Seriously, I am just as baffled as the months go by. It's time for Penang to stand up and be counted. I am sure my monthly contribution to the income tax is now going elsewhere. I will remember .... after all, it is a vote that matters and if this continues, I suggest they go screw themselves. I am just as concerned as to how certain ministers act as if they own the fucking government. The government is by the people, for the people. So - hold back funds? Do it some more!
Athi Veeranggan | Dec 15, 08 3:22pm
| The federal government’s refusal to finance the preservation of George Town’s heritage zone has been described as “an uncalled for, untimely and ill-conceived political vendetta”.|
Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) councillor Rizal Faris Mohideen said: “The heritage status of George Town belongs to all Malaysians, not Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional.
“It belongs to you and me. The national policy should be to protect national, not partisan interests.”
He was commenting on a statement by Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal (right), who had reportedly said the federal government does not have funds for George Town.
Rizal, who also heads the Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce, said the Barisan Nasional-led federal government should forsake its political interests to safeguard the public interest.
He further pointed out that the city’s heritage status is tied up with that of Malacca, under Unesco’s serial listing.
“By discriminating against George Town, the federal government will jeorpadise Malacca’s status as well. This would be a loss to the country.”
Rizal noted that the joint status would benefit all Malaysians only if the federal government adopts an open approach and joins hands with local authorities to restore and revitalise the sites involved.
The Penang heritage committee headed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is working on programmes to preserve the architecture and living culture within the heritage zone. These are also intended to stimulate socio-economic growth and human development.
George Town was accorded heritage status on July 7, leaving the state government with the responsibility of preserving, protecting and promoting the zone.
The heritage zone covers 259.42ha, with the core area encompassing Lorong Cinta, Pengkalan Weld, Lebuh Pantai, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Jalan Tun Sheh Barakbah, Lebuh Light, Lebuh Bishop, Lebuh Gereja, Lebuh China, Lebuh Pasar, Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Armenian and Lebuh Acheh.
Penang has more than 12,000 pre-war premises mainly of Anglo-Indian architecture, the largest number in the country.
Meanwhile, the MPPP is to adopt a more flexible approach in handling the mushrooming of unlicensed hawkers and petty traders on the island, since they add to human heritage charm.
Rizal - who heads the licensing division - said the council will work out a formula to regularise and organise the traders.
Since Penang is promoted as a paradise for hawker food, the council cannot afford to get rid of all the unlicensed traders.
“We also don’t want to be harsh on them since many need a second source of income in the current economic climate,” he said.
However, the council also has to consider ratepayers’ complaints about traffic congestion and lack of hygiene due to such activities.
“We will adopt a balanced policy to protect the interests of all,” he assured.