Heritage Dept pleads with Putrajaya for funds to manage national sites

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during a press conference at the Bayview Hotel in George Town October 1,2018.— Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks during a press conference at the Bayview Hotel in George Town October 1,2018.— Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Oct 1 — The National Heritage Department has exhausted its funds and urgently requires a fresh infusion from Putrajaya to continue with its functions.

Heritage commissioner Zainah Ibrahim said the department’s Tabung Kumpulan Wang Warisan, established under the National Heritage Act 2005, was fully depleted.

The fund reportedly received a one-off payment of about RM30 million in 2006 from the Finance Ministry.

“We have exhausted the fund and we have applied to the Finance Ministry to replenish the fund as we need funding to support the many heritage sites in the country,” she said in a press conference today at the opening of an International Conference on Managing Urban Cultural Heritage 2018.

She said the department needed resources to allocate funds to heritage sites in Malaysia including George Town and Melaka.

“We also have other sites such as the Kinabalu park, which was inscribed in 2000, and the latest of our series of world heritage sites, Lembah Lenggong,” she said.

She said these heritage sites need funding for conservation programmes or educational programmes on conservation.

Such sites were dependent on the federal department, she said.

She then praised Penang for taking the initiative to introduce a RM3 million Heritage Habitat Seed Fund.

“We are glad that Penang is taking the initiative to launch this fund and we will work with the state on this, hopefully we will get funding to be able to help soon,” she said.

Earlier, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow also appealed to predecessor, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, to consider Penang’s plea for funding to manage its world heritage site.

“Hopefully, the former chief minister will undertstand and he can hear our plea to get more funding for our heritage work for George Town, I hope we don’t have to shout it out to get it,” he said.

He said the state needs the support and funding for it to effectively manage the world heritage site which was inscribed in 2008.

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