Penang Governor Tun Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak graced the launching ceremony of the book entitled “Timeless Penang: Tradition in Transition.

The event was held at Anjung Seri Mutiara where some 100 guests gathered.

Among those present were the co-author/editor of the book, Prof Emerita Dato’ Seri Dr. Wazir Jahan Karim, Marus Langdon, Siti Kamariah Subki, general manager of Yayasan Hasanah, Prof. Dr. Habibah A. Wahab, vice chancellor of Universiti Sains Malaysia (Research & Innovation) among others.

The governor praised the writers for having completed the book which was completed with the input of talented local writers from Penang.

“I had requested Prof Emerita Dato’ Seri Dr. Wazir, at the early stage in the formulation of the book, that I wanted the indigenous voices of the writers to be heard. Such voices should not to simply echo a colonial or post-colonial discourse of Penang as a sovereign state in transformation, but also to dwell into the complexities of conservation of our heritage and traditions in the wake of a fast-growing economy confronted with contestations over land and resources.

“I am happy to note that this important dimension has been adequately addressed in the book. The writers have successfully captured the essence of the dynamics of sustainable transformation, both in structure and content, emphasising that heritage and conservation continues to play an important role in the evolution of a state from a mercantile to an industrial and global economy.

“The writers were in agreement that Penang has a captivating geographical and cultural landscape, that development should not be at the expense of uprooting indigenous life-styles along the hillsides, padi plains and coastal shorelines of this beautiful island. 

“We may find it hard to preserve its pristine beauty as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’ but the state is committed to upholding its promise to protect and preserve those pristine areas and sites which can play an important role in the development of the ecotourism industry in Penang”, said Tun Ahmad Fuzi.

He also added that the book is an eye-opener to the growing issue of sustainability, andits sub-title, ‘tradition in transition’, captures the essence of Penang’s future. 

“There is a pressing need to conserve and nurture what is given, in natural, cultural and human resources and, at the same time, to choose a path of growth which can generate new wealth for the people, in accordance with the needs of all generations, in particular, our youth, which
forms our most productive work force today”, he added. 

In the meantime, Prof Emerita Dato’ Seri Dr. Wazir traced the immense sacrifice, work and dedication required to complete the book.

“I also thank all of the writers for their commendable work which ha finally helped us compete the book”, she added.

The project was supported by Think-City, Habitat Foundation and Iskandar Malaysia Studios.