Malaysia has many unique and interesting places to visit, but not many will know where all these places are located.
However, Miniature Wonders Sdn Bhd managing director Wan Cheng Huat, 34, got the inspiration to capture them in a miniaturised version – in a 1,579.35sqm retail store in a major shopping mall in USJ, Petaling Jaya.
“I love travelling, and I realised the potential of having a miniature showcase to show the wonders of Malaysia to tourist, under one roof,” he told Metrobiz.
According to Wan, it also serves as an educational platform for children and adults to learn about the history and culture of each place.
Wan started looking for investors in 2008 and finally managed to raise about RM400,000 by 2014.
Founded with seven partners and nine staff in 2014, Wan said they had a grand idea of setting it up in one of the major exhibition centres in Kuala Lumpur, occupying 200,000sq ft.
They invested in 3D printers and other materials needed to make the miniatures; from more than 24 iconic buildings such as the KL Tower and Menara Maybank to over 25,000 of other miniaturised items such as people, trees and streetlights.
“We wanted to showcase state by state, but there are capital constraints, so we have to start somewhere with what we have,” he said.
To make up for this shortfall, they have an innovative idea to provide variations of themes, such as seaports and industrial zones on display that are not based on an actual place.
They include having interactive panels where visitors can learn how things work, such as having miniature streetlights that would switch off when visitors cover the solar panels with their hands.
“Generally, tourism is about people going to a place and buying souvenirs. We want to focus more on the aspect of them experiencing the miniature showcase,” he said.
They are also having a presentation area where they would invite specialists in particular fields to give talks on specific matters, from Malaysian wildlife to culture.
After about two years of hard work, Wan said the miniature showcase is now open for business.
The main revenue is via ticketing and Wan said the area could accommodate between 300 and 400 visitors at any given time.
“We hope to expand to a bigger area where we can create a showcase of other states in Malaysia followed by regional places of interest and their culture,” he concluded.