KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The National Heritage Department has been trying to gazette Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN) here as a heritage site since 2008, but it could not be completed due to the school’s trustees’ protest.
In fact, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the department had, in May 2008, initiated the process to gather all information and related documents for the purpose of gazetting the school under the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645) after taking into consideration and justifying the historical and architectural significance of the school.
However, she said after several processes, the school’s trustees had on July 12, 2010, submitted a Notice of Protest through their lawyers to the Heritage Commissioner and a hearing session was held on April 8, 2011.
“On July 21, 2011, the Heritage Commissioner, after careful consideration and deliberation, decided not to proceed with the gazetting of the school as a heritage site under Act 465,” she said in a statement here today.
The statement was issued in reply to the questions raised by the public regarding the alleged lack of efforts taken by the government to gazette SMK CBN as a heritage site under Act 645, considering its significant contributions to the national education system since 1899.
As such, Nancy said the ministry welcomes SMK CBN’s trustees to consider and nominate the school to be gazetted as a heritage site under Act 645 for the purpose of conserving, preserving and protecting its heritage.
She said the gazetting of the school as a heritage site under the Act will not affect its ownership, custody and administration.
“The gazetting will not take away the land ownership as it will remain with the official owner as stated in the Official Search,” she said.
The minister also called on all quarters to work together to preserve and protect the country’s heritage, both gazetted and ungazetted.
Yesterday, the government agreed to extend the land lease for SMK CBN by 60 years on its expiry on September 6 this year following an application from the school’s Board of Governors. — Bernama