Thursday, June 4, 2009

Badan Warisan Malaysia

I went for a meeting at Bandan Warisan Heritage Services's Office yesterday. The building is located beside Jln Conlay - Jln Stonor junction. As I drove into its compound, wah-lau-eh! Appeared in front of me was a beautiful old colonial Tudor building with a big green field and tall trees. I found out later that it is a 1925 building.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of Badan Warisan website

Badan Warisan Malaysia is a non-profit organization established in 1983 with the aim of conserving and preserving Malaysia's built heritage. For more information please visit Badan Warrison's website.

Besides the administration office, it has exhibition and conference facilities, a resource centre and a gift shop. I was really attracted by the books and many other items in the gift shop. In the main hall the exhibits were 'lacquered natural items' as shown below of Jurema Walendowsky Baker, a native Brazilian artist and designer.

"Jurema creates her artwork from discarded raw materials like dried coconut and palm tree leaves, as well as other spent flora and fauna. She transforms them into extraordinary pieces of art through her unique and complex lacquer process." You can go to Badan Warisan website for more information on her works.

An 'etched-glass lamps'

In fact I have came across Badan Warisan in 2006 when DBKL has given approval to demolish the Bok House as shown below. Badan warisan was fighting very hard to preserve the building but the Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Dr. Rais Yatim at that time gave DBKL a freehand in approving the demolition application. He even challenged dissenters to prove that Bok House is of historic value. This heritage minister definitely has his own way of interpreting heritage and historic value.

To me, this building got her death sentence for sitting on a piece of expensive land with very high commercial value. This site is located within 250 meters radius of KLCC.

Bok House was also known as 'Restaurant Le Coq d'Or' from 1948 to 2001. With such a long history, this place must be full of happy as well as sad memories, tales, romances and love stories. And must be a popular place in those days for western foods. Looking at the photo it must be a nice place to bring your love one for a wonderful dinner.

Bok house was constructed by the late Chua Cheng Bok(1926), a self-made millionaire that built the business empire of Cycle and Carriage from repairing bicycles on a street corner.
Bok House was one of the grandest neo-classical mansion in Kuala Lumpur. His love for this building was so deep that he has entered a clause in his will that this house may not be sold for four generations, which was said to last until 2025. No body know what has happened to his will.

A partially demolished Bok House

Thing could have been different if he was of another race but then there wouldn't be Cycle and Carriage, and there wouldn't be Bok House.

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