Set to ignite the Merdeka festivities, PNB Merdeka Ventures Sdn. Berhad (PMVSB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), invites Malaysians to once again experience a Celebration of Music, Arts, & Culture with the return of PESZTA! In collaboration with Think City, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) and Yayasan Lim Yee Hoh, the one-day festival will be held on August 26, 2023 in Kampung Attap within the vicinity of the Merdeka 118 precinct, to revive the spirit of Merdeka festivities.
PESZTA is an acronym made up of the locations of where the activities will be held in this vibrant arts and cultural hub in Kampung Attap namely Pentago House, Sam Mansion & The Zhongshan Building. With the aim of celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Malaysians, PESZTA will feature a myriad of programmes, including community markets, workshops and performances, among others. The participating venues located within the vicinity of Kampung Attap and are within walking distance from Petaling Street includes The Zhongshan Building, Sam Mansion, Triptyk, Pentago House, The Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, The HEART and the newly established Pusat Kesenian DBKL.
PNB Merdeka Ventures’ Chief Executive Officer, Tengku Dato’ Ab. Aziz Tengku Mahmud said, “PESZTA is a great platform to celebrate our upcoming 66th Merdeka Day. In a historic enclave brimming with diverse culture, arts and heritage, the festival truly encapsulates Malaysia’s identity as a nation. As we gear up for the opening of Merdeka 118, it is even more important that we support and empower the community in this area to showcase and champion our rich local heritage. Given the success of PESZTA last year, we are determined to create an even more memorable Merdeka-filled celebration this year.”
Visitors will be spoilt for choice in experiencing the nation’s history and culture. PESZTA offers an immersive experience of the Merdeka 118 precinct and surrounding area. The Merdeka 118 Stories Room will allow visitors to truly feel the spirit of Merdeka using AI technology. Situated on The Zhongshan Building’s rooftop, visitors can also experience Merdeka 118 Memories with the tower in sight. Visitors will also be able to join various cultural workshops, offering a first-hand experience in making a Mak Yong Headpiece or even participating in a Food Fermentation workshop. Visitors can also get a touch of modernity with the traditional in the Masakan Kampung Vegan workshop, where visitors learn how to substitute vegan-friendly ingredients in traditional dishes.
To make sure there is something for everyone, food lovers can also enjoy the multiple delicacies that will be on site. Food vendors from all over Malaysia will be ready to satisfy everyone’s tastebuds.
The festival also includes participatory art, a photography workshop and exhibition. Led by director and producer Aliff Zulkifli, the workshop will guide participants in mobile photography compositions to tell a story. Selected photographs will then be displayed as part of the exhibition. Visitors can also try out participatory art with KLC Trash Workshop where visitors can turn their trash into a piece of art they can later take home. The Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall will also hold an exhibition entitled Legend of the Century: Loke Yew to commemorate their 100th year anniversary.
Also joining PESZTA are the recipients of the Merdeka 118 Community Grants Programme, who are from the surrounding neighborhoods. This includes grant recipient IIUM’s Smart Stingless Beekeeping in collaboration with the community from Perumahan Awam Seri Sarawak who will be showcasing and selling stingless bee honey-based products such as soap and honey during PESZTA, amongst other vendors.
Set to create a festive atmosphere, live music performances such as guzheng, string ensemble music and blues bands will accompany visitors throughout the festival. PESZTA will culminate with a celebration of popular acts in Malaysia’s music scene with performances by Zee Avi as well as Alena Murang, a singer-songwriter and sape’ player who sings in endangered languages, including Kelabit and Kenyah, alongside local bands, Carburetor Dung and Manis Manis.
PESZTA was born as a result of the Merdeka 118 Community Grants Programme which started in 2021. Organised in partnership with stakeholders from DBKL, private sector as well as local artists and communities, the festival is open to all. There will also be a lucky draw to win a visit up to the Merdeka 118 tower (terms and conditions apply).
Ample parking spaces are available within the vicinity, however visitors are encouraged to use public transport. Kampung Attap is easily accessible by Maharajalela monorail station or by Pasar Seni LRT/MRT/bus station with a 10-minute walk.
For more information on PESZTA, check out Merdeka 118’s official social media platforms and the official PESZTA Instagram page.