Cultural makeover for Kuala Lumpur

Parts of central Kuala Lumpur will soon be given a makeover to better reflect Malaysia’s cultural heritage. Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said his ministry was in discussion with the Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to put together a proposal to be presented to the Cabinet for approval.

“We already have a Little India in Brickfields and a Chinatown in Petaling Street which does well to represent the Indian and Chinese cultures respectively. We hope to transform some areas in KL, such as the stretch from the KTMB building to the Sultan Abdul Samad building, to better reflect other cultures which are also part of our national heritage,” he said, adding that the makeover would include Jalan Melayu to better portray Malay culture.

Dr Rais said he hoped the initiative would instill patriotism and greater appreciation for the nation’s cultural heritage, especially among the younger generation. The minister said this while officially declaring 154 National Heritage items, including nine living persons at the Sultan Abdul Samad building here yesterday. Among the nine recognized for their contributions to the country as a part of our national heritage are Nyonya Tan Abdullah for her dondang sayang, Eyo Hock Seng for his work in wayang kulit and mak yong practitioner Mek Jah Deris.

The other items listed are iconic buildings, archaeological and natural sites, traditional games, martial arts, traditional cuisine, local arts and craft, dances, as well as traditional medical practices. At the event, Rais also witnessed the official flag-off of the Jejak Warisan (Heritage Footsteps) Program which was participated by 450 students from schools in KL and Selangor. The minister said programs such as these were important to ensure the country’s heritage is not forgotten by the younger generation. “Our heritage is our identity as a nation. We need to pass on the stories, the arts and culture which makes us who we are, to the generations after us,” he said. Source: Thestar.com.my

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