Forum: Heritage building's concept picked after rigorous selection process

One of the seven themed interactive games available at Amazing Chambers Singapura.
One of the seven themed interactive games available at Amazing Chambers Singapura.ST PHOTO: JEREMY KWAN

We refer to the report "Criticism over heritage building's new concept" (Nov 6).

The Malay Heritage Foundation (MHF), which administers Gedung Kuning in Kampong Glam, is cognisant of the historical significance of the building.

We note there are concerns that the new concept infused into Gedung Kuning would undermine the Malay cultural identity.

In fact, preserving cultural identity was a primary consideration of the MHF board in selecting the best tenderer.

A rigorous selection process was employed involving an assessment matrix which included factors such as impact on heritage, business model sustainability and viability, as well as value-add to the existing Malay Heritage Centre and Kampong Glam precinct.

Amazing Chambers Singapura's proposal stood out from the many received for the unique and innovative way it fuses elements of our culture and history into engaging games and puzzles using technology.

It creates an interactive, immersive and fun environment for visitors to experience heritage. This value adds to our continued efforts to make heritage more accessible to the general public and more appealing to youth and students.

Gedung Kuning offers a unique setting to enliven this spirit of Kampong Glam as a premier centre of learning and exchange of ideas, a role which dates back to the 19th century.

Recently, the Kampong Gelam Digital Transformation Office was launched as part of the precinct's digital transformation and it would have been a missed opportunity if Gedung Kuning did not ride on this wave of change.

The community would be reassured to know that the relevant bodies, including the Urban Redevelopment Authority, were consulted to ensure that the new operator at the premises abides by strict guidelines to preserve the architectural integrity of the conserved building.

Since beginning operations last month, feedback and reviews on social media from participants have been very positive and encouraging.

More than just an "escape room", Amazing Chambers Singapura would also facilitate learning and intellectual exchange.

It plans to do a series of talks on Malay history, heritage and literature at its book cafe.

The MHF Board will continue to encourage the new operator to engage with stakeholders. We welcome feedback as we continue to fulfil our mission to safeguard and promote Malay heritage.

Julina Khusaini

General Manager

The Malay Heritage Foundation

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2019, with the headline 'Heritage building's concept picked after rigorous selection process'. Print Edition | Subscribe