THE recent demolition of several ancillary Runnymede Hotel complex buildings in Penang should be seen as a grave tragedy of Malaysian heritage structures and buildings.
The fact that there were similar incidents in the past in different states should be enough warning that our various older structures and buildings of possible heritage value are at risk always due to ineffective state governance, public ignorance, official incompetence or just people’s greed at worst.
Among the structures already lost forever are the Sungai Batu Candi at the world renown Bujang Valley in 2013.
Likewise, structures and buildings in various states have met a similar sorry fate throughout our years since independence.
In future, it might be necessary for the Federal Government to intervene and take serious steps to ensure that the nation’s historical entities are not lost physically forever, But even more important is to ensure that these sites and buildings are remembered by the future generations of Malaysians.