MELAKA: Joint efforts are needed to bolster the preservation of heritage sites in the state, said Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali (pic).
He said every community held valuable pieces of the past and the state government wanted to ensure that such history stayed intact.
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"Preservation helps ensure that the ties among all communities are strong and cherished by future generations.
"Government agencies, private entities and community leaders should work closely on these efforts by forming a joint committee on heritage preservation," he said in an interview on Tuesday (Feb 7).
Sulaiman said importance should be given to protecting as well as enhancing buildings and objects of historical and cultural significance.
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He said historical elements are responsible for maintaining the community’s heritage while adding value to the state's tourism sector.
Sulaiman was commenting on the sad state of the ruins of Ermida do Rosario (Church of the Rosary), a heritage site here.
The site has been left in a state of neglect.
The church ruins near Sungai Melaka were a Portuguese chapel and are located in the heart of the city, not far from other heritage sites.
The site was either destroyed or allowed to fall into ruin during the Dutch occupation of Melaka in 1641 and was subsequently taken over by St Peter's Church.
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On Sunday (Feb 5), a tourism stakeholder highlighted that the oldest church ruins in South-East Asia were showing signs of deterioration.
Friends of Melaka Museums chairman Shaukani Abbas said shrubs had enveloped part of the church and a small part of the stone ruins had collapsed.
Fortunately, he added, no tourists standing below were hurt.
Meanwhile, Save The Portuguese Action Committee chairman Martin Theseira thanked Sulaiman for his concern over the heritage sites in need of attention.
He said a heritage preservation group comprising all communities and historians would be a step towards ensuring the sustainability of such sites.
“We in the Portuguese community will support any initiative by the state government to rehabilitate and preserve heritage sites," he added.