Monday, May 07, 2012

New artefacts for revamped Malay Heritage Centre

A traditional copper oven, a brass tray, and two medallions belonging to the late Yusof Ishak, the first president of Singapore, are among some of the new artefacts that will be on display, when the revamped Malay Heritage Centre (MHC) opens in September.
The four items are among 150 donated and loaned artefacts from over 20 individuals and corporations, which will be on display at MHC's permanent galleries.
The $3-million spruce-up for the seven-year-old MHC will focus on the rich history of its Kampong Glam location. Previously, the museum looked at the Malay community as a whole.
Among the individuals who are lending artefacts to MHC is Mr Khir Johari, a collector and an independent researcher on the history and culture of the Malay world. He was born and grew up in Kampong Glam.
He is lending the copper oven and brass tray to the museum. He got hold of the oven through a friend, while the brass tray belonged to his grandmother.
Other items that he is lending include a hatbox made of tin, and five hats that belonged to his great-grandfather, Mr Haji Yusof Haji Mohammed Noor, a well-known haj belt maker.
'I have been collecting these items, and at some point, I want to share them and let others enjoy these items too,' he said. 'If these items can help the museum tell a better story of Kampong Glam, then why not display them?'
MHC is housed in a 169-year-old building, Istana Kampong Glam, which was the seat of Singapore's Malay royalty in the 19th century.