GEORGE TOWN: George Town Heritage Action (GTHA) has lauded the proposed move to bring back rent control for pre-war buildings in the George Town World Heritage site.
GTHA co-founder Mark Lay hoped it would be carried out as soon as possible.
“It shows that the state has the political will to safeguard the heritage within the George Town enclave.
“This is a smart and good move,” he said when contacted.
Lay said rent control was already happening in many cities all over the world.
“Take Berlin in Germany for example. The local government instituted rent control to stop the forces of gentrification in June last year.
“They introduced a maximum 10% increase per rent contract between one and three years.
“It is for similar reason like what’s happening here as the local residents and traditional traders were forced out due to high rentals,” he said.
Penang property consultant Michael Geh said reintroducing the rent control enactment was akin to suppression of rights of property and business owners.
“I hope all property owners in the affected area will be engaged and consulted properly before any decision is made.
“The repealed Rent Control Act 1966 was a legacy of the British. It suppressed the rights of property owners during war time to give cheap rental to the tenants.
“Introducing an improved version of this Act will only benefit the tenants,” said Geh, who spoke in his capacity as the head of heritage and tourism division of Property Deve-lopment Construction and Manage-ment Committee, a non-governmental organisation of the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce.