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Cultural heritage preservation, exchanges pact inked by Taiwan and Malaysia

The MoU aims to expand cooperative cultural heritage preservation efforts and technical exchanges

Signing ceremony for the Taiwan-Malaysia memorandum of understanding.

Signing ceremony for the Taiwan-Malaysia memorandum of understanding. (Agencies photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan Today) -- A memorandum of understanding on expanding cooperative cultural heritage preservation efforts and technical exchanges was inked Jan. 18 in Taichung City, central Taiwan, by the Ministry of Culture’s Bureau of Cultural Heritage and Malaysia-headquartered George Town World Heritage Inc.

Under the pact, the two organizations will foster closer interaction between the people of Taiwan and the Southeast Asian nation through jointly staged conferences, exhibitions, seminars and workshops, as well as promote collaboration in related fields by academics and industry specialists.

MOC Deputy Minister Pierre Tzu-pao Yang said at the signing ceremony there is great potential for both countries to forge closer cultural, economic and trade ties. The ministry anticipates the agreement will play a key role in this regard and lay the foundations for more concrete exchanges, he added.

One of the memorandum’s first major undertakings involves a mural restoration project at historic Boon San Tong Khoo Kongsi temple in the northwestern Malaysian state of Penang. Experts from both countries will work together on a number of preservation, protection and talent cultivation programs.

Another is the bureau organizing Taiwan’s participation in celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of George Town’s designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This will feature a signature selection of arts and crafts, as well as popular street food and performances by New Taipei City-based Tang Mei Yun Taiwanese Opera Company.

Kicking off in February, the 11-month program organized by GTWHI is expected to
showcase the city’s multicultural heritage developed over 500 years of East-West trade.

According to the bureau, the pact follows the successful staging of Taiwan’s Cultural Heritage Overseas Exhibition late last year in Penang. The well-attended event featured traditional arts and crafts, as well as glove puppetry, indigenous weaving and wood sculptures.

The agreement is one of many initiated by the MOC as part of its commitment to strengthening cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Southeast Asian nations in line with the New Southbound Policy. A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the policy seeks to enhance agricultural, business, cultural, education, tourism and trade ties between Taiwan and the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.