So the Penang government will consult Unesco to come up with a solution to the scandal of the four proposed high-rise buildings in the George Town world heritage core and buffer zones. In the meantime, the developers concerned have been advised to halt their projects temporarily to placate the public and to avoid risking the world heritage status.
Are they trying to persuade Unesco to agree to those four high-rise buildings? It’s not a question of whether Unesco agrees or disagrees. It’s really a question of whether we value our own priceless heritage, which is unique in this region. Look at how other historical cities in Europe have strict guidelines as to what kind of buildings are allowed and what aren’t in their own heritage areas – even without a world heritage listing. Over here, guidelines are just for show (or to secure world heritage status); nobody cares about enforcing them… as long as quick (short-sighted) profits can be made.
Why is the state bending over backwards to please these developers? You tell me. Oh yes, that familiar line again; repeat after me, all together now, “They will claim compensation from the state if we don’t allow them.” That’s pathetic. Let them try and do that, and we shall see if the people of Penang will be amused.
An irate Penang resident and blog reader, Andrew, sends this comment:
Why does this DAP-PKR govt have to consult Unesco for a win-win solution? The only win-win should be for the people of Penang and for heritage conservation.
They are trying to negotiate and get Unesco to agree to the buildings, is it? Just tell the developers to take their projects elsewhere-lah! Like you think we Penangites gonna die without those four dumb high-rises, is it? What we lose from those projects, we shall gain from heritage tourism.
Hopeless punya Pakatan government in Penang. “Otak tak centre” punya approach.