What constitutes a heritage building


The National Heritage Act 2005 Act 645 states that any application to designate a building/site as heritage site will be considered/evaluated based on nine criteria as provided under Section 67(2).

In making a declaration, the Minister may consider:

1) the historical importance, association with or relationship to Malaysian history;

2) the good design or aesthetic characteristic;

3) the scientific or technical innovations or achievements;

4) the social or cultural associations;

5) the potential to educate, illustrate or provide further scientific investigation in relation to Malaysian cultural heritage;

6) the importance in exhibiting a richness, diversity or unusual integration of features;

7) the rarity or uniqueness of the natural heritage, tangible or intangible cultural heritage or underwater cultural heritage;

8) the representative nature of a site or object as part of a class or type of a site or object; and

9) any other matter which is relevant to the determination of cultural heritage significance.

Note that any person may apply to National Heritage Department (NHD) to designate a building/site as heritage.

Upon receipt, NHD will study the application and make further research on the proposed building/site in terms of its heritage significance (such as its history or design).

The finding will be presented to the Commissioner of Heritage to decide whether to designate the proposed building/site as heritage site.

An owner of the site or any other person affected or likely to be affected by the designation of the site as a heritage site may object by serving a notice of objection to the Commissioner within 30 days from the date of publication of the notice in the Gazette and local newspaper.

Gazetting the building as a heritage site does not result in an allocation of government funds to the building.

Nevertheless, the owner may apply to the Commissioner of Heritage for grant or loan to carry out conservation and preservation works on the heritage building/sites.

The grant or loan may be given subject to the approval and financial situation of the Heritage Fund.