Aged 200, Penang Free School gets nod for heritage status, awaiting state gazette

Penang Free School will be turning 200 this October 21. ― Picture by KE Ooi
Penang Free School will be turning 200 this October 21. ― Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 ― The country’s first English-language school in Penang has finally obtained approval from the National Heritage Department to be listed as a heritage site, but is now waiting for the state government's official recognition of its status.

Penang Free School's board of governors chairman Datuk Abdul Rafique Abdul Karim said the state Heritage Enactment has not come into place yet, New Straits Times reported today.

“I was told by the National Heritage Department that the state government has the final say in the gazettement of the school as heritage site,” he was quoted saying.

He said the heritage status will allow the school to receive conservation grants from heritage authorities, as well as avoid development and conserve heritage buildings at the 8-hectares school grounds.

According to the paper, the Penang Free School moved to its current location on Jalan Masjid Negeri in 1928.

The school was founded by chaplain Rev H.R. Hutchings in 1816 and was first located in Love Lane before it was shifted to Lebuh Farquhar.

The school will be turning 200 this October 21.

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