IPOH: Perak’s Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah has highlighted the importance of preserving history through archives to protect the country’s sovereignty and borders.
He described losing archives as similar to having memory loss.
“Take a look at the Sipadan Island – Ligitan Island case in 2002, because we have enough evidence, we managed to win the dispute and have the sovereign right over both islands.
“We then lost Batu Putih Island in 2008 to Singapore over the lack of archival material that could be the primary evidence in the case.
“History is what connects the past with the future, and it must be used as a compass to guide us.
“Therefore, recording, writing and storing our historical archives correctly is important and should not be compromised, ” he said when launching the Perak National Archive of Malaysia (ANM) building in Meru here on Thursday (Oct 1).
Sultan Nazrin added that archivists now hold more complex tasks.
“We are in an era where data is being stored online and we are currently experiencing an increasing number of clients whose documents are in electronic format, with recordings that can be accessed by anyone," he said.
Sultan Nazrin then added that archivists will need to store the required information for researchers in a simple, easy to access way that is also accurate.
“It is also important to note that changing any historical facts is an intellectual crime that will deny future generations the right to get the true facts," he said.
He said that data has become an important matter for everyone.
“We have been described as a society that seeks knowledge and appreciates the knowledge we gained. We are relying on an ability to understand, comprehend and use information wisely," said Sultan Nazrin.
He added that this is why an archive is no longer a place that collects and stores passive material, saying that is an enabler that can trigger the interest of the public when it comes to history.
Sultan Nazrin then said that he had interacted with the National Archive when writing his two books, adding that his experience convinced him of the level of professionalism displayed by the archivists and the authenticity of information stored by the National Archive
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the National Archive’s director and staff for providing me with all the data and information that has helped my research.
The ANM Perak branch was established exactly 27 years ago on Oct 1,1993 and they have their own building today," he said.
“With the new building, I hope that it will help ANM to keep on striving forward together with other international archival institution in the world, ” added Sultan Nazrin.
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