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Published on : Sunday, May 22, 2016
Malaysia plans to develop the more than 2,000 years old Sungai Batu-Lembah Bujang archaeological site into a leading tourist destination in Southeast Asia. For this, the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture will discuss and obtain an allocation.
“We feel this is definitely the best time to develop the area and we will make sure a meeting between the minister and Kedah state government would be arranged soon to discuss this,” Ministry of Tourism and Culture’s Deputy minister, Mas Ermiyati Samsuddin said.
“The allocation is important and necessary for the Sungai Batu site in order to obtain better returns from the tourism product we believe in. Therefore, the ministry is not afraid to invest in it,” she told reporters after launching the Kedah Tua International Conference in Sungai Petani, today (May 21).
Also present were Kedah Religious Affairs, Tourism, Heritage and Public Works Committee chairman Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid, National Heritage Department Commissioner Dr Zainah Ibrahim and Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Global Archaeological Research director, Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin.
The allocation includes a provision for research and excavation work at these location that is now somewhat limited due to lack of funds.
Mas Ermieyati said she is confident the old Kedah Tua civilisation is capable of becoming one of the leading tourist destinations that can attract many foreign tourists, hence the state government and tourism agents are required get ready to promote it.
The two-day conference commenced today jointly organised by the Centre for Global Archaeological Research (CGAR) USM, the Northern Corridor Implementation Authority, Department of National Heritage, the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the Kedah State Government, the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA) and Malaysian Institute of Architects.
The conference, held in conjunction with the Kedah Tua Festival 2016 (FKT2016) will also focus on the importance of archeology in the Bujang Valley and make a comparison between all the world’s major civilisations from the sixth century BC to 12th century AD.