MEDIA STATEMENT – ILLEGAL WORKS IN GEORGE TOWN
MEDIA STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 March 2023
Badan Warisan Malaysia is alarmed over the numerous illegal works being carried out on heritage listed buildings, including buildings listed as Category One, within George Town’s core heritage zone and the surrounding buffer zone.
According to local heritage activists who are volunteers, there have been about 50 cases of illegal works within the UNESCO site, including those recently completed and currently being renovated without permits, as well as using wrong materials.
Most recently, news report highlighted that there were no approvals given by Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP) for works done in the Customs Building (Malayan Railway Building) at China Street Ghaut and the Hakka Association building at 7 Toh Aka Lane. This follows the destructive work done at the Fooi Chew Association building in early February 2023 that also did not have a permit.
While MBPP have recently reacted quickly to issue Stop Work Orders, the continuation of illegal works indicate that there are insufficient deterrents. How much longer should the local authorities reflect on the seriousness of this situation before clear and decisive outcomes become transparent? Will culprits face severe consequences?
The Heritage Act protects the entire building, both interior and exterior. All buildings listed in the George Town Special Area Plan are subject to specific conservation regulations. How are the local authorities specifically doing the monitoring and who oversees them? Is there a task force? Would they collaborate with volunteers who actively help monitor on the ground?
Six months have also passed since the illegal demolition of Kapitan Chung Keng Kwee’s 1884 built monument to honour his love for his wife Foo Teng Nyong. As of today, the smashed tomb ruins still lie dumped at Penang’s Jelutong landfill without any charges being laid. We understand that in the meantime, the owner/developer has applied to MBPP for planning permission to build a 30-storey residential tower on the illegally demolished tomb site. How likely is it that MBPP will reward this illegal demolition with full planning permission approval?
If planning permission is given to culprits who illegally demolish heritage sites, it is tantamount to the authorities conspiring and assisting developers to undermine and contravene laws that were set up to specifically protect. Surely not the intended outcome. There is a clear need for expert and independent participation in the approval process for any plans related to heritage buildings and heritage sites.
We are deeply worried the number of illegal works carried out on heritage buildings in George Town will continue unabated, eroding its unique architectural heritage as well as the confidence of the public with regards to the ability and willingness of local authorities to carry out their responsibilities and effectively take action beyond the rhetoric.
With the increasing number of illegal and inappropriate renovations and redevelopments, there is a possibility of George Town being delisted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO because of the irreplaceable loss sustained to date and in future, due to inadequate policing and implementation of rules set earlier. As the UNESCO World Heritage Site status is for both George Town and Malacca, a delist will affect both. Immediate and effective measures and action is therefore vital to arrest and control this unacceptable situation now.
Given all of the above, Badan Warisan Malaysia suggests MBPP to take the lead and call for the formation of a Heritage Steering Committee for all of Penang and for it to have executive powers pertaining to any building with heritage value. This Heritage Steering Committee will comprise both local authority officers and heritage groups. Any development involving any heritage building would require its stamp of approval. Until this is setup, a full moratorium on any demolition must be enforced.
Lim Wei-Ling, President, Badan Warisan Malaysia & 2023 Council of Badan Warisan Malaysia
Modern Calligraphy Workshop by Letters by Eve
Join us to learn the art of the hand-lettering using a traditional pointed dip pen and ink, but with a fun, modern flair! Participants will receive complete personalised calligraphy kits to take home with them.
Date: Tuesday, 7 March 2023
Time: 10.00am – 1.00pm
Venue: Heritage Centre, No. 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur
RM250 (BWM Member)
Payment is non-refundable once a place has been confirmed.
Click HERE to register.
MEDIA STATEMENT – REX CINEMA, PENANG
MEDIA STATEMENT – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 January 2023
Badan Warisan Malaysia deplores Penang Island City Hall’s (MBPP) approval to instruct the demolition of the Rex Cinema at Jalan Burma in Georgetown, Penang. This is despite the Mayor of City Council of Penang Island saying that flaws in the 2030 draft Penang Island local plan will be rectified, as reported in the media on 5 January 2023.
This 84 year-old Art Deco cinema possesses architectural, social, cultural and heritage significance not only for Penangites but for all Malaysians. It is imperative that we conserve and protect Rex Cinema for future generations to enjoy.
Preserving only the facade will not be enough. The Rex Cinema was built with significant interior Art Deco features and details, and these should be maintained. Art Deco architecture is much appreciated and celebrated all over the world.
Badan Warisan Malaysia strongly supports the heritage and conservation groups in Penang, and their great efforts made to preserve the historic heritage environment of Georgetown, Penang.
The recent demolition of Clove Hall residence, which is in proximity to Rex Cinema, is another irreplaceable loss of a historic piece of architecture of the island.
We wish and encourage MBPP to be more supportive and sensitive to preserve and protect Georgetown’s rich built heritage, including buildings and sites beyond the UNESCO protected boundaries. It is this unique heritage that makes Penang one of the most significant places to visit in Malaysia.
Cities in Malaysia like Penang and Malacca that have many buildings and neighbourhoods of heritage value, must take the lead in preservation, conservation and other environmental matters. These cities must balance the old with the new and cannot always take the easy route to development. Local Authorities must be proactive in these matters.
Lim Wei-Ling, President
& Badan Warisan Malaysia Council 2023
360° Virtual Tour of Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman
Behind the scenes: the video shooting for the Rumah Penghulu Virtual Tour.
Badan Warisan Malaysia (The Heritage of Malaysia Trust) is proud to launch the 360° Virtual Tour of Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman, made possible by funding from Yayasan Sime Darby. We are very grateful for this kind support that enabled us to document and preserve our Heritage Asset as well as share this lovely traditional timber Malay house with people from all walks of life around Malaysia and the world.
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ekuiti Nasional Berhad for sponsoring the restoration and repair programme of Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman for the year 2022.
The virtual tour project began in early June this year and was completed in early December 2022. We aim to engage with our potential future visitors – both local and international – by bringing part of the traditional Malay house’s vernacular architectural and cultural experience into the comfort of their home, digitally. The virtual tour will allow visitors to experience a self-guided tour of our Rumah Penghulu and access information on selected display items.
With the official launch of this virtual tour, we hope to educate on items of architectural and cultural significance, the importance of a traditional Malay house as well as increase awareness and appreciation for Malaysian heritage.
Click to the link HERE to experience the virtual tour of the Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman.
Click HERE to watch a video of Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman, located at Badan Warisan Malaysia’s headquarters at No. 2 Jalan Stonor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Please check our website for visiting hours.
Virtual Tour Tips
- There are two (2) language options – English and Bahasa Malaysia – for the tour narration. You may choose the language at the start of the tour.
- Click on the white arrow to navigate around the house and move your cursor around to explore the 360° views of the house and each section.
- Look for the ‘i’ icon in red for more information on selected display items.
BWM Talk Series: The Traditional Malay House
Organized by Badan Warisan Malaysia, with support from Iltizam by Ekuinas
Live Webinar Details
Date: Saturday, 26 November 2022
Time: 10.30 AM (Kuala Lumpur, GMT+8)
Topic: The Traditional Malay House
Speaker: Ar. Lim Take Bane
Moderator: Ar. Anand Krishnan
Venue: Virtual – Zoom Webinar
About The Talk
This talk shall be on the traditional Malay house as found in the various states of Peninsular Malaysia. It shall be an introduction to the vernacular architecture of this region which has been honed to near perfection in terms of climatic control, through centuries of living in harmony and sustainably with the local hot and humid tropical climate.
The traditional Malay house is the physical manifestation of the creative and aesthetic skills of Malay craftsmen and forms part of Malaysia’s built cultural heritage. The Malay house embodies the way of life and incorporates the various social and cultural requirements of the Malays. This architecture has regional variations, multifunctional spaces, design flexibility and a prefabrication system which can extend the house to suit the growing needs of the occupants.
The forces of change through modern development, urbanisation plus cultural and social values, have threatened the traditional Malay house form’s continued existence into the future. Many valuable lessons can be gleaned from this beautiful vernacular architecture to fulfil the present and future housing needs of ordinary Malaysians. It will certainly help in defining and developing a more Malaysian identity in architecture.
About the Speaker
Ar. Lim Take Bane appreciates fine heritage architecture. His keen interest in built heritage conservation stems from the time when he was studying architecture in Canterbury, Kent and when he trained and worked as a professional architect in the United Kingdom (1976 – 1984).
He hails from Kuala Lumpur and was schooled at St. John’s Institution, Kuala Lumpur. He is a Fellow of the Pertubuhan Akitek Malaysia (PAM) or Malaysian Institute of Architects, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a founding Council Member of the Malaysian Institute of Interior Designers (MIID) and a Council Member of Badan Warisan Malaysia (BWM). He was a member of the Faculty of the Built Environment – Department of Architecture, University of Malaya.
About the Moderator
Anand was educated at the University of New South Wales, Sydney University and Harvard University. He has worked in various offices including Liu Thai Ker, Kerry Hill, Woods Bagot and M Moser and is the principal of Manufakture Design Sdn Bhd and Anand Krishnan Architect. Outside practice, he has written extensively on architecture and urban design and has been teaching senior design studios in local and overseas universities for over 10 years. Since 2019, he has been a Council Member of Badan Warisan Malaysia. In his spare time, he loves to sketch places he visits.
BWM CHRISTMAS FAIR 2022
We are pleased to announce that the BWM Christmas Fair is back this year!
Date: Sunday, 4 December 2022
Time: 10am – 5pm
Venue: Heritage Centre, No. 2 Jalan Stonor, Kuala Lumpur
Admission: RM10 entry fee towards heritage preservation. #ShopForAGoodCause
Thanks to your amazing support during our last Christmas Fair, we are happy to organize another Christmas Fair this year! Come and find your perfect gifts here. There will be handmade crafts, artisanal items, vintage jewelry, baked goods and more!
*Call for volunteers*
If you are a member of Badan Warisan Malaysia, we would love for you to volunteer and help us during the fair. We need 5-6 volunteers. Please contact Rosmiza at email@example.com for more information.
#BWMChristmasFair #ShopForAGoodCause #HeritageMalaysia #BadanWarisanMalaysia
Charity Gala Premiere of ‘Spilt Gravy – Ke Mana Tumpahnya Kuah’
We are delighted to announce that ZSA Productions will be hosting a Charity Gala Premiere in aid of Badan Warisan Malaysia for the movie screening of ‘Spilt Gravy – Ke Mana Tumpahnya Kuah’. The event will be graced with the presence of YTM Raja Dato’ Seri Eleena binti Almarhum Sultan Azlan Muhibbuddin Shah Al-Maghfur-lah. This movie is mainly in English with BM subtitles and is set to be released in cinemas on 9 June 2022. The director and one of the star actors in this movie is our Vice President, Dato’ Zahim Albakri.
Charity Gala Premiere Movie Screening Details
Date: Tuesday, 7 June 2022
Venue: DADI Cinema, Level 5, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
Price: RM200 per seat
Tentative Schedule for Charity Gala Premiere
|6:00 – 7:15 pm||Guest arrival|
|7:25 pm||Appearance of cast and director|
|7:30 pm||Welcome intro by MC|
|7:35 pm||Introduction of cast|
|7:45 pm||BWM guests to enter Hall 2|
|8:00 pm||Film starts|
|9:55 pm||Film ends|
Click HERE to purchase tickets.
Only 220 seats are available exclusively for BWM guests. Seat allocation (after payment) will be on a first come, first served basis.
Tax-exempt receipt is available with the provision of details requested in the form above. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Meet the stars of the movie & support for a good cause!
Watch the trailer HERE.
For more information about the movie, please visit spiltgravy.com
Happy New Year 2022
We take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, a joyous Holiday Season and a Happy New Year. This past year was challenging for all of us as we adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic. We would like to express our appreciation for your tremendous support over the years, and we wish you all the best as we enter a brand-new year.