Mubin Sheppard: Pioneering Works in Architectural Conservation in Malaysia attempts to give a chronological account of the development and origins of Malaysian architectural conservation efforts, with particular reference to the role of the late Tan Sri Dato’ Mubin Sheppard, catalyst and leading promoter of conservation activities, who became the focus of this book. Thus, Sheppard’s contribution to the fledgling heritage conservation movement is examined against the background of the establishment and involvement of government agencies, primarily the Museums Department under the British Empire from the 18805 till the newly-implemented National Heritage Act 2005.
Malaysia, after more than 58 years as an independent nation, is one of the most progressive country in architectural development in South East Asia. In the last four decades, a conscious appreciation of architectural conservation has been established in the country. This book provides a framework for the history and development of the architectural conservation movement in Malaysia, since a large vacuum exists in this area. Using the historical interpretive method, a qualitative examination of case studies and leading prominent personnel has provided historical documentation and useful insights.
The chapter of Mubin Sheppard: Pioneering Works in Architectural Conservation in Malaysia starts with a brief review of Sheppard’s life—in particular, his work in Malaya (later Malaysia), followed by a literature review of the historical survey of conservation organisations in the United Kingdom (the British colonial motherland) to see the influence of past events and conservation practices at the time. This chapter then examines Sheppard’s contributions to notable Governmental agencies, i.e. the Department of Museums (DoM), and Non-Governmental Organisations, namely the Malayan (later Malaysian) Historical Society (MHS) and Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM or The Heritage of Malaysia Trust).
The major sources of information in Mubin Sheppard: Pioneering Works in Architectural Conservation in Malaysia include accessible reports, relevant newspaper articles and journal collections in the archives and libraries in Malaysia and the United Kingdom, and in particular, documents belonging Sheppard in the National Archives of Malaysia the University of Cambridge Library and the National Archives in the UK and collection of individuals. Studies on selected conservation projects that Sheppard participated in (notably Istana Ampang Tinggi, Masjid Kampong Laut and Istana Tengku Nik), interviews and correspondence with individuals from organisations Sheppard was involved with (MHS, DoM and BWM) and visits to the sites were conducted and provide a new perspective and knowledge on architectural conservation in the country and delineate a significant historical path for others to follow in understanding the crucial issues and challenges faced by those who carried out conservation projects in the early years in Malaysia.