GEORGE TOWN: The RM50mil grant to Melaka and Penang for conservation and management of their Unesco World Heritage Sites will help promote the peaceful coexistence and celebration of their multicultural heritage here, says George Town World Heritage Inc (GTWHI).
It said the allocation under the revised Budget 2023 is a sign that its conservation and management work has been recognised.
“GTWHI welcomes this funding and we express our appreciation to the government for recognising the importance of managing and maintaining a Unesco World Heritage Site,” it said in a statement.
GTWHI, which was established by the state government in 2010, has been tasked with managing the George Town Heritage City Unesco World Heritage Site.
“Joining forces with the Penang Island City Council and advisory bodies from the technical review panel and local communities, we have collectively worked in safeguarding both the tangible and living heritage of this city.
“We hope the resources will be used to conserve and safeguard the Outstanding Universal Values of George Town as a Unesco World Heritage Site, with the direction of sustainable development,” it said.
An activist from the Portuguese community urged the Melaka government to use the allocation for Unesco heritage sites wisely.
Melaka Portuguese Eurasian Association president Michael Singho said the allocation must be channelled towards the proper maintenance and upkeep of the Portuguese ruins atop St Paul’s Hill, ruins of the old St Ignatius Church by the River at Bunga Raya, and the neglected back portion of the Dutch Stadthuys building
“Importance should also be given to Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, Indian and Malay historical relics and buildings,” he added.
He hopes that the fund can also be channelled towards the preservation, rejuvenation and enhancement of the endangered Malacca Portuguese language (Papia Cristang), its customs and traditions.