Tourism Ministry lists 548 items as intangible heritage in Malaysia, says minister

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri delivers her speech at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Bayan Lepas  September 10, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri delivers her speech at the Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Bayan Lepas September 10, 2020. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) through the National Heritage Department (JWN), has gazetted 548 items as ‘Intangible Heritage’ under the National Heritage Act 2005.

Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said all the items cover four categories, namely language and literature; manners and culture; performing arts and fine arts.

“Motac always strives to elevate the country’s art and culture to be known globally, as well as gain international recognition.

“Among those successfully recognised under the ‘Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) are the legacy of Mak Yong (2005), Dondang Sayang (2018) and Silat (2019), she said during the question and answer session at the Dewan Negara today.

She was responding to a question from Senator Datuk Lee Tian Sing, who sought clarification on the list of local art and culture categorised as ‘Intangible Heritage’ and the government’s move to promote it as a tourist attraction.

She explained that Malaysia is currently in the process of evaluating to list two more intangible heritage, namely, ‘pantun’ and ‘upacara wangkang’ under ‘The Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ under Unesco.

Meanwhile, she said Motac also held several programmes, including the Living Arts Cultural Festival and Traditional Arts Theatre, as one of the efforts to expose the country’s cultural arts to the local community, as well as to tourists.

For international promotion, she said, efforts were made through participation in international exhibitions such as the ‘World Travel Mart (WTM)’ in London, and the ‘International Tourism Bourse (ITB)’ Berlin, to showcase the cultural diversity and uniqueness of Malaysians. — Bernama

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