Penang requests RM388 million for world heritage site conservation

PENANG: Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Penang government will put forward a request for RM388 million to the federal government for conservation and restoration of the George Town World Heritage Site.

He said the request would be made under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) for the period from 2010 to 2015.

"The allocation will include establishing a world heritage office, education and awareness programmes, road upgrading, landscaping and drainage system," he told a news conference here on Feb 25.

Lim said the fund would also cover the upgrading of public facilities, signboards, loans under the Heritage Building Conservation Fund and the enforcement and implementation of the state heritage enactment.

He said the fund was important as the state government needed to send a Special Area Plan to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) by Feb 1 next year.

"The report required by Unesco will contain details on the conservation and restoration works done and to be carried out by the state government," he said.

Lim said he hoped that the federal government would approve the request soon to ensure that George Town's status as a World Heritage Site was not jeopardised.

He said Unesco had made it compulsory for Penang and Melaka, as World Heritage Sites, to send a Special Area Plan for evaluation in 2011. -- Bernama
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