News & Events
ABOUT THE TALK
In December 2016, Jimmy Leong was part of an overland expedition from Malaysia to London which crossed the borders of 13 countries. His talk will be in two parts, starting at 10.30am and ending at 1.00pm. He will give us an insight into over 2,000 years of history and culture which he encountered on this journey, covering over 18,000 kilometers and taking 60 days, as he followed the trade routes between Asia and Europe.
Jimmy Leong is President of the Malaysian Tourist Guides’ Council. He is licensed as a tourist guide in both Malaysia and Singapore and is accredited as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Specialist Guide for the World Heritage Site of Malacca and George Town.
ABOUT THE TALK
Located in Kampung Jawa, Masjid Diraja Sultan Suleiman was built in 1932-33 in the Royal Town of Klang, Selangor and has been gazetted as National Heritage under the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645). In November 2017, the mosque was reopened to the public following its restoration and refurbishment. This talk will cover the history of the building, the conservation and restoration work and the construction of new amenities to respond to the present day needs of the qariah.
Speakers will include members of the conservation team, architects Ar. Dr. Helena Aman Hashim and Mariana Isa from Badan Warisan Heritage Services Sdn Bhd, the consultant architect, Ar. Hafizi Tan Sri Mohamed from Linea Architect Sdn Bhd and Musrizal Mat Isa from Balai Seni Negara who was involved in the restoration of the bas-relief features in the mosque.
SUNDAY 8 APRIL 2018
10.00 a.m – 3.00 p.m
[Limited to 50 pax]
Join us for a day in the hills – courtesy of founding member, Dato’ Henry Barlow. Pack a picnic, round up your family and friends and take time out for a short escape from the madding crowd!
New members are encouraged to sign up and let us get to know you better. We also look forward to meeting old friends and those who have not yet been able to join us on previous GTE events. Hurry now – only 50 places available!
Non-Members: RM30 per person (Free for kids below 8)
10.00 a.m. Assemble at Meeting Point: Genting Sempah Rest and Recreation area – public parking in the front. We may have to carpool from this point up as there are very limited parking spaces available. SUVs will be best suited for the access road into GTE.
10.30 a.m. Brief introduction to the background of the house and estate
Walk in the estate (approximately 1 hour)
Introduction to one of the largest private collections of moths and butterflies
2.30 p.m. Pack up and preparation for departure
Access to the restrooms will be indicated when we arrive at the house.
1) Please bring your own mats, picnic lunch & drinks. No food or drinks will be provided.
2) Due to the current weather, a change of clothes is recommended.
3) Please come prepared with proper walking shoes, sun protection and insect repellent.
4) The walk into the estate is on an inclined walkway.
ABOUT THE TALK
The Pangkor Story is a work in progress developed by Faisal and his team working closely with the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority. Originally developed as a training programme for the local taxi drivers to be Pangkor Island Guides, Faisal found that there were many cultural and heritage firsts in Pangkor that had to be documented. This has become the Pangkor Story – the Cultural Heritage Map of Pangkor Island. Want to learn about Frank Sinatra’s connection with Pangkor or who are the Kwantong in Pangkor?
Come join us and meet the team behind the project!
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Faisal Abd Rahman is a sought after tourism and training expert and frequently gives talks on a variety of subjects. He has developed many modules for tourist guides, cultural heritage guides, and national service trainees. Currently, he is focusing on community-based tourism initiatives.
I was invited by YAM Tunku Zain Al-‘Abidin who is Chairman of the Council of Advisors of Asian Heritage Museum Sdn Bhd (AHM) to visit Carcosa Seri Negara on Friday last week (31 March 2017).
I was glad to see that apart from an air of neglect – because the buildings have been left vacant for the past few few years – overall both Carcosa and Seri Negara were in relatively fair condition. Without doubt there is cleaning and repair works which need to be carried out to bring these buildings back into excellent working order in keeping with their standing and status as gazetted National Heritage.
Where this may involve any change in use, repairs or new accretions on the site, it is crucial that the guidelines and conditions set by the owner and regulatory authorities must be rigorously complied and to ensure that the integrity and heritage values of the property are maintained.
As an organisation which has been involved in promoting heritage conservation for the past 35 years, Badan Warisan Malaysia stands ready to help in any way we can to ensure the protection and rehabilitation of this national heritage asset. It is imperative to retain and enhance the heritage significance of the property and its setting, so that it can be visited and enjoyed by all, both Malaysians and others, not only as a memorial of the history of Malaya but in a way which also generates values to today’s society.
President, Badan Warisan Malaysia
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.
Statement by Badan Warisan Malaysia on the Revocation of Heritage Site status of MaTIC by Jabatan Warisan Malaysia
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.
Badan Warisan Malaysia
30 December 2016