News & Events

Historical Buildings in Disrepair

Posted on Updated on

Statement from Elizabeth Cardosa, President, Badan Warisan Malaysia

It is the responsibility of building owners to ensure the maintenance, management and care of their properties so they are in good condition, safe, comfortable to use and habitable.

We have many laws and guidelines which regulate this and there are penalties which can be imposed if uninhabited buildings are left to ruin, potentially raising concerns of public safety.

In the case of buildings such as the former FMS Survey Office which has been gazetted as “heritage” on the National Heritage Register, there may be additional regulations which are imposed by Jabatan Warisan Negara who are custodians of this Register.

Section 42 of the National Heritage Act 2005 states that it is the duty of the owner of a heritage site to keep it in a state of good repair and that the National Heritage Commissioner can take steps to ensure that this is complied to, and in keeping with the heritage values of the building.

While we may want to know who is responsible, or how this sad state of affairs has come about, it is more pressing to have an urgent action plan to bring the relevant parties together to stop further deterioration and put the building back in good repair. It would be timely for the responsible authorities to work with heritage NGOs and other stakeholders to initiate a management regime to prevent this from happening to other heritage buildings, especially public/government owned buildings.

disrepair HMS Survey

Statement by Badan Warisan Malaysia on the Revocation of Heritage Site status of MaTIC by Jabatan Warisan Malaysia

Posted on Updated on

issue

The notification in the NST on 28 December 2016 from Jabatan Warisan Negara (JWN) to revoke the designation of the “Old Building of Malaysia Tourism Centre (MaTIC)” as a heritage site raises many concerns and issues.

Law does not Provide for Revocation of Heritage Site Status

First, the section 31 (2) of the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645) which was cited in the Notice describes the process for designation of a heritage site. It does not deal with revocation of a gazetted site. And we understand that this site which comprises Lots 45 and 139 (Section 58) and part of Lot 158 (Section 57) was gazetted (Gazette Number P.U. (B) 290) as “Warisan” on the National Heritage Register on 16 June 2016. The criteria for listing specified in documents from JWN refers to its historical importance as well as its architectural and aesthetic character.

The National Heritage Act (NHA) does not have any provision for revocation of gazettal of a heritage site. Therefore, it would appear that unless the NHA is amended to allow for this, it is questionable if the Commissioner has the power to revoke a site which has already been gazetted; i.e. is this revocation ultra vires the Act?

Significance of the Heritage Site

So what can we find on Lots 45, 139 and the part of 158 which is identified in the Notice as MaTIC?

Lot 45 is used as a car park which services the tourism centre.

There is a modern five storey building housing the KL Tourism Office on the part of Lot 158 which has been gazetted.

Lot 139 is by far the largest lot. There are several other buildings on this lot, including the house of wealthy business tycoon Eu Tong Sen and the Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman. In keeping with the social standing of the owner Eu, many social activities were held in this house from the time it was built (1935) until the start of World War II. During WWII, it was used by the British, and then the Japanese army as a war office. In 1956, it was acquired and renovated by the government of Malaya, and in 1957, the installation of the first Agong was held there. In 1958 a conference hall, the first air conditioned hall in Kuala Lumpur, was added at the rear of the building.

In 1959, the first meeting of Parliament of the independent Malaya was held there. Following the building of the new Parliament House, by the early 1970s the original house and hall were converted to house the National Art Gallery for the next decade or so. In the 1980s and 1990s several new blocks were added; these include Saloma Bistro and retail stores serving visitors and tourists. In the mid 1980s, the conference hall was converted into a theatre. This ensemble of buildings that has served as the Tourist Information Centre for over 20 years is now known as MaTIC.

NHA and New Development Initiatives on a Heritage Site

Then there is the issue of new development on a heritage site. It is important to note that there is nothing in the NHA which precludes new development. As in the case of all applications for planning permission, owners will have to comply with guidelines and conditions imposed by the local authority – in this instance it will be Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL). When it comes to gazetted heritage sites however, there will be additional guidelines and conditions imposed by JWN in line with provisions found in paragraphs 40, 41 and 42 of the NHA, all of which could potentially affect the scale and nature of the proposed development. This would include the provision of a 200 meter “buffer” from the site boundaries for any new development to mitigate against any (negative) impact on the heritage values of the gazetted building and/or site.

One could speculate that this revocation is to redress the fact there are no heritage buildings on Lots 45 and 158, and therefore the gazettal should not have covered these two lots, only Lot 139 which has heritage properties.  If this were the case, it would also beg the question why the Gazette in June 1026 included all three lots.

One would definitely expect a high level of rigour as well as resources in all endeavours to undertake the gazettal of any heritage site. The NHA provides for the process to include notification to the owner/s, an objection period, hearing and eventually, the decision to, or not to, designate a heritage site; and all along the way, there are clear steps to ensure the public are notified of these decisions in the printed press.  This process takes time, and it has been our past experience that JWN does not take this responsibility lightly.

Badan Warisan Malaysia believes it is critical to understand the implications and legal ramifications of this Notice to revoke the designation as heritage of MaTIC.

Due process of the law has to be followed for the future protection of heritage sites in Malaysia.

Elizabeth Cardosa

President

Badan Warisan Malaysia

30 December 2016

The Bugis Way of Life by Pn. Zuraidah Ghani

Posted on Updated on

the-bugis-way-of-life-4
It took several years of research and two trips to Makassar and Sulawesi before Pn. Zuraidah could really feel that she now understands her Bugis identity. This talk will explore who and what the Bugis are- their history, beliefs and way of life.
About the speaker:
Pn. Zuraidah begin her interest in exploring her Bugis background 10 years ago. Born in Muar, Johor, she spent several years abroad before returning to Malaysia in 1997. Her book, ‘A Bugis Family’ is a result of her adventure and experience in documenting her native roots.
register copy copy

Lunar Peaks- Where did we go wrong?

Posted on Updated on

Arising from the recent demolition of the LUNAR PEAKS/PUNCAK PURNAMA sculpture by the late Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal, ICOMOS Malaysia is initiating a discussion on advancing our understanding toward the appreciation and preservation of our cultural heritage. The discussion will address roles and responsibilities of agencies and how to strategize against wanton destruction.

This open forum will be led by Dato’ Ar . Hajeedar Abdul Majid (Chairman of ICOMOS Malaysia), Nasir Baharuddin (Curator of Galeri Serdang), Valentine Willie (Creative Director of Ilham Gallery) and Zainal Abidin Musa (Artist).

Puncak Purnama- Di mana silapnya? / Lunar Peaks- Where did we go wrong?
Date: 23 July 2016 (Saturday)
Time: 10:00am-12:30pm
Venue: Badan Warisan Malaysia, No. 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur
Admission is free. All Invited.
Pre-registration: Ridzwan at +603 2693 4182 or admin@icomos-malaysia.org before 21st July 2016. Seats are limited at 80 pax.

This event is supported by Badan Warisan Malaysia and Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia

Puncak Purnama

BWM PRESIDENT’S STATEMENT ON THE DISCOVERY OF THE GRAVESTONE PIQUES AT MASJID JAMEK

Posted on

The discovery of these old batu nisan in the vicinity of Masjid Jamek is incredibly exciting as it is clear, tangible and unarguable evidence of the historical timeline of the development of this city and its early Muslim settlement at the trading post which is now this modern metropolis. The fact that several other type of artefacts such as ceramic bowls, glass and other items have also been found makes it even more imperative that a proper and systematic methodology for detailed mapping of the ground below in the whole area surrounding the mosque be undertaken immediately, before the area is disturbed further. Publicly sharing all such recording and documentation by historians and archaeologists will provide a rich picture of the social and cultural lifestyle of these early settlers and ultimately help create a better understanding and appreciation of the many different people and communities which were the backbone on which this city was founded.

Whether the batu nisan were found is within or outside of the boundary of the gazetted National Heritage Site of Masjid Jamek, should not be an impediment because the National Heritage Act 2005 gives the Heritage Commissioner the authority to stop work if it is deemed that items of national heritage significance will lost or negatively affected by this work. The area where the batu nisan have been found is definitely within the larger historic enclave where the majority buildings have been gazetted on the National Heritage Register.

rock-solid
Image taken from The Star

While completing a new water fountain feature within the River of Life project is clearly important to the aspirations of the city’s authorities, a comprehensive multi-disciplinary study of this site is even more important to the city and its citizens. In many parts of the world, showcasing historical and archaeological investigations at such urban sites provide a “crowd-pulling” platform for locals and visitors alike. Cordoning off this area will more than anything likely enhance the attraction of the site and its surrounds.

dcx_doc6p6qvjqq39iv240dcpi
Image of Gravestones Piques (Taken from The Star)

Badan Warisan Malaysia hopes that the National Heritage Department will step up to the mark and lead in this research to ensure that the heritage value of this site is given its due recognition.

DOCUMENTATION & RECORDING OF HERITAGE BUILDINGS

Posted on Updated on

bwm_1

register copy

This presentation aims to share the experiences and know-how of deploying new technological tools and techniques in measuring 3D geometrical properties or metric information of heritage buildings in a more complete, accurate and speedy way.

Emerging technologies like terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) and digital photogrammetry will be discussed in the aspect of equipment, measurement accuracy, software solutions and implementation techniques. The session will also highlight how these technologies have revolutionised the visualization and accurate cum enduring documentation of heritage buildings.

The presentation will be demonstrated with real-life project execution methodologies and deliverables encompassing as-built drawings (façade, floor layout & section), point-cloud dataset, 3D mesh model, photo-realistic fly-thru and real-time 3D measurements in the virtual environment.

173Lai Jiun Shyong

Graduated with a bachelor degree in land surveying from University of Technology Malaysia (UTM), Lai Jiun Shyong devoted most of his career life to the field of GIS and software development. He is a registered land surveyor with the Land Surveyors Board Malaysia and currently working as the Senior Technology Officer with Jurukur Perunding Services Sdn. Bhd.

 

THIS KUL CITY: A CAPITAL IDEA! SHAPING KUALA LUMPUR

Posted on Updated on

tkc_1.jpg

register copy copy

Founded on the confluence of two rivers, modern Kuala Lumpur has survived floods, fires and uprisings to become one of South East Asia’s most vibrant cities.

In Shaping Kuala Lumpur, award-winning, internationally acknowledged and eminent architect and urban planner Dato’ Ar. Hajeedar Majid shares his experiences on how different events, policies and programmes have helped shape the development of Kuala Lumpur in its first two decades as Federal Territory.

Shaping Kuala Lumpur also features planner, Ahmad Jefri Clyde. He has over 40 years of experience in the field of urban planning and architectural design, and has lived and worked in Malaysia since 1981. Dato’ Ar. Hajeedar and Ahmad Jefri will discuss place making and urban planning and how Kuala Lumpur measures up to these tenets for a sustainable and inclusive city.

BIOGRAPHY OF SPEAKERS

Dato HajeedarDato’ Ar. Haji Hajeedar Abdul Majid

Dato’ Ar. Haji Hajeedar Abdul Majid, a graduate of Portsmouth Polytechnic, United Kingdom in 1972 in Architecture, started his architectural profession in Brighton, U.K before joining Urban Development Authority (UDA) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as Architect and ending as Deputy Director.

Dato’ Ar. Hajeedar established his firm, Hajeedar and Associates Sdn. Bhd in 1978 in Kuala Lumpur, and has successfully tackled several challenging building projects from mosques, conservation of historical buildings, institutions and commercial projects.

Dato’ Hajeedar’s contributed to the inclusion of a conservation chapter in Kuala Lumpur 1st Structure Plan; his conservation and restoration works on Industrial Courts, Infokraf Centre, Kuala Lumpur Museum; conservation and re-adaptation work on Carcosa Seri Negara, commercial projects such as the high rise office buildings for Development Bank, MNI Twin Tower, Telekom Regional Office, PNB Service Apartments and the Tabung Haji Building in Ipoh. Religious projects include the Abu Bakar As –Siddiq mosque in Bangsar, the IIUM Mosque in the Gombak Campus; the SAAS mosque in Petaling Jaya, Putrajaya Musollas in Precinct 8 and 9 and Islamic Centre and National Mosque in Republic of Maldives.

Dato’ Ar. Hajeedar is an active member of the Institute of Malaysian Architects (PAM), he was President of PAM (1985-87), he was also involved in the initiative for Aga Khan Foundation For Islamic Architecture in 1980 and the Architect advisor to Kuala Lumpur City Hall for 11 years. For his conservation and restoration works, he was awarded the Penguin Prize by the Norwegian Government in 1985. He has been conferred Datukship from Selangor (2009) & Negeri Sembilan (2015) and received the PAM Gold Medal Award in 2012.

people_directors_03Ahmad Jefri Clyde

Ahmad Jefri Clyde received his Bachelor of Economics from the University of Queensland, Australia. He started his profession at the Department of Trade & Industry, Australia in 1972. His first stint in Malaysia was Daya Bina Akitek Sdn.Bhd. After 7 years, Ahmad joined Country Heights Sdn. Bhd as Technical Manager before becoming Principal for AJC Planning Consultants. He is currently Director for AJC Planning Consultants Sdn.Bhd since 2002.

Ahmad Jefri has received numerous awards for his contribution to town planning, such as the FIABCI Award for Residential Development in 1992, the FIABCI Award for Planning, Urban Redevelopment, Rehabilitation & Conservation in 2003, the Negeri Sembilan Town & Country Planning Award for Best Planned Neighbourhood and the MIP Award for Best Planned Housing Scheme for the Bukit Jelutong Township in Shah Alam.

He is currently a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and the Corporate Member of the Malaysian Institute of Planners. Ahmad Jefri also became a member of the Board of Town Planners in Malaysia in 2000.