DiGi's Traditional Architect of Terengganu completes Heritage House
MB and 40 students witness launch which marks official close of DiGi's Amazing Malaysians project.
Kuala Terengganu, March 5, 2006 - The 100-year-old kampung house that DiGi's Amazing Malaysian Raja Dato' Kamarul Bahrin Shah and his 40 students rebuilt in two-and-a-half months from June 2005 was officially launched this evening. The "Heritage House", as it is called, will be used for the promotion of local craft, such as weaving.
The idea is for the Heritage House to become the focal point of a cultural village showcasing Terengganu's arts and craft. Befitting its future, the house was opened with a multicultural dance performance, incorporating the Zapin, ribbon dance and an Indian item called Moksha (meaning freedom/salvation), by members of the Kuala Lumpur based Temple of Fine Arts in conjunction with the Akademi Seni Kebangsaan.
DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd launched The Traditional Architect of Terengganu at the very same spot on June 19, 2005, when the participating students - from Sekolah Menengah Teknik Wakaf Tembusu; Sekolah Menengah Teknik Terengganu, Jalan Lapangan Terbang; Sekolah Menengah Chung Hwa Wei Sin; and SMK Penarek - witnessed the spectacle of the tiang seri (a traditional ritual in which the main pillar of a kampung house is manually pulled up).
Each school was given a video camera and the students guided by Raja Bahrin to produce a documentary on the reconstruction of the kampung house. Over two-and-a-half months the students would assemble at the construction site at weekends to shoot footage of the men as they put together the century-old pieces of wood, frames and ornamentation, all without the use of nails.
Terengganu Chief Minister Dato' Seri Haji Idris bin Jusoh, who was guest of honour, said: "This DiGi's Amazing Malaysians project is in concert with the state government's effort to bring back the focus of development to be heritage oriented. This paradigm shift must start with the young who will spearhead future development and this is what DiGi Telecommunications is doing with this project. I am extremely happy to see the corporate sector understand and work together with us to achieve this important vision for the people of Terengganu."
Jon Eddy, DiGi's Chief Technology Officer, explained it was important to preserve the architectural heritage of a country because it reinforced the nation's sense of identity. Addressing the students, he said: "All of you young people who have participated in this project can help to ensure your experience with The Traditional Architect of Terengganu does not end here. Some of you may become architects in your own right, and design buildings with distinct Malaysian feel. Even if you don't become architects, you may find yourself in a position to suggest designs for homes and buildings that are true to our country's heritage."
Raja Bahrin is a prominent architect who has conceptualised the design of several outstanding buildings in Malaysia, especially the East Coast. He is responsible for the Terengganu State Museum (Muzium Losong) and the "floating" Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque in Kuala Terengganu, as well as a number of resorts including the Andaman in Langkawi and the Aryani in Merang, Terengganu.
About DiGi Telecommunications Sdn Bhd
DiGi is a leading mobile communications company providing a comprehensive range of affordable, convenient and easy-to-use wireless services to simplify and enrich the lives of its customers. The company creates value by selecting the most appropriate cutting-edge technology so that customers benefit from products and services that give them choice, convenience and control.
About DiGi's Amazing Malaysians
DiGi's Amazing Malaysians is a corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme which identifies passionate individuals who, quietly but with dedication, work towards preserving Malaysia's natural, social, art, cultural or built heritage. DiGi provides resources for these ordinary people doing extraordinary things to share their knowledge and skills with groups of 50-100 children or youth. Most of the projects are centred in rural locations, and the children involved come from the surrounding areas. This way, DiGi is able both to support commendable heritage work, and to introduce children to the rich tapestry of culture and tradition that makes up Malaysia's unique heritage.
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