Kalam hails ‘multi-racial living culture’ of Malaysian cities

August 31st, 2008 - 3:25 pm ICT by IANS  

George Town (Malaysia), Aug 31 (IANS) Former Indian president A.P.J Abdul Kalam has praised the conservation effort that has gone into preserving the multi-racial “living culture” of George Town, Malakka and other cities in Malaysia. “This entire place is indeed fantastic,” he said after a two-hour walk along a heritage trail in the heart of the city Saturday.

On a visit, Kalam was amazed by the magnificence of structures, including the Sri Maha Mariamman, Goddess of Mercy and Teo Chew temples, Kapitan Keling and Acheen Street mosques, St George’s and Assumption churches, the Nagore shrine and the Penang Islamic museum.

Kalam took his time admiring the buildings on the “Street of Harmony Heritage Walk” — a tour of Penang’s heritage area.

George Town had been recognised not only for having the largest concentration of pre-World War II buildings in Southeast Asia but also for its multi-ethnic living heritage.

Malays, Indians, Chinese, Eurasians, Armenians, Japanese, British, Jews, Filipinos and other nationalities have contributed to the development of George Town, Kalam was told by Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop.

Kalam’s visit to Penang was part of a three-day programme arranged by Khazanah Nasional, which included the Khazanah Global Lectures 2008 where he spoke.

The renowned nuclear scientist was conferred the Doctor of Science honorary degree by Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).

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