The tin mining industry in Malaysia is one of its major exports and has been classified as its oldest industrial heritage. According to the Malaysian Department of Statistics, the mining sector continues to be significant, supplying basic raw materials to the construction and manufacturing sectors enabling Malaysia's economic growth. Until the late 1970s, Malaysia was the world's premier producer of tin, supplying some 40 per cent of the world's tin. Peninsular Malaysia contributes the highest percentage of this mining production and the biggest mining area is situated in Perak, comprising the Larut and Kinta Valleys (Ipoh, Gopeng, Kampar, Batu Gajah), and also the Klang Valley (Kuala Lumpur). However, due to a global recession in 1929 to 1932 a severe decline occurred in this industry. This decline affected the price of tin that fell sharply due to a lack of demand from European markets and caused the closure of many tin mines. In Peninsular Malaysia, there are more than 113,700 ha of ex-tin mining area and the majority of these area are former tin mining sites. This paper reviews the history and geography of this decline, linked to the build and landscape heritage conservation implication of this decline. With the current rapid development and modernization of Perak state, the insistence on the human needs has caused changes to its moribund tin mining landscapes. One of the main concerns of this paper is that most of these abandoned mine areas have been reclaimed and converted into more profitable land uses such as residential areas, commercial activities, agriculture and also for recreation purposes with little respect for its heritage merits.
Key words: Heritage Mining Conservation,Industrial Heritage, Cultural Landscapes, Perak ex-Tin Mining places.
Suriati Ahmad, Deakin University, Australia
Stream: Asian Studies
This paper is part of the ACAS2013 Conference Proceedings (View)
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