MALAYSIA AGRICULTURE PARK
A Gift to Humanity
(Text by Dato’ Dr. A. Mustaffa Babjee)
The Malaysia Agriculture Park at Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam in Shah Alam, Selangor began as Malaysia’s first agricultural theme park. It has now become one of the nation’s most popular parks, with live demonstrations, dynamic permanent displays, cultural exhibits, recreational facilities, accommodation, picnic areas, open-air amphitheatres, nature trails, public amenities and numerous educational opportunities.
It is a magnet for day-trippers, tourists, campers, anglers, naturalists, birders, families, excursion groups, hikers, school children, university students and research scientists, as well as farmers, agriculturalists, nature-lovers and visitors from all over Malaysia and the globe.
This book does not attempt to reproduce the unique experience that a visit creates, but it does offer the armchair-traveller a vivid overview of the concept, scope and versality of this unique “gift to mankind”. When completed, the Park will be a place for the average man to look, learn and educate himself.
MESSAGE FROM PRIME MINISTER OF MALAYSIA
Although agriculture has come a long way in this country, there is a great need to develop more dynamic technological innovations, especially in rural sector, to ensure overall balanced development.
Towards this end, I am delighted that a number of approaches are undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture to stimulate as well as enhance the development of agricultural activities. The establishment of the Agriculture Park is a case in point. The Park enables farmers not only to continually tap and draw knowledge from the latest advancement in agro-technology, but also offers recreational facilities.
The pictorial book is a testimony of the success of the Park. It is my hope that it will convey not only the essence of the Agriculture Park but also something of the living reality that is agriculture.
DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
MESSAGE BY THE FOUNDER OF THE AGRICULTURE PARK
There has always been a burning desire in my heart to leave something different, apolitical and worthwhile for posterity – something that we and our great grandchildren would be proud of. I dreamed of a microcosm of the Ministry of Agriculture’s activities in rural development, extension, training, research, food production and poverty eradication, set in an inspirational and appealing environment.
I requested MARDI to look for a suitable place for the project which I had in mind. Once found, I provided the motivation and the catalyst to the staff of my Ministry and they in turn added their dreams to mine and together we launched The Agriculture Park on 12 May 1986.
The freedom given to my officials to create a unique park, stimulated the emergence of hidden talents and the crystalisation of ideas into realities. My only guideline to them was to cite the work of a few dreamers of the past who have left such inspirational legacies to the world as the Alhambra in Spain, the Tivoli Gardens in Italy, and Disneyland in USA.
I conceived the Agriculture Park as a place of intellectual beauty where aesthetics and science are integrated into poetic expressions – a softening of the hard sciences with the gentle embrace of the art. The park is also an attempt to strike a balance between our past and our future, our culture and our advancement, and our environment and our needs.
YAB Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad said, “Many, many things must be done by many, many people. And they must be done as correctly as possible.” He also said, “We should be a developed country in our own mold.”
The Agriculture Park is one of the many, many things done by many, many people in a manner of our own. It provides numerous scope for education, research, conservation, recreation and tourism.
Agriculture has often been associated with poverty. I know poverty, I have tasted poverty, I see poverty everyday, I devoted a greater part of my time to poverty eradication and I have even declared a holy war on poverty. I also know that poverty could never be eradicated, if poverty is measured in monetary terms and relative income. But I also see so much wealth in “poor” people, their talents, their hospitality, their innocence, their smiles and their traditions. At the Park, I hope you will see the richness of agriculture.
Our value systems have been strongly influenced by norms that place monetary gains above all other values. If this trend continues, we will end up being poor in the attributes of a truly developed and cultured nation. The Prime Minister had emphasised, “We must be fully developed in terms of national unity and social cohesion, in terms of our economy, in terms of cultural and social justice, political stability, system of government, quality of life, social and spiritual values, national pride and confidence.” The total value concept is also the philosophy behind the Agriculture Park’s theme. Once we appreciate the total value philosophy, we will no longer be poor.
Minister of Agriculture Malaysia
MESSAGE FROM MINISTER OF CULTURE, ARTS AND TOURISM
Malaysia Agriculture Park is a testimony of the Government efforts to preserve our natural attractions as an invaluable heritage for the enjoyment of our future generation.
The unique quality and beautiful features of the Park give visitors a rare glimpse into Malaysia’s rich agricultural heritage covering every facet of our country’s culture, history, geography and natural environment.
This book is indeed a commendable effort by the Ministry of Agriculture to stimulate interest and awareness of the Park and serves as an excellent reference for tourists. I also wish to congratulate the publisher, Design Dimension Sdn. Bhd. for their contributions in making this project possible.
DATO’ SABARUDDIN CHIK
If there are projects on the ground today with the vision 2020, one of them is without a doubt the Agriculture Park Malaysia. Surrounded by areas of intense urbanisation and industrialisation, the park promises to remain the primary green heritage for millions of city dwellers of the 21st Century. Parks and green spaces as well as rural traditions will become a rarity and will be much sought after by an industrialised Malaysia. In this respect the park not only has special features but also a strategic location to attract large numbers of local and foreign visitors. Its very concept as dreamed up by Sanusi Junid, ”as a gift to mankind”, will be appreciated much more by the future generations.