Saturday, July 18, 2009


On going conservation works at the former General Post Office Ipoh
Participants had the opportunity to visit the site and observe works on site as well as to dirty their hands at applying the lime plastering.

LEARNING actually does not come free. It never did. From schooling to colleges and universities you pay to acquire knowledge and skills. Of course in between you do absorb additional through self reading and experiences. Still we are put through workshops, seminars and conferences to update less stagnation set in. I am in Ipoh this weekend and fortunately able to brush on some practical skills especially in the field of conservation. Fortunate only since the Mrs. has registered for the workshop's session organized by Jabatan Warisan Negara I am able to sit in for some of the talks and discussion gratis.

A short break after the talk given by one of the speakers.

The famous Ipoh Railway Station. It is pleasant to see it in its present standing.

It is known that for centuries LIME was used undisturbed until an invention in early 1880s changed the face of our architecture and engineering feats as well as our rural and urban landscapes. Lime saw its diminishing strength. Yet some of the great monuments of the ancient worlds got its permanent strength and grip from lime. However current conservation of our built heritage and a re-look at the architectural and engineering qualities helped in a big way to put it in the LIMELIGHT again. Now that older prominent and classic buildings get to be restored and preserved along international guidelines, experienced and knowledge based professionals and contractors need to be trained. UNESCO's recognition of Malacca and Penang heritage surely vouched for Badan Warisan Negara strong backing towards more buildings to be restored and preserved in our country. Buildings in tin- riched Perak , especially in Ipoh now get extra focus.

While the participants got hitched to their sessions and practical assignments, I had a good opportunity to tour some small corner of Ipoh. Mind you, since the North-South Highway existed, Ipoh becomes a by-pass and whatever exists here got unknown to the ordinary persons. I was awarded with several photo-shots which otherwise would not even be in my lens view during the short walking tour just around the former General Post Office which is a part of the Ipoh Town Hall built in 1914 currently undergoing restoration works.

There is a great need for us, young and old to realize the richness and valuable heritage around us less they get discarded, unrecognized and perhaps torn down for reason of modernity, disused, unkempt and uncared. Badan Warisan Negara recognized the varied building materials used and specifically addressed itself towards timber, lime and roof-tiles as specific areas of focus. This second edition of its workshop found me as a keen listener and learning certainly goes on.

OCBC being one of the many banks in Ipoh that occupy historical sites and heritage buildings.


Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Pak Non

Conservation is only now starting to be taken seriously in Malaysia escpecially since the government prepared the Conservation Act. And its timely too. As you've noted yourself, too many old, historical buildings have been destroyed to make way for new developments.

Lovely pics of Ipoh buildings. Thanks.

Ocean Girl said...

We should conserve the old and we must also conserve nature and what is natural.

I witnessed the progress of the new Istana Negara at Sri Hartamas. Sadly, I know it will just turn out to be another concrete wall in the midst of other concrete walls.

Why can't we realise that small and environmental friendly is what is royal and in style.

I feel that there is a lot we can learn from architecture of the past, but are we?