April 17, 2024

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UTM’s Scholarly Prowess Champions Ipoh’s Journey to UNESCO ‘City of Music’ Accolade

Johor Bahru, 26 November 2023 – Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, has been declared a ‘City of Music’ by the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). This recognition is a significant cultural achievement that highlights the city’s rich musical heritage and vibrant creative industry. The successful bid was initiated by Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh (MBI), with substantial support from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). The Tourism Planning Research Group (TPRG) from the Faculty of Built Environment and Surveying, UTM (FABU) played a paramount role in this achievement. TPRG, led by Prof. Amran Hamzah and comprising Prof. Mohammad Rafee Majid, Dr. Nadzirah Hosen, Mr. Yong Jia Yaik, Mr. Rosli Nooruddin, Mrs. Nur Hasimah Baharudin, Ms. Nur Syarah Mahadzir, and Mrs. Norjanah Mohd Bakri, was commissioned by MBI to prepare the official dossier for submission to UNESCO. The bid received contributions from People of Remarkable Talents (PORT) Ipoh and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (MOTAC). However, it was the TPRG team’s thorough research and consistent efforts that played a fundamental role in composing the submission, contributing significantly to the successful outcome.

The designation of Ipoh as a city of music is not just a title, but a recognition of its long-standing commitment to nurturing and promoting its musical traditions. This designation will bring many benefits to Ipoh, including city branding, economic growth from tourism, cultural exchange programs, and a stronger presence in the global music industry. These benefits will also lead to innovations in the creative industry. Professor Amran Hamzah, who led the effort, expressed his team’s satisfaction, saying, “This is a proud moment for all of us at UTM and for every resident of Ipoh. Our goal was to showcase Ipoh’s unique musical identity to the world, and we are thrilled to see this vision become a reality.”

Ipoh has recently been designated as a ‘City of Music’ by UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN), joining Kuching in Sarawak, which was acknowledged as a ‘City of Gastronomy’ by the UCCN in 2021. This recognition not only marks a national triumph but also showcases Malaysia’s cultural prowess on the global stage. As a part of the prestigious ranks of global music cities, Ipoh is now poised for a future filled with vibrant cultural development and international collaboration opportunities.

For more information on the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, including its objectives, member cities, and activities, visit https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/home.

Article by Nadzirah Hosen

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