Pewarisan disappointed with event organisers
KUALA LUMPUR: The Penang Malay Heritage and Historical Society (Pewarisan) has expressed its disappointment with the organisers of the George Town Festival, saying the Malays were not appropriately represented at the event.
Pewarisan president Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Murad Merican said since the event’s inception in 2010, it had failed to recognise the Malays as the founding community of Penang and Tanjong.
“George Town has a history of the Malays, not only in the ‘Malay town’ of Lebuh Acheh/Armenian and in areas where Malays once plied their trade,” he said yesterday.
He said the absence of
Malays at the festival was a false portrayal of multiculturalism.
“We agree that Penang and George
Town are cos- mopolitan.
But the histo- ry and heritage of the Malay community have not been portrayed as such.”
He said in previous years, the organisers had included stories from ethnic groups like the Chinese, Peranakan, Hokkien, Indian Muslims and Eurasians, but seemed to have forgotten about the Malays.
He said the festival glorified the genealogy of Francis Light, the founder of the British colony of Penang.
“The organisers continue to marginalise the cosmopolitanism in Penang before the arrival of the British — the cosmopolitanism that lends names of places on the island, and the earlier history of George Town.”
He said the organisers should refer to oral and written sources on the history of Malays in Penang.
“They must create the aesthetics for the memory of how Penang began. There will be no meaning to the festival if the founding Malay community is not represented.”
Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Murad Merican