I REFER to the report "Lenggong Valley declared World Heritage site" (NST, July 2). It is certainly a long-awaited honour for our country, and the fifth for Malaysia in Unesco's list.
Having been involved in promoting the valley, especially in the making of a video on the "Perak Man" for the National Museum, I find it a worthy World Heritage site.
It's only wise that we share the significance of Lenggong Valley with the rest of the world.
Lenggong Valley's universal value, especially with the discovery of the 11,000-year-old Perak Man from the Palaeolithic age, transcends the value it holds for us.
For Malaysia, it is an economic boon, particularly in terms of tourism.
But as much as tourism is bound to generate revenue, we must continue to uphold Unesco's requirements of identification, protection and preservation of Lenggong's cultural and natural heritage, giving it outstanding value to humanity.
Lenggong, as a cultural and heritage tourism product, should draw specialist tourists to our shores.
This target group, large but reserved, must be sought out as they belong in the high-income bracket and are willing to spend.
But while we should have no reservations about visitors making a foray into Lenggong Valley, we must remember the "negativity" that comes with popularity -- the "dark side" of tourism.
This can lead to too many visitors flocking to the place, causing erosion of the site.
It is, therefore, vital that the authorities continue to create awareness among Malaysians on what's ours.
Malaysians should understand the significance of Lenggong as a World Heritage site.
Following the announcement by Unesco, there have been suggestions that Perak Man be returned to its rightful place in Lenggong Valley -- the archaeological museum. I couldn't agree more.
It is about time the "real" one is displayed at the World Heritage site, in recognition of the efforts of the archaeologists who initiated the find.
We should also be proud that it was a Malaysian, a woman, who first came across the Perak Man in 1991.
A.M., Petaling Jaya, Selangor