's Boundary Matters Malaysia
Role of the National Archives of
Malaysia ( ) in Boundary Research NAM
Importance of Historical Archives
What Are Archivists Looking For?
Researching Archives & Locating Evidence
- Effective record keeping must be enforced at all levels of government with the cooperation of staff and officers at all levels - The dearth of evidence points to poor records management practices in government department. The NAM have come to realize that records, especially those that have legal significance, should be well preserved in all government departments even while they are current, through a legally enforced administrative system that is answerable to the National Archives.
- That there should be a culture of record keeping - A culture is something ingrained in the habits and way of life of the people. This culture could be started right from the formative years of a child through the school curricula. Every institution and even families should be expected to documents its own history through the family archives. For a child, the habit could well start from keeping diaries or calendars of events.
- That all documents on potential disputes should be obtained and secured before the disputes develop into deeper levels of animosity – One should not wait for a conflict to begin, before looking for documents. Records relating to the territorial integrity of a nation should not only be identified and acquired well in advance of a conflict, but also well preserved and protected. All attempts must be made to acquire maps, gazettes, treaties and laws, as well as judicial records, among others.
- That should preliminary evidence not be available, archivists should not give up the challenge prematurely but persevere in following up all possible leads. The guiding principle should be “to seek, to strive, to find and not to yield” – This means that the search for documentary evidence relating to territorial integrity must be institutionalized as a division within the Archives, the Foreign Ministry, Mapping and Survey Department as well as the Armed Forces. A researcher with a legal mind, who is not just an administrative officer, must be entrusted to lead the particular research division in these institutions.