Latest Event Updates

BWM Talk Series: Gunung Kanthan, Past And Present As A Heritage Icon

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Organized by Malaysian Cave and Karst Conservancy (MCKC)
In collaboration with Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM)

Date: Saturday, 23 October 2021
Time: 2PM
Venue: Virtual – Zoom Webinar

Free admission.

Moderator: Dr. Zubaid Akbar Mukhtar Ahmad

Speaker

Eric Tang Cher Hing   

Dr. Ros Fatihah Muhammad     

Dr. Yong Kien Thai     

Zarris Kem 

Surin Suksuwan 

Lim Tze Tshen  

Dr. Juliana Senawi   

Shah Redza  

Topic

Dhamma Sakyamuni Caves Monastery

Karst

Rare & Endangered Plants of Gunung Kanthan

International Standards for Managing Caves for Tourism

Malaysian Laws Relevant to Conserving Limestone Hills

Fossils and Archaeology 

Bats of Gunung Kanthan

Geopark

Webinar Synopsis

Gunung Kanthan is estimated to be half a billion years old and is the largest and most extensive peak remaining of the Kanthan iconic karst complex. As a natural monument, its majestic vertical white cliffs personify Gunung Kanthan.

Gunung Kanthan is documented internationally as a haven for high plant biodiversity not found anywhere else in the world. Additionally, it is the type locality for several new species never before discovered. As the limestone plants are commonly restricted to a given karst hill and to a particular microhabitat, this is the reason that numerous species can be found in such small areas and only on singular hills. It also contains the only remnant of limestone forest in Perak, an endangered habitat that is a refugia not only for large trees, birds, reptiles and frogs but also for a population of the endangered serow or kambing gurun.

Many archaeological and paleontological sites of Peninsular Malaysia are associated with limestone caves. Caves are also sacred places in the Hindu and Buddhist religions and there are several religious sites in Gunung Kanthan.

Limestone hills take millions of years to form but bulldozers and explosives can cause irreversible damage in just a few hours. Quarrying would destroy this magnificent landscape permanently, reducing it to a flat lifeless quarry site. Surely this is against the principles of designating geopark status? It should not be overlooked that sustainable tourism, both local and international, would be a growing market.  There is no reason why Perak should not be marketed as the ‘Guilin of Malaysia’, with its temple caves and ecotourism potential for caving and rock climbing to coexist with the preservation its flora, fauna, cave ecosystem, iconic landscape, and cave temples.

BWM Talk Series: Preserving Natural Heritage for the Future: Case Study – Gunung Kanthan

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Organized by Badan Warisan Malaysia in collaboration with International National Trusts Organisation (INTO)

Live Webinar Details

Date: Monday, 13 September 2021
Time: 8:00PM (GMT +8) / UK 1:00PM (GMT+1)
Live Webinar. Free Admission.

Moderator: Lim Wei-Ling, President of Badan Warisan Malaysia

Speakers:
Dr. Ruth Kiew, Forest Research Institute Malaysia Fellow

Katherine Malone-France, Chief Preservation Officer of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

Dame Fiona Reynolds, Chair of International National Trusts Organisation

About The Talk

Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM) has been highlighting the imminent forced closure, eviction and possible destruction of the century-old Sakyamuni cave temple and monastery with its unique contents located at Gunung Kanthan, situated north of Ipoh in Perak, Malaysia.

Gunung Kanthan is one of the geological heritage geoparks comprising limestone hills in the Kinta Valley National Geopark. Together with the other limestone outcrops, it forms the distinctive karst landscape surrounding Ipoh. This limestone outcrop is on the verge of irreversibly losing its priceless geological, biological, architectural, archeological, cultural, tourist and recreational values to limestone quarrying by the current owner of the land on which Gunung Kanthan is situated.

In collaboration with International National Trusts Organisation (INTO), which BWM is a member of, we are bringing together international experts to shine a light on Gunung Kanthan and to share experiences in grassroots advocacy amongst our global National Trust family. We will also talk about the importance of protecting cultural landscapes for their beauty and intrinsic value, but also as sacred spaces, for wellbeing and for the economic value of a good quality environment.

We hope you can join the webinar, and show your support for saving significant heritage sites and values for posterity.


CORRECTION

With reference the webinar organized by Badan Warisan Malaysia in their BWM Talk Series , “Preserving Natural Heritage For The Future: Case Study – Gunung Kanthan that was held on 13th September 2021 and as a speaker in my capacity as a representative of the Malaysian Cave and Karst Conservancy, I wish to refer to a statement made in my presentation, namely: “In 2020, Associated Pan Malaysia Cement was awarded a mining license for Zone C” should be corrected to “In 2020, the ownership/lease period of Gunung Kanthan was extended to a cement company”.

In addition, I refer to Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohamed Radzi, Perak Housing, Local Government and Tourism Committee Chairman, was quoted as clarifying that there is “no issue of awarding or extending contracts to any company to carry out fresh quarrying at Gunung Kanthan” (the Vibes, 15/9/2021).

Ruth Kiew
15th September 2021

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We remember Tun Ahmad Sarji very fondly as the dynamic past president of Badan Warisan Malaysia (1996 to 2012), who was much accomplished and made many invaluable contributions to our country and our organization.

His great love for cultural and built heritage left an indelible mark in the conservation of heritage structures in Malaysia. Under his able leadership, much was achieved and saved from destruction – worthy significant buildings were restored, such as the Merdeka Stadium, and he took our organization to great heights.

We are very grateful for, and shall miss his generous support, guidance and kindness to many of our members and to our Council. We mourn this great loss to our nation, with his passing.


In memory of our Past President, the late Tun Ahmad Sarji, we would like to share these heartfelt tributes for him and would like to express our gratitude and thanks to the following contributors, who are active members of BWM – Dato’ Henry Barlow, Puan Sri Elizabeth Moggie, Datuk Christopher Boyd, Datin Waveney Jenkins, Ar. Laurence Loh, Elizabeth Cardosa, Ar. John Koh, Johan Abdul Razak and our President, Lim Wei-Ling.

Badan Warisan Malaysia extends our heartfelt condolences to Toh Puan Sagiyah and family.

Click HERE to read the tributes.

Webinar: Tasik Chini – A Case Study Of Our Eco Hopes & A Disaster In The Making

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Organized by Badan Warisan Malaysia

Live Webinar Details

Speaker: Andrew Sebastian
Moderator: Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Abdul Latiff Mohamad
Date: Saturday, 17 July 2021
Time: 4:00PM (Kuala Lumpur, GMT+8)

Free Admission.

ABOUT THE TALK

Tasik Chini is one of only 2 natural lakes system in Peninsular Malaysia and due to its high biological diversity of plants and wildlife, it became internationally recognised as a UNESCO Biosphere Preserve in 2009. There are over 714 of these unique preserves in the world with only 2 recognised in Malaysia. The government (federal and Pahang state) immediately spent taxpayers’ money to develop and promote this place as the country’s iconic tourism & ecotourism site, as well as to protect and preserve the lifestyle and livelihood of the indigenous Jakun tribe that lives in this landscape. However, things have not panned out well for the local community, the environment of Tasik Chini and Malaysia. So, what is going on there?

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

ANDREW SEBASTIAN is an accomplished naturalist, environmentalist and an established certified professional nature and bird guide for 20 years. Andrew actively leads tours in the region including Sulawesi, Sumatra & Papua. A law graduate, Andrew has devoted more than two decades in environmental and ecotourism issues through his work with numerous NGOs. He credits his passion for nature to his childhood growing up in the dense forest of the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM). Andrew has served and initiated numerous conservation and awareness campaigns, which included the landmark protection of the Royal Belum State Park back in 2006.

He co-founded the Asian Bird Fair Network, which has grown to be one of the largest birdwatching events in the world. He also co-founded the Wild Bird Club of Malaysia (WBCM), Tangkoko Bird Club (Indonesia) and Wild Bird Club of Singapore. He is attributed as a major influencer in the conversation and ecotourism field and is the brand ambassador for Leica. Andrew is the President & CEO of Ecotourism & Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY) and is a subject matter expert for Tourism Malaysia for over 10 years.

MODERATOR

Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr Abdul Latiff Mohamad is a pioneer in the research of plant taxonomy and conservation biology. His almost 40 years of research on Malaysian flora, plant taxonomy and biodiversity has led to the advancement of knowledge that includes the understanding of the science of taxonomy and conservation biology and, also, the importance, value and benefits of environmental conservation in Malaysia. He has been the Executive Council Member for the Asian Network for Biological Science; Member of the Scientific Committee for Botany, Pacific Science Association and also the Multi-lateral Steering Committee for Plant Resources of South East Asia (PROSEA).

MEDIA STATEMENT: GUNUNG KANTHAN

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MEDIA STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

9 July 2021

Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM) wishes to highlight urgently, the imminent forced closure, eviction and possible destruction of the century-old Sakyamuni cave temple and monastery with its unique contents located at Gunung Kanthan, north of Ipoh in Perak. This limestone outcrop is on the verge of irreversibly losing its priceless geological, biological, cultural, tourist and recreational values to quarrying for limestone to use in the production of cement by the current owner of the land on which Gunung Kanthan is situated. Together with the other limestone outcrops, it forms the distinctive karst landscape surrounding Ipoh. Gunung Kanthan is one of the geological heritage geoparks comprising limestone hills in the Kinta Valley National Geopark.

Cave dwellings are natural spaces where humans have lived in since time immemorial.  In the case of Perak, human inhabitants have lived in the caves of its ancient limestone hills, as evidenced by the discovery of the intact skeletal remains of ‘Perak Man’ in 1990, found amidst burial artifacts which date back to about 11,000 years ago, in the Lenggong Valley. The present Buddhist and Hindu temples and monasteries constructed within the nearby Gunung Kanthan echo those ancient ones found in India and China, and these buildings are attached to the natural caverns in the limestone hills and outcrops of Perak. The natural beauty of these weathered karst formations over millennia has led to favorable comparisons to the famous karst landscape of the Guilin Hills of China, with their unique rounded silhouettes in the natural landscape. The Buddhist and Hindu cave temples around Ipoh together with the dramatic karst landscape are famous tourist attractions for local and international visitors, and are priceless heritage worthy of preservation.

Badan Warisan Malaysia is deeply concerned and therefore, appeals to the relevant authorities, especially the Department of Lands and Mines (Pejabat Tanah dan Galian) to intervene, save and protect the priceless heritage of the Sakyamuni Cave Temple and Monastery from destruction, as well as Gunung Kanthan with its unique endemic flora and flora from being reduced entirely to rubble, for the sake of producing cement commercially. The portion where the heritage cave temple and monastery are located, should be kept intact and safe for human inhabitation for future generations to appreciate. We advocate the need to preserve these priceless cultural, natural and architectural built heritage from being lost forever.

This issue is one of national significance as the heritage value and interest go far beyond the state of Perak – the temples, caves and limestone hills belong to all Malaysians. They must all be saved and protected as a whole, from deliberate destruction for posterity.

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Tatler Malaysia: Saving the historic school, Convent Bukit Nanas

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Our gratitude and thanks to @tatlermalaysia for featuring Badan Warisan Malaysia in Tatler Malaysia’s article on 26 April 2021, where our president, Lim We-Ling, speaks on saving the historic school, Convent Bukit Nanas.

Click HERE to read the full article.

An Afternoon with Professor Dr. Ar. Jimmy C.S. Lim

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Organized by Badan Warisan Malaysia in collaboration with Think City Institute.

Live Webinar Details

Date: Saturday, 26 June 2021
Time: 4:00 PM (Kuala Lumpur, GMT+8)
Moderator: Datuk Christopher Boyd D.P.S.M.
Free Admission

ABOUT THE TALK

Jimmy C.S. Lim reflects on the early days of Badan Warisan Malaysia and discusses issues on built heritage then and now.

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Jimmy Lim Cheok Siang is a Founder Member and First Vice President of Badan Warisan Malaysia (The Heritage of Malaysia Trust), A past-President of Pertubuhan Arkitek Malaysia (PAM) (Malaysian Institute of Architects), past-President of Friends of Heritage, Founding Member and Executive Council Member of World Association of Chinese Architects (WACA), and Past Convenor of Architects’ Regional Council of Asia (ARCASIA) Fellowship.

Jimmy was educated at University of New South Wales, Australia. His work is renowned and recognised for its uncompromising and unconventional sustainable equatorial tropical architecture, which is renewable; that explores and celebrates “the Rites of the Tropics”, typified by “architecture without walls”, the delineation of floors, exploding of walls, multi-layered roofs for natural ventilation of energy efficiency.

Jimmy’s multiple awards include the PAM Gold Medal Award and the coveted Aga Khan Award for Architectural Excellence. He lectures extensively at conferences, seminars and teaches at various Colleges and Universities around the world.

MODERATOR

Christopher Boyd recently retired from Savills Malaysia, an international firm of professional property consultants, where he was Executive Chairman since 2001. He is a registered valuer in Malaysia with over 42 years’ property experience in the country and a further 12 years’ in the UK, Australia and Singapore. Datuk Boyd is a British citizen with Malaysian Permanent Residence.

Datuk Boyd’s professional career in Malaysia started in 1974 as a partner in Jones Lang Wootton, international property consultants. He went on to become Managing Partner of Knight Frank Baillieu Malaysia and joined Regroup (formerly CBRE and now Savills) after 6 years as Managing Director of a listed development company.

Datuk Boyd is a Life Member of Badan Warisan Malaysia and was the Honorary Treasurer from 1997 to 2014. He is a Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Malaysian Nature Society, Chairman of the Hash Heritage Foundation and Trustee (Treasurer) of the Aged European Fund

Jane’s Walk KL #13 Sungai Besi

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Badan Warisan Malaysia is delighted to announce that we will be holding a Heritage Walk in conjunction with Jane’s Walk Festival Week 2021. Jane’s Walk is an annual festival of free, community-led walking conversations inspired by Jane Jacobs https://janeswalk.org/. On the first weekend of May every year, Jane’s Walk Festivals take place in hundreds of cities around the world. This is Jane’s Walk KL’s third year; we are pleased to be collaborating on the 13th walk together.

This walk be led by Yasmin Lane and it will cover the history of Sungai Besi as a former mining town as well as highlights on a few places of interest in the area.

Registration for this walk is open for Badan Warisan Malaysia members for free. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this will be a small group. Standard SOPs must be observed.

Date: Sunday, 9 May 2021
Start Time: 8.30 am (1-1.5 hours)
Fee: FOC for BWM Members
Restrictions: Limited to 6 members

Click HERE to register. As limited places available, confirmation will be given on first-come, first-served basis.


Update as of 6 May 2021: This walk has unfortunately been cancelled in accordance to restrictions under the Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed by the government.

Media Statement: Convent Bukit Nanas

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MEDIA STATEMENT

20 April 2021

Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM) is very concerned to learn that the land lease for Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN) at Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur will not be renewed when the current lease ends in September 2021. This recent decision by Jabatan Tanah dan Galian (Land and Mines Department) poses a serious threat to the very existence of this 100+ years old heritage school, in its present form and location.

CBN shifted to its present site in Bukit Nanas in 1909. The school was built by the Public Works Department (Jabatan Kerja Raya) and designed by two government architects, Mr Huxley assisted by Mr Kesteven (the latter also designed the Sulaiman Building on Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin in 1926 and the Sultan Sulaiman Royal Mosque in Klang in 1933) echoing the lines of Gothic style European style monasteries and colleges where the European missionary nuns came from.

Convent Bukit Nanas like all great schools and colleges in the world, possesses a legacy of fine educational traditions and architectural buildings. It would be a tragic loss to our nation that this fine legacy is carelessly destroyed if that corner of Kuala Lumpur at Bukit Nanas is further developed.

Badan Warisan Malaysia therefore calls upon all relevant authorities, including Jabatan Warisan Negara, to ensure that CBN’s built heritage is preserved by a Gazettal as a Heritage Site, and that the land lease be extended for the continued existence of the heritage school there.

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