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NOTICE – OFFICE OPERATIONAL DAYS

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Our office, the Heritage Centre, Chen Voon Fee Resource Centre, and Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman will be operating on limited days – Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm until further notice. Guided tours for Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman will resume from 16 November 2021, available once a day at 3.00 pm, with a maximum of 10 people per group. Visits and tours are strictly by appointment.

All visitors will be required to follow government guidelines on SOPs, which include showing proof of complete vaccination certificate, temperature checks, wearing a mask, registration for contact tracing (My Sejahtera), and observing physical distancing.

For more information, email us at heritage@badanwarisan.org.my. Please email library@badanwarisan.org.my for appointments at our Chen Voon Fee Resource Centre.

BWM Talk Series: East Indiaman: The World of Francis Light by Rose Gan

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Organized by Badan Warisan Malaysia.

Live Webinar Details

Date: Wednesday, 3 November 2021
Time: 5:00 PM (Kuala Lumpur, GMT+8)
Topic: East Indiaman: The World of Francis Light
Venue: Virtual – Zoom Webinar
Free Admission

ABOUT THE TALK

KL-based author Rose Gan, accompanied by her daughter, Zoe, as the moderator for this talk, will speak about her newly released book entitled ‘Dragon’. This book is the first volume in the Penang Chronicles, which tells the story of Captain Francis Light and his partner, as well as the backstory of the British settlement of Penang. This new series of historical fiction features real historical characters and events from 18th-century Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Britain.

Before Stamford Raffles of Singapore fame, before Rajah Brooke of Borneo fame, there was Captain Francis Light, the 18th-century trailblazer in the Malay Archipelago. From humble origins in Suffolk, England, Light struggled against the social prejudices of his day. His subsequent adventures as a naval officer and country ship captain took him from India to Sumatra, the Straits of Malacca to Siam, through shipwreck, sea battles, pirate raids and tropical disease. But Light’s most difficult challenge was his ultimate dream: to establish a British port in the Indies on behalf of the East India Company.

Want to find out who his partner was? Register and participate in our webinar to find out many more fascinating details in Rose’s book!

ABOUT THE SPEAKER

British by birth, Rose Gan studied Ancient and Medieval History with Latin and Greek at University of Birmingham. Gan first arrived in Kuala Lumpur in 1978 and has been living and working between both UK and Southeast Asia ever since. Married to a Malaysian, and formerly a teacher of History, Latin and Classics, Gan was also Vice Chair for Museums of the Indonesian Heritage Society, a guide and docent in Museum National Indonesia, Jakarta, and Muzium Negara and the Textile Museum in KL. In addition to lecturing to cultural associations, Gan has been actively involved with museum publications in Malaysia and Indonesia, both as a writer and editor.

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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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.

Book Binding Workshop by Little Syam

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Workshop Details

Date: Saturday, 24 April 2021
Time: 10:00 AM
Venue: BWM Heritage Centre, No. 2 Jalan Stonor, KL
Book Binding Workshop by Little Syam
Fee: RM 180/pax – Exclusive for BWM Members only.

Click HERE to register. Limited slots available – first come, first served basis.

ABOUT THE WORKSHOP

The Coptic stitch bookbinding method – the stitch with an exposed spine that opens up the book completely flat. Invented by early Christians in Egypt, the Copts, and used from as early as the 2nd Century AD to the 11th Century. This stitch appeared to be a very sleek and distinctive braid or chain pattern. Fee includes equipment, materials, and light refreshments.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Samsiah Jendol, well known as Little Syam, is a graphic designer, a crafter and a book binder with more than 20 years of experience. Each handmade book she has created is limited edition and one of a kind, using only selective material by taking a high consideration of her passion on the choice of paper, fabric and also her personal design touch of hand silkscreen printing. All products by Little Syam are made from a labour of love, inspired by nature around her, her personal experience and self-expression.