Sunday, November 25, 2007

“I Love Valley of Hope” Carnival on 8-9 December 2007 - PRESS STATEMENT

Background


SEVENTY-seven years ago, in an isolated valley of Bukit Lagong, Sungai Buloh, Selangor, a group of Malays, Chinese, Indians and Eurasians set up a contained community. They lived in harmony and interdependently of each other.


They were leprosy patients, sent to live in the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Settlement, where they found hope and
dignity. It was a heaven that allowed them to re-define themselves as human beings and enabled them to make friends and sustain friendships, express their feelings, form families and be individuals who contributed to their own community.


From the time it was built in 1930, Sungai Buloh was one of the biggest leprosy settlements in the-then British Empire, and the second biggest in the world. It was equipped with advanced facilities and planned following the principals of a garden city. It was a pioneer project based on the “enlightened policy” of segregating leprosy patients in a self-supporting community. Over the years, the settlement also became a research centre for leprosy.


Since its establishment, the settlement has been relatively undisturbed due to the public’s fear of, and the stigma attached to leprosy.


Recently, the government announced plans to preserve part of the settlement as a national heritage. But 40 acres (16.19ha) of the settlement has been surrendered to the government, to make way for the medical faculty of the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM).


The project has threatened to destroy Sungai Buloh's authenticity and wholeness as one of the most perfectly planned and impressive leprosarium models in modern history. It will also erase evidence of the country's contribution to the history of humankind.


Preserve the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Settlement


The Sungai Buloh leprosy settlement has marked a very significant stage in Malaysian history in relation to medicine, planning, architecture and social cultural aspects.

The rediscovery of this historical place is one of the most exciting milestones in our modern heritage and preservation. It is like a modern 'ancient site' that awaits people to uncover and interpret on how an isolated world had been planned, structured and functioned to self-sustain a group of humans, being socially, culturally and economically separated from society.


There are significant values of Sg Buloh Settlement as described below meets all the criteria of the National Heritage Act 2005, Part X, Section 67(2), Items (a)-(i) which entitles it to be preserved under the National Heritage Act 2005. They are:
1. The legacy of Garden City Planning
2. Pioneer of Self-Supporting prophylaxis Settlement
3. Legacy of multi-racial living environment
4. Exceptional example of modern sub-culture
5. Renowned famous leprosy research center
6. Rare example of a group of colonial buildings


Who are we “Save Valley of Hope Solidarity Group”?



When the East part of the leprosy settlement was demolished, it was only a matter of time before their legacy is lost forever. Afraid that this might happen, we formed a group and called it, “Save Valley of Hope”. The research, documentation, shooting and program organization began to enliven this leprosy settlement. Our group members include lecturers, social workers, university and college students.


The solidarity group’s effort is only in its initial phase considering our government had not realized the importance of preserving this potential World Heritage. The members of the group are volunteers and goes through an ongoing expansion.



“I Love Valley of Hope” Carnival Coming Soon!!!



Refer to the above matter, we, Save Valley of Hope Solidarity Group, together initiated by Sg.Buloh Settlement Council, will organize a carnival for the public titled , "I Love Valley of Hope" Carnival, on 8-9 December 2007, in collaboration with the World Human Rights Day.


Our objective is to preserve Sg Buloh Settlement as a heritage for mankind. This 2 days carnival is expected to attract 300 people including children and adults.

Through this carnival, we believe we can:
- Firmly acknowledge the immortality right of living of the lepers patients in Sg Buloh Leprosy Settlement.
- Introduce the Valley of Hope, educate and create awareness among the public regarding the importance of preserving heritage.
- Assemble the support and strength of all groups, in collaboration of saving and preserving the Sg Buloh Leprosy Settlement as National Heritage.

Following are the details of the carnival

Initiated by: Sungai.Buloh Settlement Council
Organiser: Save Valley of Hope Solidarity Group
Co-organiser: Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Youth, Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) and Lost Generation Space
Supportive Media: Photo Creator Magazine

Title: “I Love Valley of Hope” Carnival
Date: 8 - 9 December 2007 (Saturday & Sunday)
Time: 8 Dec (10am)- 9 Dec (3pm)
Venue: Dewan Orang Ramai, Sg.Buloh Leprosy Settlement
Programme:


Background


Lastly, Valley of Hope Solidarity Group hope that the public will join us together in the carnival. In the mean time, we also hope to have sponsorship from the public on running this programme.


Any donation or sponsorship, please bank in to KL& Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section. Please state

“Donate/Sponsor to I Love Valley of Hope Carnival” on the receipt and send it to 03-22724089.

Bank: Public Bank Berhad
Account’s name: The KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Account’s number: 3077138310

For further details and enquiry, contact Ms Chua 012-7355025 or Ms Choong 019-3503563 and also visit our website:

http://valleyofhope.blogspot.com/

4 comments:

kay said...

I wish you all best wishes. The Valley of Hope is a precious history not only for the people of Malaysia. It is part of world legacy. Glad that people of Malaysia is responding to preserve it. This is the correct way. K Yamaguchi

straits mongrel said...

you people are a gem. thank you for wanting this and realising it. i'll be there this weekend; and many more i'm sure.

massa said...

hi,
can anyone from the organizer post the map to the location of the carnival a.s.ap?? I think many people not really familiar with the place + outside of the city. Poodien

massa said...

hi,
can anyone from the organizer post the map to the location of the carnival a.s.ap?? I think many people not really familiar with the place + outside of the city. Poodien