Press Conference for George Town Heritage Celebrations 2016 16 June 2016, Level 28, Chief Minister’s Office, KOMTAR
A very good afternoon to everyone. Thank you for your presence, and welcome to the press conference for George Town Heritage Celebrations 2016.
Organised by George Town World Heritage Incorporated with the support and participation of City Council of Penang Island, Penang Global Tourism, Malaysian National Commission for UNESCO, George Town Festival and 20 various local communities, this annual affair in the month of July is no stranger to all of us.
I would like to take this opportunity to particularly thank the 11 existing and 9 new partners from the local communities for their commitment of time and resources in this event.
George Town is blessed with eclectic architectural marvels and vibrant multicultural communities which define the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the site. What is most significant is the living heritage and the ability of different faiths and cultures to live in harmony and mutual respect. In other words the celebration of diversity. This unique Outstanding Universal Values of George Town World Heritage Site have been duly acknowledged by UNESCO, which led to our inscription as a World Heritage Site in 2008.
The theme for this year’s George Town Heritage Celebrations is “MAI MAIN”, a colloquial term used as an invitation to play a game. In the heritage context, it aims to promote the traditional sports and games of various communities both played as leisure and competition. UNESCO recognises the significance of traditional sports and games as an opportunity for the community to demonstrate its interpretation of life and the world, and that they are a priceless part of humanity’s cultural heritage. It serves as a constant reminder to us that our practices, whether modern or contemporary, remain rooted in our valuable traditions – and that is what George Town Heritage Celebrations intends to communicate to both locals and visitors.
Do more by doing less is the common theme of heritage; similarly we have more fun by playing simple games. Remember that we need to understand our past so that we can be better connected to the present so as to face the challenges of the future successfully together.
The episode this year will take place on various venues around George Town World Heritage Site from the 7th to the 9th of July. The showpiece for this year is the StreetFest on the 9th of July. As 8th of July is a replacement holiday for Heritage Day on 7th of July which also falls on the 2nd day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. We have a long weekend holiday.
7th of July 2016 marks the 8th year since George Town’s inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let us protect, preserve and promote George Town World Heritage Site by directing our efforts to make it the best in Malaysia in accordance with the status as not just part of Penang or Malaysia but also part of all humanity.