Feb 18, 2005
KUALA LUMPUR: Future missions to unearth the secrets of the lost city of Kota Gelanggi will depend on the maiden expedition to locate the site next month and the findings submitted to the Cabinet in August.
“What’s important is that come August, we’ll have the report and decide whether we should conduct further research,” said Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar's centennial celebration.
Dr Rais said several scientific observations would be made in Johor.
“What we are concerned about is the history of Peninsular Malaysia at that time.
“But we have to be careful and not make any announcements that will confuse the public until the experts are clear on the real situation,” he said, adding that his Cabinet colleagues wanted to know more about the lost city.
The expedition members would comprise independent researcher Raimy Che-Ross and experts from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, the Johor Heritage Foundation, the Johor Forestry Department and the Malaysian Centre For Remote Sensing.
Department of Museums and Antiquities director-general Datuk Dr Adi Taha said the members would have their first meeting on Feb 24 and hoped to start the expedition by the middle of next month.
“Although the site in Johor may be of a different name, we’ll use Kota Gelanggi as the working name for the project. The first phase is to make sure the site exists and we’ll carry on from there,” he said.
Dr Rais also said his ministry would be organising a writing competition on local history to create interest in the country’s history among Malaysians.
“We hope the contest will stir the community's love for local history, especially of their hometowns and villages,” he said.
He hoped that with the competition, more Malaysians would write about local history instead of relying on foreigners.