The world heritage listing of George Town and Malacca appears to be a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it has highlighted the importance of preserving our historical inner cities; but on the other, it has led to an overemphasis on the built environment while traditional communities are squeezed out through gentrification. Old shop-houses are sold and converted to boutique hotels, trendy restaurants and galleries. In the process, traditional trades and small businesses, long-time communities and low-income tenants are forced to shut down or make way.
Check out this article: City without a soul? which appeared in Aliran Monthly recently.