- 2006/12/03 Ancient Wall Discovery Needs Further Study, Says Rais

The brick wall discovered at the site of an observation tower project in Bandar Hilir here on Nov 25, is probably part of a fort built either during the Portuguese or Dutch era.

Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim said his ministry and the Melaka Government would conduct an indepth study on the ancient wall.

"It will bring immense benefits to Melaka and Malaysia. For the first time, we will be able to determine the history and the historical attraction through this discovery," he said after inspecting the wall Sunday.

He said construction of the RM21 million observation tower which began in october had to be postponed and moved to another site to be identified by the Melaka Government.

Under the Heritage Act 2005, historical discoveries such as the wall should be given priority over modern projects on the same sites, he said.

Dr. Rais said he would inform the Cabinet on the discovery of the historic wall so that funds could be allocated for the study and its preservation.

A special committee comprising officials from his ministry and the Melaka Government would be set up to carry out the study which, among others, would determine the exact size of the fort, he said.

He said the ancient wall discovery was important for Melaka's historical heritage and could serve as a tourist attraction.

Archeologists from the Melaka Museum Corporation, Museum Department and National Heritage Department working at the site have also found several historical artefacts including ceramics.

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