KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Minister of Housing and Local Government Nga Kor Ming reportedly said he will invite Umno leaders to clarify his proposal to nominate Chinese New Villages in Selangor as Unesco World Heritage Site under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).
According to Berita Harian, Nga said he hoped that he could discuss the matter with them so that they do not get influenced by Perikatan Nasional’s disinformation on the issue.
“Actually, I have been in touch with Umno leaders. We invite them to discuss so that we can understand the real facts, and they won’t be swayed by facts or sentiment issues played by the opposition,” he was quoted saying after attending a Chinese New Year Celebration at the Kampung Koh Heritage Community Centre yesterday.
The proposal has been met with strong objection from several Umno leaders, including Umno Deputy President Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Umno Secretary-General Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki, and Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.
He had said that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government will conduct a feasibility study to assess the potential for recognition.
“If the results of the study says this is viable, then I will raise it for discussion at the Cabinet level, and only then will the Cabinet make a decision.
“That’s why I advise, especially please don’t make this issue seem like a racial issue; racial issues are toxic and it will damage our harmony. We should stay away from this type of tribalism,” said the Teluk Intan MP.
Earlier this month, Nga said he would discuss with the Selangor state government a study to nominate the Chinese new villages in the state to recognise the cultural and historical significance of the new villages that have been around for 76 years.
In June last year, he announced that seven villages in the nation were selected for listing to obtain a World Heritage site status from Unesco.
The seven villages were chosen from a pool of 613 new villages across the country including Penang, Perak, Johor, Melaka and Selangor.