CM: Every community holds valuable pieces of the past

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 holds valuable pieces of the past, and the state government will ensure history remains intact.

“The efforts of historic preservation help to ensure 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 yesterday.

Sulaiman said importance should be given to protecting as well as enhancing buildings and objects of historical and cultural significance.

He said historic elements are responsible for maintaining the community’s heritage and history while adding tourism value to the state.

Sulaiman was commenting on the sad state of the ruins of Ermida do Rosario (Church of the Rosary), a heritage site here.

The site, located in the heart of the city, is not far from other historical sites near Sungai Melaka. It was a Portuguese chapel.

It was either destroyed or allowed to fall into ruin during the Dutch occupation of Melaka in 1641. It was subsequently taken over by St Peter’s Church.

On Sunday, a seasoned tourism stakeholder highlighted that the oldest church ruins in South-East Asia – St Paul’s Church in Bandar Hilir – were showing signs of deterioration.

Friends of Melaka Museums chairman Shaukani Abbas said shrubs were enveloping part of the church and that there was also an incident where a small part of the stone ruins had collapsed, but luckily, no tourists standing below were hurt.

Meanwhile, Save the Portuguese Action Committee chairman Martin Theseira thanked Sulaiman for his concern over the heritage sites that needed attention.

He said forming a heritage preservation group comprising all communities and historians will be a step forward to ensure the sustainability of such sites.

“We from the Portuguese community will support any initiative by the state government to rehabilitate and preserve heritage sites,” he added.

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