KOTA KINABALU: The State Museum is currently showcasing a photograph collection entitled “Peace Corps in Malaysia – 50 years of Enduring Bond, 1962-1963″.
The exhibition materials contributed by the US Embassy Kuala Lumpur was officially handed over to Sabah Museum in a ceremony officiated by Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun here yesterday.
US Ambassador to Malaysia, Paul W Jones, said the exhibition was part of the their programme held across Malaysia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps in the country.
Jones said the showcasing of the collection was meant to celebrate the bond and friendship between US and the people of Malaysia that have been nurtured through the various activities organized by the Peace Corps since setting foot here in 1962.
He said thousands of Peace Corps volunteers have served in Malaysia where they helped improve the living quality of the local communities through sharing of their expertise in education, health and agriculture, among others.
“The Peace Corps have changed many, many lives and opened the window to the world. Undeniably they have created a lasting impact not just on the community wherever they served but they also created an enduring ties between our countries,” he said.
Jones noted more than 210,000 Americans have served in various countries under the Peace Corps to date, out of which more than 4,000 have been stationed in Malaysia. In the 90s, Malaysia was among the countries with the biggest number of Peace Corps volunteers, he added.
Meanwhile, Masidi in his speech, said the 50th anniversary celebration was a time to recollect the past and show appreciation to the contribution of the volunteers, and more importantly to look at the future and how the two countries can further improve ties and collaboration for mutual benefits.
He said the historical relationship between America and Sabah went back much further, about 148 years, to 1865 when the American Consul to Borneo, Charles Lee Moses, obtained a large tract of land which consisted most of the modern day Sabah right up to Balabac and Palawan.
In fact, although it was the British who then ruled Sabah, it was the Americans who headed and pioneered the State’s forestry, he said.