- 2009/02/16 Malacca lauds heritage move

The inclusion of three historical buildings in Malacca as part of the country's national heritage is a welcome move by the Government to better protect the state's rich past.

Malacca Museums Corporation general manager Khamis Abas said the declaration would mean more funds from the Unity, Cul- ture, Arts and Heritage Ministry for preservation and conservation work on the buildings concerned.

"The national heritage status will also bolster our effort to maintain the recent inscription of the city as a World Heritage Site by Unesco," he said yesterday.

On Saturday, three 18th century houses of worship in Malacca – Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple (1781), Kampung Keling Mosque (1748), the Stadthuys and Christ Church (1641 to 1753) – were among 10 buildings listed as na- tional heritage under the National Heritage Act 2005.

They were among 172 items including collections from the National Archive, archaeological artefacts, traditional delicacies and art listed as national heritage.

Khamis said the state had submitted a request to the ministry to consider declaring several other sites here as national heritage.

They include natural sites such as Malacca Zoo – the second largest zoo in the country set up in 1963 – and the Tanjung Tuan bird sanctuary and forest reserve which was established in 1921 and houses the country's oldest serving lighthouse.

Malacca Heritage Trust vice-president Michael Benerji also lauded the Government's move, saying the status would mean the imposition of stricter preservation and conservation regulations to protect them.

Benerji, who also sits on the state's preservation and conservation committee, urged the ministry to include more historical sites.

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