SUNGAI PETANI, 23 May 2016 – The organisation of the Kedah Tua Festival (FKT) 2016 for 3 days at the Sungai Batu Archaeological Site has made an impact in featuring the early Kedah Tua civilisation and establishing it as an icon on the world map.
According to Kedah Religious Affairs, Tourism, Heritage and Public Works Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid, the successful organisation of the programme can be seen with the gathering of more than 25 presenters and 300 participants from all over the world during the three day festival.
Reading the speech of the Kedah Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah during the closing ceremony of FKT 2016, Mohd Rawi said the festival has also provided insightful knowledge of Sungai Batu within the Kedah Tua civilisation to the visitors while strengthening the sense of togetherness among the people of Kedah.
“I am very proud to know that FKT 2016 had attracted more than 3,000 visitors and I sincerely hope that this programme could be continued in the future,” he added.
Meanwhile, the President of Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association (MITA), Uzaidi Udanis explained that, the initiative to organise the festival is truly commendable and MITA is fully committed in promoting Sungai Batu as a leading tourist destination in Malaysia locally and abroad, hence turning it into an icon for international tourism.
Uzaidi hoped that the local communities would take the opportunities to be involved in the tourism sector with the availability of Sungai Batu as one of the income-generation sources for them.
In the closing ceremony of FKT 2016, the Kedah Tua Declaration was also presented by Professor Dr. Stephen Oppenheimer to the Director, Centre for Global Archaeological Research (PPAG) USM, Professor Dato’ Dr. Mokhtar Saidin, who handed it over to Datuk Mohd Rawi representing the Kedah State Government, which was then forwarded by Datuk Mohd Rawi to the Deputy Director-General, National Heritage Department Malaysia, Mohd Zaky Hj Din.
Among the many exciting activities held throughout FKT 2016 were iron and bricks excavation, talks on Kedah Tua, exhibitions, performances, and competitions for school-children among others.
Also present at the closing ceremony were the District Officer of Kuala Muda Kedah, Tuan Haji Abdul Rahman Haji Ismail; Head of Education and Human Capital, Northern Corridor Implementation Authority (NCIA), Jariyah Hashim and representative from Sungai Petani Local Council, Mohd Amin Ali.
Translation: Tan Ewe Hoe
Text: Hafiz Meah Ghouse Meah / Photo: Ahmad Zulman Mohd Zain