Talks & Lectures

Overland from Asia to Europe By Jimmy Leong

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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.

A Jewel in the Crown: Masjid Diraja Sultan Suleiman

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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.

 

Cerita Pangkor by Faisal Abd Rahman

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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

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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.

Legends of the Secret Tunnel of Malacca by Dennis De Witt

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ABOUT THE TALK

Dennis De Witt will share the tales of the subterranean tunnels under the historic town of Malacca that has existed for over a century. There were stories of a tunnel under St. Paul’s hill and how people had gone into these tunnels but were never to be seen again.

This talk will give an overview of the book. What secrets do the tunnels contain and why were people willing to risk their life by descending into the dark and unknown orifices below Malacca? Is there lost treasure still buried in Malacca? This book uncovers the layers of history that unfold Malacca’s most bizarre and amazing legend. He will share pictures of Malacca and the historic St. Paul where the tunnel is, some of which are featured in the book. A book sale will also be held after the talk.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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Dennis De Witt, a management consultant in Kuala Lumpur, is a 5th generation Dutch Eurasian originally from Malacca. He has a keen interest in subjects relating to the history of Malacca and Dutch influences in Malaysia.

Over the years, he has participated, spoken and presented papers in various academic, private and public seminars and events organized by the Malaysian National Archives, and the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Malaysia, the Malacca Museums Corporation, the Institute of Occidental Studies at UKM, Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and Universiti Teknologi MARA.

He also regularly conducts CTRE training for the Kuala Lumpur Tour Guides Association and speaks to the volunteers’ group at the National Museum. He has contributed articles for the Journal of Malaysian Biographies and written articles for various newspapers and magazines.

He has published several books, including ‘Reconnecting Through Our Roots’ (2006), ‘History of the Dutch in Malaysia’ (2007), ‘Melaka from the Top’ (2010), ‘Historical Tombstones and Graves at St Paul’s Hill Malacca’ (2016). In 2009, he was named the winner of the ‘Dutch incentive prize for Genealogy’ for his book ‘History of the Dutch in Malaysia’ and he received his prize in the Netherlands. He was the first-ever recipient of the prize who is not a Dutch citizen. His latest publication is entitled ‘Legends of the Secret Tunnels of Malacca’ was just released in 2018.

Brickfields: As Witness by Mano Maniam

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ABOUT THE TALK

Brickfields is a diverse neighbourhood with dozens of religious institutions, schools, associations as well as social and welfare organizations within a square mile, all with a history of more than a century. It is in serious threat of rapid change and is at odds with its own past and its future. 

Brickfields: As Witness explores the changing image of this neighbourhood through Mano’s eyes. He fears that Brickfields will no longer reflect that colour and become just a giant communication “go-to/come-from place”. 

This narrative will also uncover the stories he has experienced as an inmate of this colorful suburb. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

ManoManiam01An actor, director, teacher and voice over artist, Mano Maniam is well known for his roles as Uncle Chan in the local TV series ‘Kopitiam’ and as Moonshee in Hollywood’s ‘Anna and the King’.

As a cultural anthropologist, he is curious on examining how cultures merge, collide and intertwine. Brickfields has become the center of his curiosity and observation.

Having lived in Brickfields for over 30 years, Mano has seen the land and peoplescape change, unsure of its destiny.

Manek Mischiefs by Lee Su Kim

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ABOUT THE TALK

Lee Su Kim will share her experiences writing a trilogy of stories of the Peranakans, focusing on her latest work. After Kebaya Tales and Sarong Secrets, comes Manek Mischiefs, a rich, gutsy collection of short stories immersing the reader into the flamboyant, vibrant and colourful world of the Babas and Nyonyas. The babas take centre stage this time, masculine perspectives are put under the spotlight as themes of family intrigues and rivalries, loss of great fortunes, bedroom scandals, long lost love, identity issues and family relationships are explored.

Lee Su Kim, a sixth generation nyonya, will talk about the babas and their stories from an insider’s perspective and her cultural heritage facing the challenges of modern times. She will discuss the joys and pitfalls writing about a multi-layered, hybrid culture with Chinese, Southeast Asian and European influences. She will share pictures of exquisite beadwork and embroidery items ( manek) and personal belongings of the babas, many of which are featured in the book. The session ends with a reading by the author of one of her favourite stories.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
images LSKDr.Lee Su Kim has published eleven books of fiction and non-fiction. Her debut collection of the life-stories of the Peranakans, Kebaya Tales: Of Matriarchs, Maidens, Mistresses and Matchmakers won First prize in the Popular-Star Readers’ Choice Awards 2011(Fiction). She published another collection, Sarong Secrets: Of Love, Loss and Longing in 2013.

Her earlier work, Malaysian Flavours: Insights into Things Malaysian and Manglish: Malaysian English at its Wackiest are bestsellers. She also wrote on the hilarious crosscultural encounters between east and west in A Nyonya In Texas: Insights of a Straits Chinese Woman in the Lone Star State.

Su Kim was Associate Professor of English language studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia where she lectured and published widely on language, culture and identity. She is the chief editor of ‘Border Crossings : Moving between Languages and Cultural Frameworks’.

An invited speaker at both the Ubud and Singapore Writers Festival, she has given talks and presentations in the US, UK, Australia and Asia. Su Kim is also a cultural activist and is the Founding President of the Peranakan Baba Nyonya Association of Kuala Lumpur & Selangor. She enjoys and shares cultural complexity beyond cuisine and sarong kebaya and is a frequent presenter of the rich diversity of being nyonya. She is now a fulltime writer, educationist and language consultant.

Colours of Asia by William Harald-Wong

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Colours of Asia
William Harald-Wong

‘Colours of Asia’ was the first in a series of studies to examine the idea of ‘Asian-ness’ in the broad field of design—a particular way of thinking and doing, its cultural and spiritual affinities, profound philosophical and aesthetic concepts—that can give multiple meanings and depth to contemporary design.

The research on colours covered 13 Asian countries/regions, exploring significant dimensions of culture such as beliefs and rites of passage that define society, design and the built environment, crafts, food, language and literature, traversing from a rich cultural past to an equally relevant and exciting present day.

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‘Colours of Asia’ was a project undertaken by The Design Alliance Asia in collaboration with Hong Kong Design Institute and Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Lee Wei Lee), with generous funding from CreateHK, Hong Kong SAR Government.

‘Colours of Asia’ comprised an exhibition, student workshops, forum, seminar, research papers and a publication. It was presented during Hong Kong Year of Design 2012 and in 2014 won the prestigious Special Award for Culture at the Design for Asia Awards in Hong Kong.

Curators: Prof. Ahn Sang-soo (South Korea) and William Harald-Wong (Malaysia)

Research team for Malaysia: Ezrena Marwan, Suzy Sulaiman and William Harald-Wong

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About the Speaker

speaker_williamWilliam Harald-Wong is an urban identity designer, working at the intersection of brand, culture, city and community. William is also the Founder and Chairman of The Design Alliance Asia (tDA Asia), a collaborative network of prominent designers in 13 Asian countries / regions.

He won in the prestigious Design for Asia Awards in Hong Kong twice in a row—2015 Grand Award Finalist and Gold for Museum Sultan Abu Bakar (Malaysia) and 2014 Special Award for Culture for ‘Colours of Asia’.

He was awarded the International Design Achievement Award, China (2010), the Lifetime Achievement Award by DDEC Malaysia (2011), Designomics Leadership Award, India (2012), and Distinguished Chinese Award by Chinese Who’s Who Society, China (2013).

William served as Vice-President of Icograda from 2001 to 2013 and co-founded wREGA, the Graphic Design Association of Malaysia.