"We will bring back historical documents"
Malaysian minister has said that to prevent future repeats of the Pedra Branca saga, efforts are being made to bring back historical records from overseas. -The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Efforts to bring back historical records from overseas are ongoing, Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said yesterday.
"The ministry has been retrieving these documents but this is an international issue," he said after opening the 16th International Council on Archives (ICA) Congress here.
It is understood that most of the documents are in Britain and Spain and were taken out of the country prior to Malaysia achieving independence.
Shafie said the documents would help prevent future losses of territory due to a lack of records.
"The recent case involving Batu Puteh (Pedra Branca) was a lesson to all, even though documentation was not the sole factor that caused the island to slip from our hands," he said.
He said the congress would provide professional networking among archivists and experts to make it easier for Malaysia to bring back long-lost documents.
"Previously, we also sought co-operation from international bodies like the United Kingdom Department of Archives, as in the case of Sipadan and Ligitan."
In 2002, the International Court of Justice ruled that the islands off the coast of Sabah belonged to Malaysia.
The congress, which is held for the first time in Southeast Asia, has drawn 1,200 archivists and professionals from 138 countries to discuss the challenges confronting the profession and to set a trend for the new millennium.
Held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the congress is also attended by ICA president Lorenz Mikoletzky. It ends on Saturday.
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