Ahmad Sarji: Destroy Memory, Erase History

The Past in The Present

Ahmad Sarji: Destroy Memory, Erase History

A callous attitude towards preservation will destroy the legacy that shaped history. Tun Ahmad Sarji tells AWANI Review’s Amanda Ho why this effort is so dear to his heart.

In a rapidly modernizing country like Malaysia, historical buildings and artifacts are currently endangered and can vanish at any second.

It is not without effort however that Malaysia now has four UNESCO World Heritage sites in Malaysia which includes the city of Malacca and Georgetown, Lenggong Valley, Gunung Mulu National Park and Kinabalu Park.

A leading light in the movement to conserve and preserve is former top civil servant Tun Ahmad Sarji. The former Chief Secretary to the Government stresses that the restoration of historical architectures are vital not only as a fragment of a country’s history but also supports the economy.

The effort to continue this effort to preserve local legacy continued with Tun Ahmad Sarji’s launch of his latest book – ‘The Remembered, Preserved and Imagined Past: My Heritage Memoirs’; which contains an autobiographical account of his journey and challenges as the President of Heritage Trust of Malaysia for 18 years (1999 - 2013).

In this book, Tun Ahmad Sarji single handedly selected each and every picture to be published in the book, explaining the importance of preserving heritage in an ever developing nation.

Malaysia, being a multicultural country possesses a variety of heritage assets that reflect its different ethnicities and races. With this, Ahmad Sarji emphasizes the importance of placing equal priority to preserve the heritage legacies of all the heritage assets found in the country.

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