Foreign Arch & Tropical Hardwood

Disk 39

Foreign Architect must support Malaysia Tropical Hardwood policy

During a recent Trade Mission overseas, our Minister of Primary industries, YB Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik and his delegates were confused by some NGO’s in Europe concerning Malaysia’s continuing “to deplete” our tropical rainforest. The Malaysian mission were able to rebut all the allegations but were caught off guard and had no answer to a claim that “PAM being a member of UIA (Union of International Architects), which is opposed to the continuing exploitation of the Tropical Rainforest, had requested all member countries to resist specifying tropical hardwood for use”. This volley was fixed by Mr. Nils Carlson present at the conference in his capacity as a representative of the Association of Swedish Architects. Carlson is also the current Secretary General of UIA. He further claimed that Malaysia’s active participation in UIA was through a very senior member of PAM. The anger, frustration and embarrassment to our Minister and delegation was inevitable. PAM was asked to explained.

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Disk 53

When the proposal to develop the Selangor Club Padang was first mooted, there was an outcry and much was said and published about why it ought to be left intact and undisturbed. Many activists, artists, architects and environmental movements expressed their concern. Now that Phase 1 of Merdeka Square is completed and is relatively successful, there has not been any comments or praises for the first public space in Kuala Lumpur.

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The Destruction of Istana Bandar

Disk 53

Whilst on the subject of conservation, I had the pleasure of accompanying a fellow council member of the Badan Warisan Malaysia to the above mentioned ‘restoration’ site.

Needlessly to say I was appalled at seeing what was being done to the once magnificent building. This project must be set aside as an example, a lesson to be learnt from for all Malaysians of ‘how not to do conservation’.

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Designing for Sustainable Future

Disk 55

Designing For A Sustainable Future – A Malaysian Proposal For The Crossroads

Asian Architects in general, but Malaysians in particular, whilst emulating Western values and ethics, must not lose the “Asian-ness” of their work. It may be difficult as many Architects in Asia had sometime or other been trained in the west; and those trained locally at their National schools are often staffed by western trained Architects. That many Asian cities bear similarity to their Western counterpart, results from the misconceived notion that a high-rise ‘aluminum and glass’ manifestation is the symbol of success and ‘having-arrived’ at the forum of respectability equitable to the West. Influences of the great ‘masters’ of modern architecture are still being felt and it is this ‘dominance’ over the works of Asian architects’ that require urgent re-focusing.

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Disk 39


The realization of the Architectural project brings with it both frustration and pleasure. From the first idea to the final project many compromises have to take place. The dream that might live within ourselves does not belong only to us. It belongs to us, to our clients, to those who for different reasons, are involved in the process of developing and building the project.

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