PENANG: A new Heritage Act will be tabled in Parliament next month to strengthen preservation and restoration efforts of heritage buildings, Deputy Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Ng Yen Yen said.
She said the present Heritage Act did not have the power to stop demolition of historical buildings, and merely promote and encourage people to conserve such buildings.
With the new Act that would be tabled, we hope more enforcement measures would be introduced to protect all heritage buildings, she said, adding that proper guidelines in the Act would enable more historical and heritage buildings from being demolished.
Dr Ng said this in her speech before launching the Restoration Fund Raising Campaign for the Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple in Armenian Street yesterday.
Present at the event were Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, the temples chairman Ang Huan Keat, temples restoration and building committee chairman Tan Lye Hock, Penang Chinese Town Hall chairman Datuk Sri Lim Gait Tong, state executive councillors and assemblymen.
Dr Koh later launched the work commencement ceremony of the temple.
Dr Ng added that Malaysia was a multi-cultural country, which was rich in its culture and history, and as such its unique diversity should be maintained forever.
The restoration of the 113-year-old temple that houses the oldest statue of Tua Pek Kong (God of Prosperity) in Penang would cost RM3mil.