200-year old Penang Legislative Assembly building closed, to undergo RM3.6m facelift

A general view of the Penang Legislative Assembly building in George Town April 25, 2019. — Pictures by Steven KE Ooi
A general view of the Penang Legislative Assembly building in George Town April 25, 2019. — Pictures by Steven KE Ooi

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GEORGE TOWN, April 25 — The 1820s Penang Legislative Assembly building will be given a RM3.673 million facelift so it will be closed for a year, Speaker Datuk Law Choo Kiang said.

He said both legislative assembly sessions this year will be held at the Dewan Sri Pinang.

“The restoration will take about a year so the assembly will have to be held here this year until the restoration works is completed,” he said in a press conference at Dewan Sri Pinang today.

Furnishing from the old assembly building were shifted and relocated to the main hall of Dewan Sri Pinang where the debate sessions will be held.

Law said restoration works on the 200-year-old legislative assembly building will be completed on March 11 next year.

The restoration works is being undertaken by the Public Works Department (PWD) and the project was awarded to Syarikat Fajar Eratimur Sdn Bhd through an open tender.

The restoration works will include repairing the roof structure, installing waterproofing on the ceiling and roof, upgrading the floors, walls, ceiling and fixtures within the hall, repairing broken windows and doors and upgrading mechanical and electrical systems.

The Penang legislative assembly will be held at the Dewan Sri Pinang this year due to ongoing renovations at the Penang Legislative Assembly building in George Town April 25, 2019.
The Penang legislative assembly will be held at the Dewan Sri Pinang this year due to ongoing renovations at the Penang Legislative Assembly building in George Town April 25, 2019.

The Dewan Sri Pinang was temporarily renovated at a cost of RM171,000 to install proper fixtures for the legislative assembly sessions, the first for this year which will start tomorrow.

The last time the old legislative assembly building was renovated was back in 1959.

About 15 years ago, the building underwent minor repair works after plasters on the ceiling cracked and fell.

The building is a category I heritage building located within the George Town Unesco World Heritage Site and restoration works on the building will have to comply with strict heritage regulations.

The building is of an Anglo-Indian classical style with Classical Greek and Palladian architecture as evidenced by the Grecian pillars fronting it.

The building was used as a central police station before it was used as a Magistrate’s Courts and finally, converted to host the state legislative assembly in 1959.

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