News & Events
Badan Warisan Malaysia held its 36th AGM on 14 December 2019.
Here’s the line-up of our new council!
President: Esme Lim Wei-Ling
Deputy President: Dato’ Zahim Albakri
Honorary Secretary: Lim Ee Lin
Honorary Treasurer: Dato’ Zaha Rina Zahari
Tpr. Dr. Faizah Ahmad
Ar. Lim Take Bane
Omar bin Malek Ali Merican
YM Raja Nazeem Iskandar
YM Tengku Nasariah Tengku Syed Ibrahim
Honorary Council Members
Prof. Dr. Ong Puay Liu
Congratulations and welcome aboard!
We would also like to thank our past President, Elizabeth Cardosa, and the rest of our previous Council Members who have retired; Deputy President – Ar. Dr. Helena Aman Hashim, Honorary Treasurer – Ishak Ariffin, Council Members – Maganjeet Kaur, Justine Chew, and Honorary Council Members – Lee Jia-Ping and Johan Abdul Razak for their support and contribution to the organization, particularly in their efforts to promote heritage conservation.
Stay in touch to get to know our newly elected Council Members!
Understanding Historic Concrete Structures: Common Defects, Investigation, Evaluation, Repair & Management for Conservation by Dato’ Ir Dr. Ch’ng Guan Bee
Admission for lectures: RM30 (RM20 for Badan Warisan members)
A packed lunch will be provided
Limited to 35 participants.
To register, email us at email@example.com
Badan Warisan Malaysia
Members’ Trip to Seri Menanti and Paroi, Negeri Sembilan
Saturday 9 March 2019
Meet/Registration at Istana Lama Seri Menanti, 9.15 a.m.
Seri Menanti, the royal capital of the state of Negeri Sembilan, was established in 1773 as a loose confederation of luak (districts), by immigrants coming over from Sumatra (mainly Minangkabau). Of the original 9 districts (Sungei Ujong, Rembau, Jelebu, Jelai, Naning, Klang, Segamat and Ulu Pahang), hence its name, Negeri Sembilan, only the former five districts remain as part of the State today.
This visit is limited to a maximum of 40 pax, and will include a guided tour of the restoration of the Istana Lama as well as a talk and visit to some traditional houses in the area. After lunch, we will proceed to see the former Salinger House which has been relocated to a private estate near Seremban.
Registration fee for the trip is RM60/pax for members and RM85/pax for non-members. The fee is inclusive of lunch and some light refreshments.
The detailed programme will be provided to those who register for the trip.
Download registration form HERE and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Multidisciplinary Approach in Heritage Conservation, Case Study: Langkawi UNESCO Global Geopark By UKM Governance and Education for Heritage Conservation Research Group
ABOUT THE SHARING SESSION
This sharing session will present the work carried out by UKM’s Governance and Education for Heritage Conservation Research Group on Langkawi Geopark (GAMAT). Langkawi Island, which was the first UNESCO Global Geopark in Malaysia as well as in Southeast Asia, can be a model for integrated heritage conservation and sustainable development. As a nature-based tourism destination, Langkawi Geopark has a huge responsibility to conserve its natural heritage (both geological and biological) as well as its cultural heritage. From their respective perspectives and specialisations, the GAMAT team will offers insights into some of the issues and challenges pertaining to Langkawi Geopark as a model for integrated heritage conservation and sustainable development. With the tagline ‘making the past present for the future’, this team sought to highlight the significance of heritage conservation which carries the spirit of Semangat Kawi by underlying the symbiotic relationship between heritage (of the past), current development (of the present) and the needs of the next generations (for the future).
ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
The GAMAT team comprises academics and researchers from different academic disciplines and includes Prof. Dr. Rahimah Abdul Aziz, Datin Paduka Dr. Halimaton Saadiah Hashim, Prof. Dr. Ong Puay Liu, Associate Professor Dr. Sarah Aziz, Associate Professor Dr. Geraldine K.L. Chan, Dr. Tanot Unjah, Dr. Lee Jing, Dr. Sharina Abdul Halim
LET’S TALK HERITAGE: A case for consensus-building and conflict-resolution for heritage place management
The recent demolition of a traditional Malay house in Kampung Tanjung Kelab Pantai, Terengganu, which was reported as standing in the way of the RM4.5 billion Kuala Terengganu City Centre project, has raised yet again concerns amongst many heritage professionals over the status of protection of the nation’s heritage.
In this past year, we have been privy to other controversies involving the loss of cultural heritage places – some through demolition such as that of Ampang Park Shopping Complex and the row of houses, commonly known as “Serani Row” in KL; others through development or major changes in the “look” of the place, as in the painting of the staircase leading up to the Batu Caves Temple complex.
So how do we really understand what is heritage?
The ways in which heritage is often framed today is through such regimes as the World Heritage Convention, and our own National Heritage Act 2005. In many countries, Malaysia included, heritage processes are legalistic, using adversarial court systems to determine the heritage significance of a place and to determine what are acceptable and appropriate actions to safeguard heritage.
Conflict arises when there is disagreement between involved parties who are responding to real or perceived threats to their interests, values, identities or rights; fears that one’s heritage is disrespected create highly charged emotions.
This lack of agreement will impede or prevent mutual understanding while ignoring the conflict in the hope it will dissipate over time is also ineffective. Conflicts present major barriers to achieving good heritage outcomes for all parties.
Fundamentally, heritage is a complex concept, engaging feelings and identities of the many different peoples and groups which make up our society. It connects what is culturally important to us – the individual, the family, any specific cultural group, up to the larger social framework we refer to as nation. There can be no one singular view of what is heritage; rather there are multiple perspectives reflecting the multiple values of multiple stakeholders.
These stakeholders each have distinct roles and different interests. They are also likely to have very different concepts of what comprises heritage. This in turn oftentimes results in conflict or differences of opinion.
So how does one determine the heritage significance of a place, and the appropriate action to be taken? Should a place be protected under law, or changes (including demolition), be allowed? How do we seek co-existence of these multiple values?
The heritage professional is one whose expertise places them in a position to present an independent, objective view, advocating for a particular position. But there are occasions when this position is challenged by another “expert” view, resulting in disagreement on the “facts” and adding to an already confused situation.
Those of us working to promote and protect our national heritage should be advocating for a consensus-building methodology, focusing on the core needs and concerns of all parties, centered on fundamental values and identities, and ultimately negotiating for an outcome which adjudicates between economic, social, environmental and political perspectives.
Almost all the time, conflict arises because heritage places are located within contested terrain – e.g. old two-storey shophouses in the city centre where the local development plans allow for much higher plot ratios, a bungalow on a relatively large piece of land which has been identified for high-rise redevelopment, etc. etc.
We have to break this head to head pitting of economic and utilitarian benefits against that of heritage conservation. We have to create a framework based on recognizing difference and one which helps build respect for all values and connections and to seek consensus.
Had there been any attempts for conflict-resolution, which may have prevented, or at the very least mitigated against, the very distressing and wasteful outcome of the demolition of this property in Kuala Terengganu?
We do not have any direct knowledge of the context which led to the traditional timber house being knocked down. We do know from having seen a video of the demolition that in a matter of minutes, all vestiges of a traditional village lifestyle was cancelled out.
Was it that the owner refused to move because he wanted more compensation, with the reported value of RM20,000 not a fitting sum while RM2 million would have made up for the loss of his family’s history and legacy? Was it that the officially (government) recognized owner of the land, felt vindicated because it was their legal right to get vacant possession of the land? The conflict over this contested site is reported to have been going on for at least a year, if not two. Everyone else in the kampong vacated their houses. Was this the last bastion, holding out and fighting for heritage rights?
Following our inaugural Lensa Warisan lecture & discussion of 14 November, Badan Warisan is planning to hold a forum early next year to discuss issues relating to the management of heritage sites and the principles we should be using to guide our heritage practices. More details later.