TWO articles in the New Sunday Times remind us about how easy it is to lose our heritage.
I applaud the efforts of Saidah Rastam to gain an insight into the history of Melaka (“Revisiting glorious tales of Melaka — NST, Aug 18), which recently became my home.
The piece by Alan Teh on baju kurung (“Enduring charm of the baju kurung — NST, Aug 18) reminded readers of earlier days, when this traditional garment was common.
In the quest for development, it is easy to sweep aside history.
As someone who has visited Melaka many times over 40 years, it is with concern I see development projects dominating the landscape in this former ancient port.
The lack of conservation in Melaka saddens me.
A lack of appreciation or understanding of the past leads to loss of culture and the demise of colourful and charming clothing like baju kurung.
Melaka was a melting pot of cultures and its historic importance has been recognised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Melaka must realise that if it is to remain a tourist destination, it is old buildings and historic sites that attract visitors, not shopping malls that can be found in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and large cities.
Of course, food also plays a big part in Melaka’s attraction.
It is obvious from these two articles and other reports in your newspaper that Malaysians do look fondly and proudly on their past.
Singapore in the 1970s and early 1980s nearly lost its heritage buildings due to huge redevelopment plans, but came to its senses in time and saved many of them.
There is time to preserve history in cities like Melaka and educate locals and foreigners on its past, while also encouraging and highlighting the different cultures that make up this nation.
Ayer Keroh, Melaka