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GEORGE TOWN, Nov 16 — George Town World Heritage Inc (GTWHI) has begun its pilot case study of the state government's proposed rent regulation law.
The heritage zone site manager has already compiled a list of heritage building owners within the George Town world heritage site and will now move on to collecting their feedback.
"The pilot case study will involve going from house to house to get stakeholders' response to the proposed rent regulation act," GTWHI general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee told reporters today.
"We have to conduct it street by street because each street within the zone has different characters, different communities and responses will vary," she said.
GTWHI is expected to complete the preliminary study and submit its first report to the state executive councillors in charge, Jagdeep Singh Deo and Chow Kon Yeow, by next month.
When asked to comment on the proposal by Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Hang to increase the floor price for foreign buyers of buildings within the heritage zone to RM200 million, Ang said GTWHI's approach has always been protecting the Outstanding Universal Values (OUV) of the site.
"Our approach is always to tell current owners how affordable it is to keep their buildings and stay in George Town but I believe they did not have the opportunities to fully understand the Special Area Plan (SAP) in order to comply with it," she said.
She added that this is why owners are encouraged to attend seminars like the sustainable development seminar this morning to fully understand the requirements under the SAP.
She said GTWHI would prefer that current owners and tenants continue to stay in George Town because they are the living heritage of the city.
The Penang state government is mulling rent regulation laws to control building owners from increasing rental rates by 200 per cent or more.
This is to stop the exodus of existing businesses and tenants due to the alarming increase in rental rates in these last few years.
GTWHI together with MBPP were tasked to get feedback from stakeholders on the proposed law to find out its viability before it is tabled.