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16 April 2016

All on the same page for Taiping’s heritage status

Reports from AMANDA YEAP and T. AVINESHWARAN at the Perak State Assembly

THE Perak government will work together with the state’s Opposition assemblymen to ensure that Taiping is gazetted as a heritage town before the year ends.

State DAP chairman Nga Kor Ming, who is also Taiping MP, said the idea to gazette the town has already received agreement in principle from the Tourism and Culture Minister in Parliament.

“Taiping, which was once the capital of the state, has the first court building, first general hospital, first clock tower, and first Roman Catholic church in the country, among other things,”

“To gazette the town, we are pushing for all 33 historical firsts to be registered as heritage sites under the National Heritage Act 2005.

“I have just received confirmation that six of these historical places have already been gazetted by the National Heritage Commission,” Nga said, naming the six new heritage sites as All Saints’ Church; Perak Museum; Taiping Jail; Larut, Matang and Selama Land and Mines Office; Taiping public library; Ngah Ibrahim’s Fort and SMK King Edward VII.

Speaking to reporters during the State Assembly sitting yesterday, Nga said, as this gazettement ultimately requires the approval of the state government, he hopes that the recognition will be given in due time.

“This is so that we can develop Taiping into a heritage town by this year before Visit Perak Year 2017 approaches.

“Once the town has been gazetted, this recognition lasts forever, which also means that local authorities will continue to receive allocations from the Tourism and Culture Ministry to upgrade and maintain the place for the benefit of the younger generation,” he said.

Also present at the press conference, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the idea to gazette the town is consistent with the state government’s plan.

“When he (Nga) approached me with the idea to cooperate, I told him that there’s no problem.

“As MP, he has direct contact with the federal government, and on the state government’s part, we will do what we can to expedite the process of gazettement,” he said, stressing that matters such as the development of a town transcends politics as both parties can work together towards achieving a common goal in developing Perak’s tourism.

Zambry said the Taiping Municipal Council has already received a letter from the National Heritage Commission to provide specific information on these 33 historical places, while another letter has been forwarded to the state government requesting for a joint cooperation.

“This is so that we can solve any technical matters that may arise in the process, such as land issues,” he said.

Source: The Star