Recently appointed as adjunct lecturer to UTP, Ian Anderson, founder and Managing Director of ipohWorld gave his inaugural lecture to a mixed audience of staff and students on Wednesday, March 7. The venue was the magnificent library of the astonishingly beautiful campus at Universiti Teknologi Petronas.

Ian’s subject was “Ipoh and the Kinta valley: Heritage Lost” and the session was divided into three parts, a brief history of the valley from Teluk Intan to Tanjung Rambutan; a look at what is heritage and why is it important; and a review of the state of heritage preservation as it exists today on a town-by-town basis.

Ian spoke in his own lively and passionate way and the audience were thrilled with his portrayal of the Kinta Valley’s fascinating history and his non-stop account of why history is interesting.

After asking the audience what is heritage and not receiving a reply, he reminded them that: “Heritage is everything that was here when you were born, as well as the things you leave behind for your children’s children” and why the younger generation today should care for their heritage before it is too late. “Heritage belongs to everybody!” he stressed.

The 55-minute session ended with a, straight from the shoulder, description of the terrible state of many of the old historic buildings across the valley and the suggestion that many of them could be saved to improve the quality of life for the people where much needed cultural and community activities are not available. Ian concluded with an appeal to the audience to take more interest and action to safeguard their heritage for future generations.

A lively question time followed with questions like “Young people don’t like to preserve their own heritage, how do we encourage them to do so?” Ian replied in depth and at one stage there was much discussion about the school history book and the way history is taught.

 A lucky draw marked the end of the talk where two students of UTP; one from Senegal and the other Malaysian received a copy of Ian’s book, “Ipoh, My Hometown” as the prize.

Surprisingly, rather than leaving the venue at the end the audience swarmed Ian with more questions, photographs and even a video interview for the university magazine.

Chris Chong