heritage

Save My Heritage Initiative- Conserving Fort Alice by Dr. Mike Boon

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Ar. Mike Boon will begin his talk begin by giving a context on conservation practice in Sarawak. He will cover the controls and guidelines for conservation projects by looking at some of his earlier restoration works such as the Courthouse, Square Tower, Fort Magherita, and an old shophouse house.

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He will then share his experiences on ‘place making’ when designing a new public building and facilities at the foothill of Fort Alice as well as through the restoration and conservation of this Fort. These two projects which took over 10 years to be realised, have created a landmark and returned a green open space to the people of Simanggang (Sri Aman).

A public engagement programme, coined “Reminiscing Forgotten Treasure…Simanggang”, was conducted in parallel with the restoration work, which provided participation of the local community and helped instil a ‘sense of belonging’

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He will conclude by touching on his involvement in restoring the Sarawak Museum and the other buildings in the Museum Garden.

Mike Boon 14032014ABOUT THE SPEAKER

Mike Boon graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Western Australia in 1989, and has been practicing in Kuching since then. Following his involvement in the restoration of the Kuching Old Court House project in 2002, Mike has been actively promoting heritage conservation in Sarawak.

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Talk By Dr Sandra Khor Manickam “Mr. Inquisitive”: Ivor H. N. Evans’ life in the Malay Peninsula and Borneo

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ivan“Mr. Inquisitive” was the title given by anthropologist Ivor H.N. Evans (1886-1957) to his autobiography before he changed it to the more straightforward title, “The Years Behind Me”. Housed in the University of Cambridge’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology archives, the manuscript has never been published.

Now, in conjunction with NIAS Press, an annotated version of the memoir relating to his travels in Malaya and Borneo is planned for future publication along with illustrations and maps where available. Evans has left an indelible mark on scholarship relating to Malaya and Borneo with his anthropological works on both areas and his involvement with the Federated Malay States Museums and journal. This talk will discuss selected chapters of his autobiography, what insights it brings to the workings of British Malaya and Borneo, and the complications of using biography to elucidate history.

About the Speaker:

Dr Sandra Khor Manickam is a historian of colonial Malaya, with an emphasis on the history of ideas of race and colonial anthropology of indigenous peoples, and the history of the Japanese occupation of Southeast Asia. She is currently Assistant Professor of Southeast Asian History at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and has held positions as Junior Professor in the Department of Southeast Asian Studies, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany and Visiting Fellow in the Department of History, National University of Singapore. Her book, Taming the Wild: Aborigines and Racial Knowledge in Colonial Malaya (NUS Press) was published in 2015. She may be contacted at skmanickam@hotmail.com

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WORLD HERITAGE DAY #HERITAGE OF SPORTS

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It’s World Heritage Day! And this year’s theme is THE HERITAGE OF SPORT.

“Sport is part of every man and woman’s heritage and its absence can never be compensated for” – Pierre de Coubertin

Not only has sports united the country and the world towards a common goal, it has also brought in various forms of development such as the different installations and facilities respective to their practice, the development of art, architecture and techniques.

To celebrate World Heritage Day, Badan Warisan’s Council Member- Mr. Ishak Ariffin has written a piece on the Eton Fives Court- the only existing court of its kind here in Malaysia. 

1-Original etonfives court at Eton Chapel
Original Eton Fives Court at Eton Chapel

Eton Fives is a handball game played as doubles in a three-walled court. It is little known outside the circle of public schools in the England and elite universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, as it has been primarily the preserve of their students and alumni. The origin of the word ‘fives’ is uncertain. It probably refers to the fingers, as in ‘a bunch of fives’.

 

The name has been used since the 17th century. There have been variations of handball games. Some form of fives was played by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. The Irish, Americans and Basques have their own versions of fives. The English fives also has its variations, such as Warminster (or Wessex) Fives, Rugby Fives, Winchester Fives, Clifton Fives, St John’s Fives and Gissop’s Fives. A form of fives had also been played at Harrow in 1760s. It is a game that “anyone can play”. All you need is a ball and a pair of gloves to protect your hands.

Eton Fives originated from Eton College where it was first played against the chapel wall at the college. The first purposely-built Eton Fives court are the block of four Eton Fives courts along the Eton Wick Road, constructed in 1840 by the headmaster of Eton, Dr Hawtrey. The design of the courts was based on, but was not an exact replica of, the chapel court.

A.C. Ainger and some of his friends develop and published the ‘Rules of the Game of Fives as played at Eton’ in 1877. The object of the game is to force the other team to fail to hit the ball ‘up’ off the front wall before it bounce twice. The ball can bounce unpredictably as the three-walled Eton Fives court has ledges along it, a buttress on the left side and a step down towards the back. The first match between schools was on February 12, 1885, when Eton challenged Harrow. The first Oxford-Cambridge Varsity match took place in 1928. There are presently 55 sets of courts in England and Wales, totalling more than 1,700 courts.  Eton Fives has spread to Europe, built at Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz in Switzerland the 1920s and also Geneva, Zurich, Austria, Germany and France. Further afield, courts were built at Geelong Grammar School in Australia, at St Paul’s School, Darjeeling in India, and at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar (MCKK), Perak. There is a court in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the game is also flourishing in northern Nigeria and New Zealand.

Eton Fives in MCKK was introduced by its fourth Headmaster, C. Bazell. Bazell was an Oxford graduate (and possibly also an Eton alumnus?). Bazell joined MCKK in 1922 from Raffles Institution, Singapore and was appointed the Headmaster in 1923. The Eton Fives courts were built in 1928. Bazell also built the first swimming pool in MCKK in 1926 and the squash courts in 1938 (the second oldest in Malaysia).

6-MCKK team at Eton Fives Chapel court
MCKK Team at Eton’s Chapel Court

 

The two Eton Fives courts at MCKK may not be the first fives courts to be built in Malaya (now Malaysia) but they are the only Eton Fives courts found in this region. The Straits Times reported on 30 April 1920 that when the Nighthawk scout plane was being assembled at the Padang Polo in Penang, not far from the Penang Hospital, “the fives courts are being converted into a hangar”. The former fives courts are now said to have been converted into a storeroom.

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Eton Fives revival game in 2014 at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar
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Eton Fives Court at MCKK before revival

Eton Fives was a very popular game in MCKK, along with rugby, cricket and football, until 1938 when squash was introduced. But the game was still regularly played until late 1960s. A few students continued playing the game sporadically through to the 1970s.Two representatives from Eton Fives Association (EFA), United Kingdom, visited in MCKK in 1994. The EFA Annual Report of 1994-95 recorded their visit. The visit came about after some old boys of MCKK initiated talks on reviving the game which culminated in an Eton Fives Revival ceremony on August 24th, 2014. Two EFA representatives were present to conduct a two-week coaching session for the boys and teachers of MCKK. The District Education Department also sent out invitation to other schools in Kuala Kangsar district to generate further interest in the game.

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Eton Fives Court after revival in 2014

In March 2015, MCKK entered two pairs of Eton Fives teams in the UK National Eton Fives Schools Championship in Eton College. Ironically, the MCKK senior pair was drawn against a pair of Eton College boys in their first game and won. Out of 51 pairs in the Under-15, the MCKK pair reached the Quarter Finals of the Cup, and among the 48 pairs in the Under-17, the senior MCKK pair went as far as the Plate Quarter Finals.

Eton Fives is experiencing a revival in the UK. The MCKK Eton Fives team’s performance in their maiden championship, after only six months being introduced to the game, sets the scene for a revival of the game in MCKK and Kuala Kangsar, if not in Malaysia. The 88 years old Eton Fives courts, the only one in Malaysia (and East Asia), is set to see a new life for many years to come after lying dormant for much of the last half century.

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Eton Fives Plaque at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar

This guest post is written by Ishak Ariffin. Ishak was trained in Town Planning at Cardiff University in Wales, UK. He is a registered Town Planner, Corporate member of the Malaysian Institute of Planners and the Royal Town Planning Institute, UK, as well as a registered EIA Subject Specialist. Ishak Ariffin is a long time member of Badan Warisan Malaysia and currently serves as the Honorary Treasurer for the trust. Ak mugshot-web

DOCUMENTATION & RECORDING OF HERITAGE BUILDINGS

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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.

 

KUL STORIES: THE HERITAGE BATTLE

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THIS KUL CITY is back and this time, its a BATTLE! 

Come watch Victorian Chacko Vadaketh and Johanian Zahim Albakri make their case for their alma mater!

If you are a Johanian or a Victorian, come show your support!

#SJIvsVI #heritagebattle #thiskulcity 

TKC_Kwala Lumpur

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WE’VE GOT A NEW COUNCIL!

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Badan Warisan Malaysia held its 32nd AGM on 22 Dec 2015. Here’s the line-up of our new council!

President: Elizabeth Cardosa
Vice President: Ar. Helena Hashim
Honorary Secretary: Lim Ee Lin
Honorary Treasurer: Ishak Ariffin

Council Members: Liz Tajuddin, Dato’ Zahim Albakri, Ar. Lim Take Bane, Suridah Jalaluddin, Md Nazri Mohd Noordin, Abd. Razak Abu Bakar, Maganjeet Kaur

Honorary Council Members: Dato’ Henry Barlow, Johan Razak, Lee Jia Ping, Mariana Isa

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT

It’s still January, and with the Lunar New Year coming up in a couple of weeks, it’s timely to wish you Happy New Year. I should begin by thanking all our members and friends of heritage; we deeply appreciate you continued support and dedication towards our events and programmes through the past year. EC1

It’s really edifying to see how heritage is increasingly visible and appreciated by the general public. From our programmes alone, we have seen a substantial rise in the active engagement of so many members and friends. THIS KUL CITY programme brought a new energy into our work, and drew upon a much wider audience. We developed new alliances with like minded people and organisations such as ICOMOS Malaysia, Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS) and the Malaysian Heritage and History (Facebook) Club (MHHC), and collectively, this has contributed to growing our social media presence.

So what will 2016 be like for cultural heritage conservation? Waveney Jenkins, one of our founder members, recently asked me whether it would be less stressful being at the top of the tree (as President), rather than the main motor (as Executive Director) of Badan Warisan. I approach my appointment as President with a great deal of trepidation, tinged with excitement but with an overwhelming sense of the great responsibility which I have taken on.

This year the new Council will be focussing on two major tasks. The first is to secure a permanent home, or at the very least, a long-term home, as our heritage centre.  We will also be working to strengthen our financial position and plans are afoot to hold another Heritage KUL Ball in the second half of this year. The Secretariat will focus on delivering another year of exciting events with more discovery walks and talks, and at the same time, to promote our excellent, but unsung Chen Voon Fee Resource Centre (CVFRC), which carries an invaluable collection of materials relevant to Malaysia’s heritage preservation and conservation.

I hope you will join Badan Warisan in discovering the many special heritage places and stories here.

Elizabeth Cardosa

#GETYOURFACTSRIGHT- WALKING THE TALK ON A ROOF

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The roof repair works at no.58 Rope Walk or Jalan Pintal Tali in Penang is in plain sight for all to see. And I am rather proud of the end result because of how it will contribute to the critical discussion on appropriate conservation approaches, choices and forms of interpretation being offered to shophouse owners in Penang.

When I decided to repair the roof of my grandfather’s shophouse, I applied the principles of replacing like for like in respect of the heritage fabric and of maintaining the layers of history as found. What you see today is exactly the way it was when the Control of Rent Act was promulgated after World War II. There have been no material changes since then as the implementation of rent control literally discouraged all owners of tenanted buildings from spending money on maintaining their properties.

The contractor who installed the roof chose to create two cemented strips as permanent hard bases in the direction of the roof slope. A worker needing to replace a broken tile or adjust a displaced tile could lay a timber plank transversely across the roof on top of the cement strips and use it as a working platform without endangering the tiles. For all I know, it could have been my grandfather’s suggestion for he was an innovative and yet practical man who had come to Malaya from China as a young boy and who eventually developed the town of Lunas in Kedah.

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And I also recall very vividly, when I was growing up, witnessing my father’s contractors securing the end tiles at the fascia of shophouses with cement, as was the case with many shophouses in town. Lime was otherwise freely used in other works like plastering of walls and mortar for brickwork.

The simple exercise of repairing a roof has thrown up several positives. One, it has allowed me to step back in time to “converse” with my grandfather and to personalize the architectural and social history of the place. And for me this is one of the most meaningful reasons for conservation because there is a story to tell, of making the past come alive in the present.

Two, it invites us to question whether our city fathers should continue to promote the purist, prescriptive, Eurocentric conservation approach or whether we should be leaning more towards what is being offered by the Hoi An Protocols 2005, a UNESCO document which I contributed to. The Protocols contain the following points:-

  1. In Asia, the structuralist analytical approach towards assessing significance and maintaining authenticity that is characteristic of Western conservation practice needs to be nuanced by the metaphysical concepts which prefigure the construction of space throughout the Asia region. It should also be tempered by the region’s time-honoured traditions of practice.
  2. Conservation practitioners should not over-emphasize the authenticity of the materials or physical substance of a resource to the extent that they overlook other equally or even more important dimensions of authenticity.

In terms of authenticity, the Nara Document on Authenticity 1994, Clause 11, states:-

All judgements about values attributed to cultural properties as well as the credibility of related information sources may differ from culture to culture, and even within the same culture. It is thus not possible to base judgements of values and authenticity within fixed criteria. On the contrary, the respect due to all cultures requires that heritage properties must be considered and judged within the cultural contexts to which they belong.

As a corollary to the ideals and principles stated in the Document, Herb Stovel (deceased), one of its authors, suggested that respect for cultural and heritage diversity requires conscious efforts to avoid imposing mechanistic formulae or standardized procedures in attempting to define or determine the authenticity of particular monuments and sites.

Last but not least, I am reminded of earlier efforts by Badan Warisan to formulate conservation principles that reflect Malaysian values based on the premises mentioned in the preceding paragraphs. It appears timely for us to revisit the material in our archives and to embark on a project to deliver what we once called the Stonor Principles, named after the location of our present heritage centre. China has its China Principles. Australia created the Burra Charter. The conservation of Malaysian heritage should be guided by local observations, experiences, traditions and wisdom.

Laurence Loh, Badan Warisan Malaysia


Google, Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers. I love them, such great tools. It’s become so easy to become an authority on any subject nowadays; anyone can be an expert on anything. With Melaka and George Town’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List, it’s like, suddenly, everyone is a conservation architect/expert. I have found, in my limited experience of being involved in a handful of international award winning restoration projects, that when the project team endeavours to consider a range of conservation approaches which are based not only on the multitude of documents outlining principles and standards which we should aspire towards, but also on collective experiences and practices, that the outcome is “right” and stands up to the test of time.

Let’s consider the debate of lime vs cement. Experts will loudly chant the mantra “lime good, cement bad”. Nothing wrong with that in many instances, but then, not always right. Add in another mantra – “replace like for like”. Then what happens when the heritage fabric is not  lime? Do we replace with lime and then we can easily put a tick against the “right” box? Or should we instead acknowledge that conservation is possibly more complex and there are probably several other issues which affect the authenticity of the place? I will desist from going on….Just to say thought that I liken this to walking a tightrope between what is the more accepted standard – a somewhat prescriptive “Western” conservation approach – and our (Asia’s) longer traditions of cultural practice and context.

So, next time, before jumping on whichever band wagon catches your fancy, guns blazing, shooting off your “expert” opinion, you may want to #getyourfactsright. It could save you a little embarrassment. 

Elizabeth Cardosa, Badan Warisan Malaysia

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PATRIOTIC SONG?

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Who would’ve thought that a simple evening listening to a talk on patriotic songs would evoke strong emotions of love, respect and pride for my country? I personally never thought I’d feel this way.

I was part of the audience of about 50 guests who attended Datin Saidah Rastam’s talk entitled Jangan Putih Mata at Badan Warisan Malaysia’s Heritage Center on Sunday, 16 August 2015.

In all honesty, I probably would not have attended this talk if I was not working for Badan Warisan Malaysia. I guess I can consider this the ‘perks’ of the job.

The evening began with a short introduction of Datin Saidah Rastam by Elizabeth Cardosa, the Executive Director.

5c7c9e8a-25f4-412e-afb6-aa681d9711d3Datin Saidah Rastam is a composer who has written music for theatre, film dance and TV, for gamelan, martial artists, choral groups, Chinese opera singers, orchestras and electronica. A show she created last year, Malam Terang Bulan, for singers and orchestra and featuring Dato’ Zahim Albakri and Chacko Vadaketh, will be restaged at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in November 2015. Her book Rosalie and Other Love Songs was published by Khazanah Nasional Berhad as part of a preservation project on Malayan music, recordings, manuscripts and oral history.

Datin Saidah spoke about various topics concerning patriotic music from the iconic Malaysian composers and producers, the history of our national anthem, the Negaraku and her research for the book Rosalie.

One particular point that I related to was when Datin Saidah mentioned works done by artists of my generation, citing examples like Namewee and Najwa Mahiaddin.While they may not sound like your average patriotic songs, the lyrics showcase a love for the nation, hope for a better tomorrow and calls for unity- which got me thinking about Ella’s song-‘Standing in the Eyes of the World’ for the 98′ Commonwealth Games.

To me, the most magnetic part of the talk was when Datin Saidah led the audience into a sing-along of nostalgic patriotic songs such as Putera-Puteri, Malaysia Berjaya and Malaysia Tanahairku.  20150816_101037355_iOS

I was in awe- firstly because the audience remembered these songs and secondly, for the energy that radiated from them. It was inspiring, moving, energetic and full of pride for this country and its people.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to celebrating the independence of our country with a renewed sense of patriotism, but I do have to admit that this talk has certainly given me a new perspective on the different kinds of personalities that were part of building our nation- stuff that you probably would not find in your Buku Sejarah sekolah.

This guest post is written by Melanie Anthony, Communications Manager for Badan Warisan Malaysia.
The views expressed here are entirely the writer’s own.3a3e2f7

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: WALKING THE TALK

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Badan Warisan Malaysia is hosting a talk on Sustainable Development: Walking the Talk on Saturday, 1 August 2015. 

This talk will feature Dato’ Dr. Ken Yeang who will be speaking on ‘Conservation of the Natural Environment by Design’ and our President, Ar. Laurence Loh  will be speaking on ‘Heritage Sustainable Development’.

Participants will be given a free copy of a new book by Dr Yeoh Poh Seng on Corporate Governance which contains a chapter on governance in the Civil Society Organisation’s sector.

Admission is FREE but places are limited. Donations are welcomed. Click below to register.

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About Dr. Ken Yeang

Ken Yeang is an architect, masterplanner and ecologist who is best known for his signature ecoarchitecture and ecomasterplanning buildings and projects, that have a distinctive verdant green aesthetic. He trained at the AA School (UK) and received a doctorate (PhD) from Wolfson College, Cambridge University (UK). He is principal of Hamzah & Yeang (Malaysia) with offices in UK and China– its expertise is in delivering deep green, innovative ecological architecture and masterplans that go beyond conventional green accreditation systems. He is the Distinguished Plym Professor (Illinois University). He has authored over 12 books on green architecture and has received numerous awards including the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, the Prince Claus Award, the Malaysian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, the Malaysian Government’s Merdeka Award.

About Ar. Laurence Loh

Laurence Loh- President. Laurence is a leading conservation architect and cultural heritage expert in Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region. His conservation work has won many UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards. With Badan Warisan Malaysia, he participated in drafting the Conservation Management Plan for George Town as part of the World Heritage Dossier.

Talk: Ancestral Home of Tun Tan Siew Sin” by Tan Siok Choo, 11 July 2015

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“Ancestral Home of Tun Tan Siew Sin”, authored by Tun Sir Tan Cheng Lock’s granddaughter, Tan Siok Choo was officially launched by Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah on 21 May 2015. An architect, the late Chen Voon Fee, a founding member of Badan Warisan Malaysia has also authored the book and it also features watercolour illustrations done by artist Chin Kon Yit. In conjunction of the launch, you are cordially be invited to a talk about the book as follows: Date: Saturday, 11 July 2015 Time: 11.00 a.m. Venue: Badan Warisan Malaysia, No.2 Jalan Stonor, 50450 Kuala Lumpur Tan Chiok Choo PosterNO 111 Heeren Street Copies are available for sale after the talk. Please call 03-2144 9273 to RSVP. See you there!