Thursday, November 20, 2008

Penang may lose World Heritage site status if...

An artist’s impression of the Rice Miller boutique hotel which will be built in Weld Quay, George Town. It is one of four projects to be carried out in the island’s heritage zone, a move that could threaten Penang’s World Heritage Site listing.
Buildings like the above can be found in many parts of Malaysia, particularly in the Straits Settlement areas of coastal regions such as Penang, Pangkor, Malacca, (Singapore), the city of Kuala Lumpur, and holiday places . These are a legacy left behind by our British colonial forefathers.

Some of these buildings are still used as residences while others have been converted to mini-musuems, art galleries while some others have been destroyed and replaced with modern-day high-rises.

The Malaysian government places importance to these buildings and are retaining them as well as restoring the more significant ones.

The island of Penang, which played a key role in colonial times, have many buildings from that era. However, in the name of development, some of them have been replaced. Penang is right now in a bind over one of these buildings as it has been approved to be replaced by a high-rise hotel. Any structure above 18m or roughly 5-storys high, will render Penang as being not complying to the guidelines of the UNESCO World Heritage site. This could result in Penang's delisting.

Source: The Star

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