Arts & CultureFeaturedHERITAGE

Think City Helps Community Prosper Via Cultural Economy Catalytic Grants

Our country is abundantly blessed with natural resources and also displays a wealth of natural beauties, whether it be heritage sites or caves over 100 years old.

However, many sites of unique significance often get little to no attention as we have come to focus more on the conventional mindset of valuing high-rise buildings. 

Value doesn’t necessarily come from having the tallest tower or skyscraper, but rather it is the capacity to preserve the throwback aesthetic and introduce the natural locale to visitors. 

Gua Kajang, Lenggong, Perak

Instead of creating a new product, the best impression of a location can be made by leveraging heritage assets, taking advantage of what we have and giving it a new life. 

Working jointly with the Ministry of Finance, Think City came up with the Cultural Economy Catalytic Grants that will help people flourish while also reviving and restoring the area’s historical value. 

This grants are open to individuals or groups, as well as non-governmental parties that have a common goal to give deserted or under-shadowed areas a fresh start again.

Director of Culture-based Economic Development, Dr. Ceelia Leong said the funds will be distributed to the community who have a heart to enliven their area. On top of that, the three main foci of the grants would be content creation, capacity building, and advocacy and demonstration.

Although the kick-off of the project focused on towns such as Lenggong, Taiping and Kuala Kangsar, the grants actually highlight the entire Northern region of Peninsula Malaysia. 

Did you know that Taiping is listed as the third most sustainable city in the world and the oldest evidence of early human habitation was unearthed in Lenggong? The discovery and establishment make them very important sites not just for the people living in the country but for the world! 

The oldest Malaysian Railway station in Taiping, Perak
Suevite formation at the epicentre of a meteorite impact dated 1.87 million years ago in Lenggong, Perak.

“We are choosing the story to be told based on its heritage significance, not the place. Other than to boost the tourism ecosystem, the project aims to help the people prosper by making use of the existing historical sites. 

“Restoring and curating heritage places will transform them into interesting places. Hence, they ought to be protected and preserved,” Dr. Ceelia explained.

Criteria for eligibility of grant:

Anything that makes information more accessible to the people as well as enhances visitors’ experience. In addition to tourism boost, the aim of the grants is to encourage different levels of businesses to blossom. 

  1. Content Creation: E.g creating a cultural map, publishing a book that tells a story of Perak, running workshops and digitalisation of business.
  2. Capacity Building and Advocacy: E.g upskilling the community, establishing online presence, entrepreneur programme for B40 communities and Citizen Scientist programme. 
  3. Demonstration: E.g Conservation of a traditional Malay house, financial support for artisan and local projects, restoring old buildings into a community gallery, curation of programmes in the important sites among others. 

It is a golden opportunity to revivify the former glory of neglected places. To understand more about the grants, visit or contact Think City at 017-4598829.

Proposal submissions are open from April 11 till May 22 and there will be a six-week assessment period until July 4. Approved applicants will then be given five months to implement the proposal. 


Gisele Soo


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