George Town may lose world heritage status due to PTMP

 |Aug 12, 2016
Penang Forum has allegedly submitted a report to Unesco claiming that PTMP could endanger George Town's heritage landscape.
Penang Forum has allegedly submitted a report to Unesco claiming that PTMP could endanger George Town’s heritage landscape.

George Town is in danger of being stripped of its Unesco’s World Heritage City status if the state government insisted on to implement the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

A coalition of non-government organisations, Penang Forum has submitted a report, allegedly detailing about the negative impacts of PTMP on George Town’s heritage landscape, to the UNESCO headquarters, the Paris Desk in France in June this year.

In revealing this, George Town World Heritage Incorporation (GTWHI) managing director Ang Ming Chee said the Penang Forum’s report had claimed PTMP posed a potential threat to the preservation and conservation of the city’s heritage sites and buildings.

Tourists at George Town City heritage zone.
Tourists at George Town City heritage zone.

GTWHI received letter from the National Heritage Department regarding this matter.

“I request Penang Forum to cite the source of reference on the many statements, assumptions and suggestions that it had included in its documents submitted to the UNESCO headquarters.

“I wish to emphasise that while GTWHI recognised different views of various parties on the matter, it believes all stakeholders can find common ground in contributing to the betterment of Penang.

“I respect Penang Forum’s rights to send the documents to UNESCO, however, there are alternatives that could be taken to prevent such issues,” Ang told reporters today.

Heritage has been a tourism by-product for George Town for decades.
Heritage has been a tourism by-product for George Town for decades.

Nevertheless, Ang said the situation needed to be justified and had to go through many technical processes before Unesco can make the decision.

“Hence, it is not anytime soon,” she added.

On Jul 7, 2008, George Town, together with Malacca, was given a world heritage city status by Unesco.

Penang Forum could not be reached for comments.

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Priya Pubalan has been a journalist for the past three years and counting. She believes in human equality, law and justice. She thinks capitalism should be abolished and mankind should give importance to education.