Malaysia seeks World Heritage Site status for three more sites

Nazri-AzizLENGGONG (Perak): The Ministry of Tourism and Culture has initiated the move to secure Unesco World Heritage Site status for three more places in Malaysia.

Its minister, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, named these places as the Royal Belum State Park in Gerik, Perak, the Quartz Ridge of Gombak, Selangor, and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, a green lung.

The ministry had sent a tentative list of documents to Unesco prior to furnishing a complete dossier on the three sites, he said in his speech at the launch of the Lenggong Carnival 2017 at Dataran Lenggong here last night.

The text of his speech was read out by the ministry’s secretary-general, Ab Ghaffar A Tambi.

The celebration was held in conjunction with the fifth anniversary of the recognition of the Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley as a World Heritage Site.

Besides the Lenggong Valley, Unesco has listed the Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, the Kinabalu Park in Sabah as well as the historic cities of Melaka and George Town as World Heritage Sites.

“The Department of National Heritage is preparing the dossier for the nomination of the new sites with the collaboration of various quarters to fulfil the criteria and requirements of Unesco,” Nazri said in his speech.

The Lenggong Valley, recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site on June 30, 2012, provided evidence of the existence of the world’s oldest prehistoric activity in the world. It was there that the prehistoric human skeleton, the Perak Man, was found.

Nazri said the ministry always strove to seek recognition for various categories of heritage, including documentaries and manuscripts.

The “Kitab Tib Ilmu Bedil”, or Book of Traditional Malay Weaponry, secured recognition in 2016 from the Memory of the World Committee for Asia and the Pacific based in South Korea, he said.

He said the Department of National Heritage had also sent three nominations in March on cultural heritage for recognition by the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The nominations are for the Wangkang Festival, Dondang Sayang and Pantun. The decision on the nominations will be known in November next year.