TAIPING, Aug 26 – The Tourism and Culture Ministry, through the National Heritage Department, will gazette buildings, sites, objects or certain living persons and underwater cultural heritage under the National Heritage Act 2005. Its minister, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz said the move would be taken to safeguard their interest and to enhance their status as national heritage based on certain criteria.

“So far, a total of 497 heritage items have been listed and from the total, 69 are building, archaeological and natural sites, 96 tangible objects and 21 living persons as national heritage. In Perak alone, 86 sites ahve been registered as heritage, comprising building, archaeological and natural sites,” he said when opening the Merdeka Heritage Carnival at Dataran Warisan here today.

The text of his speech was read out by the ministry’s secretary-general, Datuk Ab Ghaffar A. Tambi. Mohamed Nazri said items with historical and heritage elements should be preserved to prevent them from extinction. “I believe with aid and cooperation from all quarters, especially the owners, state government and local authorities, will enhance efforts towards gazetting of the country’s heritage treasures,” he said.

On the carnival, he said, it was intended to instil patriotism and love for national heritage. On another development, Mohamed Nazri said the National Heritage Department had taken the initiative to document and produce a book on Mak Yong in English. The 336-page book, was translated by Profesor Emeritus Datuk Dr Mohamed Ghouse Nasaruddin and published by the National Heritage Department. — Bernama

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