The promotion of heritage awareness of Seberang Perai is long overdue but care but be taken to ensure that it doesn’t encourage property speculation and further drive up house prices, pushing them beyond the reach of ordinary residents.
Indeed, heritage awareness should not be linked to property development.
Already many among the younger generation are living with their parents longer as they are unable to buy their own homes. A mechanic I know has educated both his children who are now working at stable jobs. But they are still living with him on mainland Penang.
Many are unable to buy homes on Penang Island, where the well heeled have landed. In some way, the situation in Penang Island parallels what is happening in resort towns like Aspen, Coloradao, where the working class find themselves squeezed out. See: “In resort towns, working class squeezed out as rich move in“.)
So things could change on the mainland if more property developers turn to building high-end housing on the mainland.
Care must be taken to ensure that any heritage promotion on mainland Penang doesn’t result in gentrification, which has crept into inner city George Town on the island, where prices have rocketed.