IPOH: Various heritage advocates in Perak have welcomed the Governments recent proposal to grant tax deductions and financial aid to owners of heritage buildings and sites but expressed uncertainties about its implementation.
Perak Heritage Society vice-president Law Siak Hong said the proposed amendments to the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, which were to be passed by Parliament next month, were a step in the right direction.
The proposal will empower the Housing and Local Government Ministry to take charge in the preservation of heritage sites but how far will they take it?
Like anything newly introduced, we hope to hear more details about the laws and guidelines, implementation and enforcement, he said.
On Saturday, Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting said owners of heritage buildings and sites would receive tax deductions and financial aid from the Government following proposed amendments to the Act.
Ong added that the amendments would include a RM1mil fine or five years jail for those who broke the laws on the preservation and protection of the places.
Law said the term heritage should be clearly defined as it could include more than just physical locales.
Local authorities are the best parties to enforce the regulations, he added.
National war historian Chye Kooi Loong from Kampar commended the proposed amendments but said he would take the news with a pinch of salt.
I have spent many years giving talks and arguing for the restoration of Kampars various heritage sites but the authorities have been slow in doing something about it.
These sites include the old house of town founder Tok Jabor, which is now in a dilapidated condition, and Green Ridge hill where the Battle of Kampar was fought from 1941 to 1942, he said.