Prime Minister YAB Datuk Seri Mohamad Najib Tun Razak today officially launched MY story: Transforming the Nation, an exhibition at Galeri PETRONAS undertaken by the Alumni Association of Administrative and Diplomatic Officers (PTD) showcasing the sterling role of civil service in the birthing and transformation of Malaya to Malaysia.
The presence of Datuk Seri Najib at the launching ceremony also marked his inaugural visit to Galeri PETRONAS since its opening in 1993. Also present at the event were Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, Chairman of PETRONAS, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamza, Chief Secretary to the Government and Tan Sri Sallehuddin Mohamad, President of the Alumni Association of Administrative and Diplomatic Officers. As a former Chief Secretary to the Government and an alumni member of the Association, PETRONAS’ Chairman, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan hailed the hosting of MY story: Transforming the Nation exhibition which reflects the contributions and dedication of the Civil Service to the building of the nation.
“The Civil Service is a vital socio-economic asset to the nation as it is primarily charged to create a framework for excellence in service delivery and in helping organise the best way to deliver modern public services sans the bureaucracy to the both businesses and individuals,” he said.
Speaking at the launch, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek added the Civil Service played a symbiotic yet synergistic role in providing the experience and steady hand in meeting and exceeding the expectations of public service from the rakyat.
“While our fellow citizens have some understanding of the roles and responsibility of the civil service, their understanding is mostly limited and very much so because the Civil Service by nature has been ‘low-key’ in its quiet and diligent service to the Government of the day while overseeing the administration of the nation.
“Nevertheless, it certainly is no mean achievement that the civil service is credited for successfully formulating and implementing many plans and initiatives which are evident from the progress and prosperity which we all enjoy to date,” he added.
MY story: Transforming the Nationrecords the significant contributions of the Civil Service based on a book entitled “At the Forefront of Nation Building” – Perspectives from the Administrative and Diplomatic Service published in conjunction with the PPTD’s 25 anniversary celebrations.
Curated by Sheena Gurbakhash and Fiona Ghaus, and designed by Vicky Lee, the exhibition chronicles some of the iconic moments and developments in Malaysian history including the Second World War, the Malayan Emergency, the launch of the Rural Economic Development (RED) Book, the formulation of Rukun Negara (National Philosophy), the KL Great Floods of 1971, Prisoners of War after the fall of Singapore, Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and many more.
The exhibition also traces the flowering of Malaysian art that took place since the 1940’s by showcasing rare and less accessible pieces by Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal, Ibrahim Hussein, Dato’ Chuah Thean Teng, the collaborative work of Sulaiman Esa and Redza Piyadasa, Zulkifli Dahalan and Ivan Lam.
Since opening its doors in 1993, Galeri PETRONAS has organised over 170 local and international exhibitions and hosted over 1.5 million visitors, confidently etching its name as Malaysia’s response to a world class art gallery while promoting “Art for Everyone”.
Throughout 2013, Galeri PETRONAS showcased 10 stunning exhibitions and played host to 81,437 visitors.
To date, the PETRONAS Art Collection has amassed over 1,300 modern and contemporary artworks, including those by Malaysian Modern Masters such as the late Datuk Syed Ahmad Jamal, Yong Mun Sen, Abdullah Ariff and Latiff Mohidin. Notable artworks in the collection include ‘Daun Agave dan Pago-Pago’ by Latiff Mohidin.
According to Tan Sri Mohd Sidek, the idea to set up Galeri PETRONAS came about when then-PETRONAS President, the late Tun Azizan Zainul Abidin, suggested creating a small gallery in Dayabumi’s podium to accommodate artworks from the National Art Gallery, which was then being refurbished.
“Galeri PETRONAS’ quest is to bring to the public a world of grander artistic excellence, reaching beyond accepted conventions and treading bravely without reservations, inhibitions or fear. This is what Galeri PETRONAS is ultimately about – of choosing boldly and carefully so that art can be revealed at its fullest, at its loveliest, as it should be,” he said.
The MY story: Transforming the Nation exhibition is currently open for viewing at the Galeri PETRONAS, Level 3, Suria KLCC from 10 am to 8 pm, Tuesday to Sunday. The exhibition ends on September 16, 2014. Admission is free.
MY story: Transforming the Nation is supported by the National Archives of Malaysia, National Visual Arts Gallery, National Museum of Malaysia and Department of Information Malaysia and funded by the Government of Malaysia.
Exhibitions and programmes by Galeri PETRONAS are in line with PETRONAS’ philosophy that embodies the organisation’s long-term commitment towards nurturing, promoting and preserving Malaysian arts to create a holistic society.