- 2008/11/29 Bird's nest operators in Malacca heritage zone to relocate

Those rearing swiftlets in buildings within the heritage zone have a year to relocate their bird's nest farms or face action by the authorities.

Affected by the state decision are 20 bird entrepreneurs using the 18th Century Dutch-styled buildings in Jalan Hang Jebat and Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock here as harvest centres for the bird's nest.

The ruling comes into effect on Dec 31, 2009, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam,

"I hope the affected operators will take immediate steps to relocate their operations," he told reporters after chairing the state exco meeting here yesterday.

There are about 100 bird's nest operators in the state, with around 20 operating from buildings in Jonker Street and Heeren Street.

Several quarters had previously raised concern that the operations within the heritage zone would damage the buildings.

Mohd Ali said the state government was waiting for a report from the Veterinary Department here to verify if certain spots in Merlimau, Jasin and reclaimed coastal areas along Klebang would be suitable for bird's nest farms.

Malacca Heritage Trust vice-president Michael Benerji welcomed the decision as appropriate, saying that the two streets were located within the World Heritage Site heritage core zone.

In a related development, state MCA deputy chairman Datuk Gan Tian Loo said the party would assist the affected operators to find suitable sites for their businesses.

Gan, also on the Jonker Walk Committee, said the state had initially wanted to give the operators six months to move.

However, they appealed for more time and this was granted by the state, he said.

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