WHAT & WHY HERITAGE CONSERVATION
Heritage encompasses both the natural and built environments. It includes tangible and intangible elements of culture which we have inherited from our ancestors.
BADAN WARISAN MALAYSIA (BWM) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) focused on the conservation of the built heritage of Malaysia which comprises heritage buildings of fine architecture or has association with historical events or personalities. BWM seeks to conserve our built are preserved and not destroyed in the name of progress and development. heritage for future generations.
Conservation is an integral part of the management of places of cultural significance and is an on-going responsibility.
WHY PRESERVE OUR PAST
In preserving our heritage – both tangible and intangible – we preserve our history, culture and identities – creating unity and a sense of belonging for our nation and future generations.
Safeguarding traditions and beliefs is essentially preserving our cultural legacy. By supporting cultural diversity we build awareness and acceptance amongst various communities thereby promoting intercultural dialogue amongst all races.
Through advocacy, increased awareness and educational programmes – school children, university students, young professionals and the general public – we instill an appreciation of heritage, igniting a united sense of ownership and love for our country’s built history.
Ultimately, Heritage increases tourism potential – bringing greater wealth to cities and communities. Heritage Tourism – stimulates economic growth and promotes the development of local artisans and their communities.
We have several significant achievements to highlight:
• Our advocacy resulted in the 2003 Amendment to the Town and Country Planning Act which ultimately was recast as the National Heritage Act 2005.
• The internationally acknowledged restoration of Stadium Merdeka, the iconic site of the declaration of our nation’s independence; exhibit of a pilot restoration scheme at No.8 Heeren Street – the earliest shop house typology in Malacca; restoration of No.2 Jalan Stonor in Kuala Lumpur – a fast disappearing example of colonial architecture; and the restoration of Suffolk House – one of the most important heritage landmarks in Penang.
Among the other restorations in which we played an active part are :
• Modest Malay timber houses including Rumah Kutai in Kuala Kangsar, Rumah Bomoh in Changkat Jering, and Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman, which was relocated from Bandar Baru in Kedah to Kuala Lumpur;
• Traditional Malay timber istana such as Istana Tengku Long which was relocated from Besut to the grounds of the Muzium Terengganu in Losong, and the adaptive re-use of Istana Jahar in Kota Bahru into a museum;
• Other 19th and early 20th century buildings of significance such as the restoration and adaptive re-use of Gedung Raja Abdullah in Klang and the Bangunan Sulaiman in Kuala Lumpur;
• Religious buildings such as mosques, churches and temples – Kwan Imm Ting in Klang, the All Saints’ Church in Taiping and Masjid Di-Raja Sultan Sulaiman in Klang – that was the latest restoration project.