KOTA KINABALU: The National Department of Culture and Arts (NDCA) will develop complete audio –visual records on the various musical genres, dances and cultural practices of all major ethic groups in Sabah.
Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim in announcing this yesterday, said the recordings would be compiled and archived for future reference to ensure that the state’s rich tradition and culture would not disappear amidst modernization.
“I would like to inform that NDCA as an agency under the ministry will start recording traditional local music, dances and other cultural practices of the major ethnics in Sabah, to be preserved as a national heritage in culture,” he told reporters after the launching of Sabah NDCA Complex at Km 4, Jalan Penampang.
The ceremony was jointly officiated by Rais and chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman. Also present were Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Masidi Manjun.
“If we look at the cultural performances during the launching ceremony, we can say that is a reflection of the active participation and contribution of today’s generation towards practicing and preserving their culture.
“But with all the foreign influences the younger generations are being exposed to today, we cannot guarantee that the dances and music that were performed just now would remain alive.
“As such, we will start recording them in high quality audio-visual file which we will keep as reference in our libraries," said Rais.
He added that the ministry would also encourage research activities to be conducted on Sabah’s cultural heritage, especially of the ethnics in the rural areas.
He said the State NDCA, with assistances from the headquarters in Kuala Lumpur,would then compile and publish these researches into books for archive and public readings.
Similar activities would also be carried out in Sarawak once the NDCA complex there was completed within the present T enth Malaysia Plan (RMK10), he added.
The ministry is planning to build a cultural and arts complex for every state in the country, with Sarawak and Johor expected to be next to have the NDCA building.
According to Rais, the ministry had so far built or in the process of constructing such complexes in Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Selangor, Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.
Speaking at the ceremony earlier, he said the completion of the complex in Sabah was hoped to boost cultural and arts activities in the State.
“This facility would serve as symbol to a new beginning in our efforts to elevate local culture. With facilities like this available across the country, we hope to provide a platform for preserving and promoting our tradition and cultural heritage,” he said.
He also noted that the ministry would continue organizing annual open houses to celebrate Kaamatan, Christmas and other festivities.
Cultural dancers pose in front of NDCA Complex at Jalan Penampang yesterday