Malay Heritage Centre

The Malay Heritage Centre is a very important cultural site for you to know a completely different side of Singapore, located in the Middle of Kampong Glam district, which is the gate that leads you the Islamic merchant world of Singapore. Learn more about the Islamic heritage through the Malaysian culture in the colourful Singapore.

The Malay Heritage Centre not only can be found in the middle of Kampong Glam, the Malay district but also it is located in the beautiful renovated house of the first Sultan of Singapore, Sultan Hussein Shah whose son Ali had built this attractive building about 160 years ago. Therefore, the Malay Heritage Centre is also called Istana Kampong Glam. The role of Arab and Malay traders has been always important in the South East Asian region from the medieval times. These merchants were also known as Bugis, Islamic merchants who has living for year hundreds from their trading activity between Asia and the Middle East. Due to the Islamic effect, Malay people’s religion today is still Muslim. The beautiful Kampong Glam is the Islamic quarter within Singapore, with the busy streets (together with the Arab street) full of shisha Cafés, Arabic and Islamic shops, and Arabic, Northern Indian and Indonesian Muslim inhabitants. The Kampong Glam district is the most catching during the nights of Ramadan, when everyone is happily out on the street until late night. Interesting note: the name of Kampong Glam is derived of the name of a special tree.

The Malay Heritage Centre is a great representation of all the interesting point and beauty of the Malaysian Culture. The beautiful building is located at the Sultan gate of the Malay district, on a 2-acre ground. The restored building started its operation as a heritage centre from 2004 built by the Malay Heritage Foundation.

The architectural style of the Sultan’s former residence is Palladian which is quite close to the elegant colonial style used by the British. Indeed the building had been designed by one of the most popular architect of the Imperial times George Coleman. The palace was built with imported stones and other materials. One of the most interesting features of the beautiful Malay Heritage Centre is the large Bugis style boat, the Prau entering to which you can learn a lot about the lifestyle and history of the Bugis nation. Apart from the Bugis boat, there are several interesting exhibitions held in the Malay Heritage Centre displaying artefacts of Malay artists, displaying Islamic relics and featuring old dioramas. It also has the first ever types of photographic method representing the Sultan’s Palace and the old time Kampong Glam district with the enlisting of its development and with telling about the Malaysian’s life in Singapore. You can also get to see the traditional Malay pottery-making techniques and take part in several other workshops of handmade artefacts.

The costume, dance and traditional music displays of the Malay Heritage Centre are quite notable and the attraction is widely visited by tourists and foreigners mainly, together with all those locals who would like to learn more about the local Malay culture and its developments in Singapore. The Admission fee to the Malay Heritage Centre is SGD 4 for children above 7 years old is SGD 3.

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