‘Vital to preserve our history’

Detailed work: Sultan Nazrin watching a demonstration of the process of restoring archival materials after launching the Perak National Archive of Malaysia building in Meru, Perak. — Bernama

IPOH: Preserving history through archives is an important way to protect the country’s sovereignty and borders, says Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Muizuddin Shah.

Losing archives is similar to having memory loss, he said.

“Take a look at the Sipadan Island – Ligitan Island case in 2002. Because we had enough evidence, we managed to win the dispute and have the sovereign right over both islands.

“We then lost Batu Puteh 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 shall not be compromised, ” he said when launching the Perak National Archive of Malaysia (ANM) building in Meru, here yesterday.

Sultan Nazrin added that as archivists now hold more complex tasks, they would need to store the required information for researchers in the simplest way, but also with accuracy.

“It is also important to note that changing any historical facts is an intellectual crime that will deny the right for future generations to get the true facts, ” he said.

Sultan Nazrin also said since data has become an important matter to everyone, the archive was no longer just a place to collect and store passive material, but to also act as the enabler to trigger the interest of the public towards history.

He added that he had interacted with the National Archive when writing his two books and was convinced by the archivists’ level

of professionalism and the authenticity of information stored in the archive.

Sultan Nazrin also thanked the National Archive director and staff for providing him with all the data and information that had helped his research.

“The ANM Perak branch was established exactly 27 years ago on Oct 1,1993. And today they have their own building.

“With the new building, I hope that it will help ANM to keep on striving forward together with other international archive institutions in the world, ” he said.

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