Built heritage is part of our history

READING the various comments in the media, including Wong Chun Wai’s “Schooled in sentiment” (On the Beat, Sunday Star, April 25; online at bit.ly/star_schooled) and Dr Wazir Jahan Karim’s letter “Conserving the last educational enclaves of Kuala Lumpur” (Views, The Star, April 24; online at bit.ly/star_conserve), one may be excused for not understanding why it needed the intervention of the Prime Minister to approve the extension of the land lease for Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN). And to echo the New Straits Times’ leader of April 24, the issue, of course, should not be politicised. The merit for extension, indeed even granting freehold status, is indeed so compelling.

Secondly, from the perspective of Malaysia’s built heritage, the encouraging statement by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister about gazetting CBN as a heritage site is timely and welcome and should be strongly supported. It is difficult to understand why, based on what the minister said, the trustees of CBN should object to that. One hopes that they will reconsider and withdraw their objection.

CBN is part of this nation’s heritage. It needs to be recognised and gazetted as such. And so should a number of other historically important buildings in the country.

Built heritage is part of our history.


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