima, the tourist walk in Old Town. The venue of our AGM: No.24 is one of the shophouses renovated for a café, to open soon.

We have an exhibition of ten framed photographs. They will be a feast to the eyes and a tonic for the mind. The photographer Alan Ng is a professional photo-printmaker. Yet, in his foray into image making, his quality, poetic images are beautiful, enchanting, moody and soulful. You will read his bio-data on display at the venue. The photographs will be for sale, price and details on the day. A part of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to PHS. Oh, there will be music to match the mood.

Then, there is KAMPONG KEPAYANG, a video installation by Hayati Mokhtar. Hayati is a Malaysian artist-filmmaker based in KL. Involving three LED screens, her video portrays moving images and explores what remains of the shophouses by the Main Road which cuts through this ruinous Kinta Valley tin mining town south of Ipoh. The work has graced various international art shows but this is the first ever showing in Perak. Don’t miss the rare opportunity of seeing this amazing video – a moving documentation of our Perak Heritage.

Naturally, all PHS Members are urged to attend your AGM. Non-members may attend as observers but you must register ahead, to help us account for the number to be served with refreshments. Members of the Press will be invited. Please note that the venue has a limited capacity. 

Prehistoric Treasures and Old Material Culture

Text by Sundralingam Saminathan
Photos by Lau Sook Mei

The PHS field trip on Sunday, 30 January attracted seven society members and three new friends. It was a small but happy group, eager with contained excitement.

Traipsing across the field.

We began with the amazing rock paintings at Gunung Panjang, Tambun. Our guide for the day, Hong reminded the gang on the Dos and Don’ts before leading us across the open field to an unkempt ‘heritage’ pavilion at the bottom of the concrete stairs. 128 steep steps to the rockshelter, so up we went.

Mohd Taib: clean by example.

The rock paintings are found on the exposed, west-facing cliffs, some as high as 10-metres from the floor of the rocky ledge. Huffing and puffing, we gazed awe-struck. Some paintings have faded, some are damaged by water and vandals. How did the paintings survive the weathering? How and why did the prehistoric men paint so high up the cliff face? Intriguing and magical!

Surprisingly, despite its importance, no proper studies have been done since its discovery in 1959 until, in 2009, an Archaeology student at Universiti Sains Malaysia , Noel Hidalgo Tan surveyed and mapped all the paintings he could find, and studied them for his Master thesis.

Just how many paintings are there? Noel found five hundred, in ten groups. Iron oxide found at the hill is assumed the colour ‘red’. To date them, Noel analysed little bits of paint samples. Artefacts previously uncovered cannot be traced, so went the material evidence of its Neolithic age.

We recognized the figurative paintings: tapir, deer and a giant catfish once thought to be a dugong, a manatee. Drawings of men are prominent, especially a captivating one with a long phallus.

The giant catfish.

Charmed, we pierced in wonderment but the mosquitoes got to us. Before we descended, we took in the view of Ipoh against the backdrop of the Kledang Range . Yes, Gunung Panjang would have been a landmark even in Neolithic time.

Looking down to the Syed Putra Army Camp – note the Sulva Lines Cemetery.

Our next destination was Gunung Naga Mas, just past Kampung Kepayang. We hesitated at the overgrown path to the cave but some foreign workers at the foothill prodded us on.

Our brave new friend, Thomas found a stick and began ‘slashing’ his way up the hand-laid stones steps. Hong followed, clearing the track for our fellow ‘adventurers’. Progress was slow but our patience paid off; we found an old nylon rope which guided us up the hill.

As we looked down to the barren land in Tekkah, where tin was mined, the stench of guano (bat droppings) wafted out the dark end of the chamber, which used to house a Chinese temple known as Gua Naga Mas or ‘golden dragon cave’. In the cool dampness, we stayed put, imagining spirits moving freely around us.

The fossil bones.

In a small alcove to the side we came face to face with the fossils. Ever the doctor, enthusiastic Mike named the bones embedded in the ceiling about 5-metres from the floor. A renowned zoologist has identified the ‘skeleton’ as that of a leopard. The only piece of research so far dated the bones to Paleolithic, between 10,000 and one-million-years-old. For the bones to be stuck to the rocks, we reckoned that the area had gone through extreme pressure for a very, very long time. But how does one wrap one’s head around such concept of eons and prehistoric time?

The descent was light work, but the energy sapping ‘hike’ made us very hungry, and so we rushed to Gopeng for lunch.

Our lunch in the Malay café on Jalan Pasar was very good. Sated and rested, we began our Sunday stroll in historic Gopeng.

Gopeng is famous for the Eu Yang San, the Chinese medical chain started in 1879. With a road named after him, Eu Kong is the founding patriarch while his illustrious son Eu Tong Sen built it into an international conglomerate.

Founded in 1888, the Tseng Lung Hakka Association is the oldest clan association in town. The photo gallery is most impressive, with formal portraits of noted clansmen and women. Here, Sook Mei discovered the photographs of her maternal grandfather and uncles, who were prominent clansmen in the Kinta Valley.

Tseng Lung Hakka Association.

We walked up High Street to the changkat to cool off in the shade of the old angsana tree dominating a small park by the mining pool, then past the town padang to enjoy the Chinese temple theatre. We crossed the road to the sad remains of the 30-metre section of the water pipeline of Gopeng. We returned to town through Jalan Kampong Rawa, where we saw the rows of century-old coolies’ housing, and the original public toilet block, minus the ‘buckets’ for excrement.

Gopeng’s iconic pipeline – what’s left of it.

Where stories of Gopeng are told.

At the Gopeng Museum on Jalan Eu Kong, we discovered Gopeng’s material culture. Its curator, Mr Phang See Kong was hospitable, offering mineral water and snacks. More discovery; I noticed my great-great-grandfather’s photograph on the wall! He was Vellasamy Pillai, the pioneer who built Gopeng’s Amman Hindu Temple in 1885. This fact was verified by my great-grand-uncle, Dato’ Rajasingam.

My great-great-grandfather.

Snacking in the museum.

Phang arranged our visit to the Heritage House on Jalan Sungai Itek (Wayang Lane). This shophouse has adapted by its owner Mr Wong Kuan Cheong into a warren of interesting spaces on three levels, using salvaged building material.

Inside the Heritage House.

Satiated and tired out, we left Gopeng with Phang’s promise of invitations to the opening of the Heritage House on World Heritage Day.

A parting shot.

If you should want to go to the prehistoric sites on your own, never go alone, and make sure you let someone know when you are expected home. Be self-responsible at these prehistoric sites and remember the Dos and Don’ts below.

– Notice to All Visitors-
Welcome to one of the most significant pre-historic sites in Malaysia.

Pre-historical relics are rare but important because of what we can learn from them.
The locations where they are found are important as it presents to us the context for their significance within the region.
It is a rare opportunity to be able to enjoy significant relics in their natural state.
To protect and conserve this site, please observe the following:


Do’s

1.   Take notes and pictures. You will be pleasantly surprised by the details captured which may have eluded your gaze.

2.   Stay on the designated path to avoid damaging the site and for your own safety. Rock-falls can seriously injure or kill.

3.   Get in touch with Perak Heritage Society if you wish to know more about this site: https://perakheritage.wordpress.com/

4.   Report any abuse or encroachment upon the site to PHS. Pictures will be of great help.

5.   Help to conserve this site by keeping it clean & hazard free. Dispose of wastes appropriately. It is best that you take them away to the nearest waste bins.


Don’ts

1.   Don’t remove any relic or material from the site.

2.   Don’t touch, paint, draw or climb up the rock face; it is to preserve the relic as well as to mind your own safety.

3.   Don’t litter; wastes attract pests, contaminate the site, and pose a fire & health hazard.

4.   Don’t smoke within the vicinity of the site. It’s both a fire and health hazard.

Note: It is an offence to remove, damage or deface historical artefacts, the penalties include a hefty fine and jail time.

Proposed by Mr Cheah Soon Tatt, Penang, 2009
For more stories please click here.

Update ~ 2nd January 2016 : Ancient Cave Paintings Used to Teach New Lessons

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Words of Wisdom

Text by Lau Sook Mei
Photos by Jay Kana

Important things were said by the panel of three guest speakers. This blog is a summary of the sequential presentations from the panel and the Q&A session during the PHS Heritage Forum held on 16 Oct 2010. En Syahruddin from the Jabatan Kementerian Pelancongan Malaysia , Negeri Perak chaired the panel.

Encik Mohd. Syahrin bin Abdullah, Jabatan Warisan Negara (JWN)

The title of En Mohd. Syahrin’s topic, “The National Heritage Act 2005” came into effect on 1 Mac 2006 to preserve and conserve heritage, both tangible and intangible. He said it was important to conserve our heritage because heritage can generate income for the country’s economy, give a sense of pride to the people and enhance research into our past. For Perakians, some good news is awaiting: the gazette for TT5, the only functioning dredge in Malaysia , will be completed soon. To encourage conservation efforts, the Department is in the midst of negotiating with some banks for soft loans to facilitate conservation projects.

Mr Clement Liang, Honorary Secretary, Penang Heritage Trust

Mr Clement Liang shared the tears and jubilations of the Trust through “Making the City of George Town A World Heritage Site ”. Slides on PHT’s restoration projects were shown. In Penang , besides built heritage, there is living heritage, the men and women who were the revered skilled tradesmen, artists and craftsmen.

Clement gave an insight into the roles played by PHT, founded in1986, to drive home the message that when heritage is lost, the people would lose their roots and identity.

The PHT has uncovered numerous cases where conservation guidelines were flouted, such as super high-rises dwarfing old buildings in the old neighbourhood. Developers who demolish old buildings have been slapped with only a minor penalty. That is no justice to the damage done.

The PHT conduct programmes to educate and encourage the younger generation to preserve George Town – “do it for the love of heritage”. That works at grassroot level, from “bottom up”, for it is up to the people to push their government for heritage conservation.

The PHT works with UNESCO Asia-Pacific by having joint conferences and restoration projects. For heritage tourism, heritage trails are mapped, where school children are involved. To educate and raise heritage consciousness for students, talks and workshops have been held in schools and “heritage walkabouts” conducted on the street.

The PHT also advises property owners on renovation of shophouses based on conservation guidelines.

Clement gave quite a detail account of what PHT has done. There is much to be learned.

Professor Amran Hamzah, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia , Sekudai

Prof. Amran changed his topic to “Nomination of Ipoh/Kinta Valley into UNESCO’s World Heritage List – Issues and Prospects”. This is timely, for the state government is preparing its dossier for UNESCO World Heritage Site Listing.

Prof. Amran gave a frank assessment on what it would take to get into the World Heritage List; it is no child’s play. Numerous questions were posted in his stimulating talk. I wish I could quote him but that will run into pages. So here is the gist of what he said.

A major impact from the listing would be a tourism boom, as evident in Melaka, but we need to look at ourselves and answer some pertinent questions prior to seeking the listing. We need branding. Do we have that?

We need to consider the outstanding universal value of Kinta Valley to humanity. Do we talk about it being the world’s largest tin producer? What about the towns that tin built such as Gopeng, Kampar, Papan, etc? What about the tangible and intangible aspects of this heritage? Whose heritage is it, anyway?

The Ipoh/Kinta Valley story should not only be about buildings, it should encompass the many layers of history.

We need a management plan in order to meet conditions of integrity and authenticity. We need to identify the attributes and assess how intact the tangible and intangible aspects of the natural and cultural heritage are. But how do we measure them?

Most importantly, we must love and respect our heritage before we can showcase them to the world. How about keeping our environment rubbish-free?

“To apply for listing is not a one-man show!”  The process should be driven by the government. It must have strong support from the civil society, NGOs, individuals, academia, media, historians, writers and so forth. A task force and a base are required. Right from the start, information gathered should be shared with the world. The story does not end with being listed. The commitment thereafter is of utmost importance. Is the MBI capable of handling it?

It took Melaka and George Town twenty years of preparation before it was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. So if we thought Ipoh/Kinta Valley really stood a chance, we would have to start cracking to get into the World Heritage Site Tentative List. There is no shortcut to the process; it is a long one but it will be a fulfilling and enriching journey. His advice was to share this aspiration with the public, keep them informed and involved, and learn from Melaka and George Town .

Q&A

There was no lack of enthusiasm when it came to Question and Answer time. There were two good questions:

1) Could the same results be achieved if things worked from the top down?

To that, Clement replied that it could work either way but it would work better approached from both ends concurrently. Procedures could be simplified with the help of the government.

2) How to turn around the lack of enthusiasm of local residents towards heritage?

Clement replied that in Penang , the PHT strategically stir up issues and create awareness through the press. Wherever possible, before news report hit the press, they would pre-empt by “alerting the public and government” to “nip issues at the bud”. Prof. Amran added that it would work well to have a common platform. We ought to start with a taskforce and get everyone involved.

At one point Puan Khoo Salma commented that for the Listing, tin may not be our only option. We could consider our cultural landscape. She stressed the need to document our social history, reminding us not to forget about the human element, that is, the stories of how men exploited tin.

A token of appreciation was presented to En Syahruddin for chairing the panel.

Conclusion
Participants have expressed concern over various heritage issues especially regarding the responsibility of heritage management. Several options came up. A special entity could be set up, supported by the government to serve the purpose. The JWN could create a National Heritage Council or as PHS suggested, an Advisory Council for State Heritage.

To overcome rampant demolitions of heritage buildings it would be necessary to gazette all such buildings as National Heritage. This could be done within a much shorter time frame compared to being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

All levels of the society such as NGOs, media, civil society and ethnic groups need to work together to increase a love for local heritage. In addition, the local authority should be quick to act through legislation and enforcement in preserving and safeguarding our heritage.

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Perak Heritage Society

Persatuan Warisan Perak
(Reg. No. 1254) was registered with the Registrar of Societies in August, 2003.

Office and Postal Address:
85C, Jalan Sultan Abdul Jalil,
30300 IPOH, Perak, Malaysia.
(opposite the Syuen Hotel)

Fax: 05-253 5507

E-mail:
perakheritage36@gmail.com
Website: https://perakheritage.wordpress.com

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