Thursday, November 20, 2008

Penang - A UNESCO World Heritage Site no more?

Two Malaysian cities were designated UNESCO World Heritage sites. One is the city of Malacca, the other is Penang. Now, Penang is in a dilemma of possibly losing the status should they go ahead with the approved plan of building four high-rise hotels which would be in the heritage core and buffer zones and which violate the guidelines approved by the World Heritage Committee (WHC).

Under stringent heritage guidelines, a maximum height of 18m or roughly five storeys was set for new buildings in the two zones.

Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng, said, “Now, we’re caught in a conundrum. If we allow the buildings to go ahead, we may risk the status, but if we stop the buildings, we could be sued for hundreds of millions which will definitely bankrupt the local council."

What are your thoughts? Should this building give way to a high-rise in the name of development?

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.

Source: The Star


  1. Anonymous3:34 PM

    I hate to see old buildings bulldozed in the name of development....I would to like see serious preservation works in this country. Many countries have preserved their heritage sites and I don't see why Msia cannot follow suit.

  2. The building of the hotels had already been approved before WHC listing. The state government is in a very difficult situation, and I doubt the federal government will step in to help.

    The best hope is the people voice out their opposition to the hotel plans. Or, the owners of the future hotels make concession by lowering the heights of the buildings.

  3. MBL, let's hope the more significant buildings get preserved. Others can go, I suppose. I have friends whose family homes along Jalan Ampang have been replaced by high-rise buildings.

    Have you been to Kelly's Castle? Several years ago, my friends and I were supposed to detour there after a trip to Penang, but it was raining so heavily, we changed our plan. I think it has been done up pretty nicely and is now a popular tourist attraction in the state of Perak.

  4. It's clearly a case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. But then again, the new administration may not be aware of what the old administration has done or committed to.

    Would a high-rise be considered a high-rise if it's cut down to five storeys? You think?

    Interesting development to watch.

  5. it doesn't make sense that Penang would lose its world heritage status just becos of 2 modern high-rise hotels being built :p

  6. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Yes, have heard of Kelli's castle...would like to visit one day :)

  7. MB, not two but four high-rise hotels. Stay tuned..

    Haunted, wor, I heard. ;) LOL!

  8. sip bro...langsung ke TKP..
    mo cek harsbobetganya nih

  9. sip bro...langsung ke TKP..
    mo cek harsboganya nih

  10. thanks ysboou for arsbochive