Perak Man to return 'home'

LENGGONG, Malaysia - The Federal Government has agreed to return Perak Man to its "home" here.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the skeletal remains would be returned after a special container for it was ready.

"The specification to build the container was set by Unesco. It has to be ensured that it can maintain the right temperature to preserve the skeleton," he said after attending the ceremony to celebrate Lenggong Valley as a Unesco World Heritage Site here yesterday.

"Hopefully, it can be done within the next two years," he said,

Dr Rais said RM30 million (S$12 million) was allocated to upgrade and build facilities for the exhibition centre, archaeology museum and the Lenggong Gallery here.

He said all upgrading work would start next January.

The Government, he said, had chosen two other places - Taman Negara and Batu Caves - to be proposed as World Heritage Sites.

However, as Malaysia was a member of the World Heritage Committee, the Government would only propose it to Unesco after 2015 when its membership expires, Dr Rais said.

"Otherwise, it will be seen as a conflict of interest if we were to propose it now," he said, adding that preparations of the dossier for Taman Negara was still at the preliminary stage while that for Batu Caves was brought up during a Cabinet meeting a week ago.

Dr Rais said the National Heritage Department would carry out studies to prepare the necessary documents for the two places.

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