BANTING: Collecting antiques and historical artefacts is generally viewed as a hobby but this may change by looking at it as an educational platform to foster a sense of patriotism or love for the country and appreciate the country’s heritage and history.
This view prompted Tanjung Sepat assemblyman Borhan Aman Shah, 60, to start his huge collection of antiques and historical artefacts in a special room at his residence in Kampung Batu Laut, Kuala Langat, which reflects his deep interest in the country’s history and culture.
He built a special gallery next to his house in 2019 which houses about 500 antique items that Borhan has collected, some of them hundreds of years old.
“Among the oldest items are a copper tray I bought in 1915; a cengal wooden cupboard belonging to my grandfather that is over 100 years old; an old fireman’s bicycle from 1959 that still has a working siren, and many more. The selection of items here is quite random – as long as it has value and a story attached to it, it is already priceless.
“For example, I have kain belacu (calico fabric) that was made from a wheat flour sack in the 1950s, which is beautifully on display in this gallery as it tells the story of how difficult it was for people in the past to make clothes using what they had then compared with now as clothes can be bought anywhere,” he told Bernama.
Borhan, a native of Kampung Batu, said that most of the items in his gallery were collected or bought over the past 30 years, with some inherited from his family and most of them still work well.
He also explained that many items were contributed by certain individuals, and it was only appropriate for items with a history for an individual or family to be kept and cared for so that they can be shown to their grandchildren in the future.
“Plant the seeds of love to family history, even if our family members are not freedom fighters. By loving the history of the family heritage, we will teach our children to love the country’s history,” he said.
Undoubtedly, Borhan’s gallery is very close to his heart, and as the Selangor Rural Development, Village Traditions, Malay Customs, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman, he is also responsible for institutions such as museums and galleries in the state that play an important role in fostering a sense of love of history and culture.
In line with the process of upgrading the Sultan Alam Shah Museum in Persiaran Bandaraya, Shah Alam, which is expected to be open next year, Borhan said a variety of new attractions will also be on display, especially using technology such as 3D to attract young people to understand and appreciate history.
As of now, about 6,382 historical artefacts in the state have been registered at the museum, including weapons, Malay textiles and traditional clothing as well as excavation finds.
He said that in addition to the Sultan Alam Shah Museum, there are six other museums that exhibit a variety of historical artefacts, namely the Kuala Selangor District Historical Museum and the Traditional Folk Games Museum, also in the Kuala Selangor district; Jugra Insitu Museum and Istana Bandar in Kuala Langat; Sabak Bernam Agriculture and Fisheries Museum and the Gedung Raja Abdullah in Klang.
In conjunction with National Day, the state government also calls on and hopes that people in the state will brighten up the atmosphere by flying the Jalur Gemilang and the Selangor flag at all premises and houses.
“The state government also launched the state-level celebration, themed #KitaSelangor, Teguh Bersama, and celebrate the theme at the national level, ‘Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama’,” he said. – Bernama