More demolition of shophouses appears to be underway this weekend to make way for Komtar phase 5, sparking outrage in heritage circles. The George Town World Heritage Inc office had earlier commissioned a study of the heritage significance of the area.
Was that just lip service to keep NGOs at bay? Why the age-old tactic of weekend demolition work? Why the demolish first, talk later attitude? This suggests something is not right.
In the past, PDC had complained the shophouses were derelict but heritage activists argue that government agencies or local authorities, as landlords of public property, should not have let them fall into disrepair in the first place: if they are unsafe, make them safe!
Demolition is not the answer. Remember the illegal demolitions next to a hotel in town for a joint-venture project?
It looks as if those responsible have a habit of clearing these areas to make way for other ambitions. They seem to be out of touch with what makes a city great. Maybe it’s time they attended some of the Think City talks on urban futures.