Thursday July 5, 2012
No Heritage City status
By IVAN LOH
PERAK has given up on its pursuit to gain Heritage City status for Ipoh from Unesco.
State Tourism Committee chairman Datuk Hamidah Osman said the National Heritage Department had advised the state government not to waste its time as the city’s buildings do not meet requirements set by Unesco.
“There must be certain unique selling propositions and strong points for a place to be recognised as a heritage city.
“Unfortunately for us, our buildings do not possess British influences like those in Georgetown and Malacca,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
About two years ago, the state government had announced its intention for Ipoh to join the ranks of Georgetown and Malacca, which are the only two cities in the country to have been recognised as heritage cities by the international body.
“The Department has urged us to gain recognition nationally instead.
“In view of this, we will probably seek recognition from the Department for our former tin industry,” she added.
Despite the setback, Hamidah urged owners of old buildings in the city to continue taking care of their properties.
“I think it is more important for everyone to learn and understand about loving these old buildings, which have historical value.
“Because once they are gone, they are gone forever,” she said, referring to the illegal demolition of the former Majestic Theatre last week.
One of the oldest cinemas in Ipoh, the building was torn down without permit from the Ipoh City Council for redevelopment purposes.
“The state will be looking into amending local government bylaws to allow us to impose higher penalties on those who develop or demolish such buildings without approval,” Hamidah added.