A Penang State Museum committee came up with this inventory of mostly private heritage buldings but the list seems to have “melted down”, says a former urban conservator.
Statement regarding the contents of the MPPP Heritage Inventory of January 1988, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, former residence of Sir Stamford Raffles
by Alex Koenig, former MPPP “Urban Conservator” (1990 to 1993) on behalf of Prof Dr Enders.
After a call to Germany to Prof Dr Siegfried Enders, President of the ICOMOS International Special Committee on shared Built Heritage (advising Unesco on matters of heritage which is shared by different cultures), he started to dig in his private archives and found relevant sources on which he had based his findings about Sir Stamford Raffles’ residence during a German government-funded cooperation exercise with MPPP.
Unexpectedly, his sources in January 1988 had not been from MPPP, but from archives of The Penang State Museum and Art Gallery. Dr Enders still keeps the name card of the officer, who assisted his team, who was (or became later?) the director of the Museum and Art Gallery, Mr Khoo Boo Chia.
Mr Khoo Boo Chia was (later?) the cooperation partner with Unesco Bangkok and was participating in Unesco’s workshop series:
The Culture Heritage Management and Tourism workshop for the Enhancement of Stakeholder Cooperation in Tourism Development and Heritage Preservation in Asia and the Pacific
Bhaktapur, Nepal, 8-16 April 2000
The workshop was about the creation of heritage tourism action plans.
During the early 1990s, I had been the representative of MPPP’s Building Department in an official State Committee for a Heritage Inventory (which had been in competition to my work at MPPP). The committee had archived and proposed over 100 mostly privately owned heritage buildings, supported by much research and documents (as opposed to the MPPP approach, which did not provide such details).
In a later version of this list all privately owned buildings (“private buildings are not heritage”) had been deleted or replaced by public or religious buildings (with one exception, PHT activist Puan Khoo Salma’s house).
The original list of 100 heritage buildings was melted down (on the website) to just 31 totally non-relevant, mostly public buildings, such as Komtar. This list was last modified on 19 March 2014.
During the workshop in Bhaktapur, Dr Enders took photographs. He has sent to me the picture of the Penang participant, which I clearly identify as my civil service colleague Mr Khoo Boo Chia.
Sorry for the initial confusion of MPPP ‘Building files’ and the State Heritage archive.
Alex Koenig, Penang,
27 February 2016
Note: Alex wishes to correct the misreporting in the press, which quoted him as saying MBPP Mayor Patahiyah was “ridiculous”. What he meant was it was ridiculous of the developer to demolish the building.