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New Strait Times

April 22, 2008


Pulau Sekati a living museum ?

KUALA TERENGGANU: The state should build an open-air museum in Pulau Sekati, which is 0.3km away from the state museum for Visit Terengganu Year.

A tourism industry player, Ping Anchorage managing director Alex Lee, said it is to highlight the state's unique cultural heritage.

"Pulau Sekati is ideal for an open-air museum as it is the last traditional village in Kuala Terengganu.

"Houses there feature traditional designs, some of which date back 100 years, while the landscape contains a lot of fruit trees, like duku, nibong, mango, coconut as well as inai and melinjau trees which are vintage Terengganu.

"The people also hold traditional jobs, such as fishermen.

"It's all there. It is just a matter of organising and managing the villages to work together with the museum."

However, state museum director Mohd Yusof Abdullah when contacted said: "But it would be up to the villagers. Are they willing to be part of the museum or not?"

Lee said if properly executed, Pulau Sekati could be as successful as the Skansen open air museum or even Rumah Pak Ali in Gombak, Selangor.

Skansen is the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden, located on the Djurgarden island in Stockholm.

Rumah Pak Ali, made of cengal and meranti and built without a single nail, was opened to the public in 1989 following a request from the Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry.

The 127-year-old traditional Minangkabau house in Kampung Kerdas, Gombak, however was razed in a pre-dawn fire in 2003 along with nearly RM1 million worth of antique furniture.

State Tourism Action Council manager Muhamad Rafi Kori welcomed the suggestion because it is good for tourism and preservation of heritage.

"Having an open-air museum is one way to rebrand the museum's image.

"It also provides an alternative for tourists who can choose between an indoor experience and an outdoor one," he said, adding that many of the industry players gave thumbs up to the idea.


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