A piece of history fallen into ruin


  • Metro News
  • Thursday, 10 Sep 2020

The dilapidated building dubbed Memories, along Cantonement Road and Kelawai Road. Source: Others

PENANG Island City Council (MBPP) laments the deplorable condition of a privately owned heritage building outside of the heritage enclave, said mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.

Yew said a notice would be issued to the owners of the Anglo-Malay bungalow, located at the corner of Cantonment Road and Kelawei Road.

“MBPP representatives have visited the site and we will issue a notice for public nuisance.

“Any building, regardless if it falls under the heritage category or not, requires permits before demolition can be carried out.

“If the owners want to demolish it, they must obtain planning permission from the city council.

“This building in question is a heritage building listed under Category Two.

“It is sad to see that this building is in a dilapidated condition,” he said.

Yew said the city council would issue a notice to the owners under Section 82 of Local Government Act 1976 for causing a public nuisance.

“We sent our officers to the site to investigate this matter and we want the owners to make good of this building under the notice which will be issued.

“First, we want them to abide by Section 82 and if they have any difficulties, they can come to us and put up a proposal.

“We will look into it to see if restoration works can be carried out or if there are other options.

“It cannot be demolished without our approval,” he said.

Yew said he did not understand why the building was left to deteriorate to such an extent.

“We hope that everyone looks into the condition of their respective properties, especially heritage buildings.

“These buildings, if maintained, will add to the attractions in the city.

“This building has a twin building, which is in good condition.

“It is from the same era and has the same architecture, and it is intact,” he said.

Local non-government organisation Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) expressed dismay over the prospects of the house being

demolished.

The statement by PHT said that the building, named ‘Memories’, was an Anglo-Malay bungalow in the Pulau Tikus suburb, and is one of two similar buildings built on a single plot of land (No. 58, Cantonment Road).

“This bungalow has a history of almost 100 years and was once the residence of an exiled Thai prince.

“Aside from its cultural significance, this bungalow bears unique architectural elements that set it apart from other buildings of the same era.

“The building is a clever fusion of a traditional Malay kampung house with English elements that provided for a comfortable and familial living back in the day.

“This bungalow changed hands over the years, and was occupied until abandoned around 2000.

“These two bungalows are testaments to the important relationship between Thailand and Penang,

and their destruction serves as a wake-up call to our efforts of preservation and maintenance of heritage buildings,” the statement read.

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