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Penang Risks Losing Heritage Status, Says George Town World Heritage Incorporated

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GEORGE TOWN: Penang is at risk of losing its Unesco World Heritage Site status over the proposed Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) here.

George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) general manager Dr Ang Ming Chee said this was because the Penang Forum had submitted a letter to Unesco’s World Heritage Centre in Paris requesting for advisory mission and impact assessment of the transport plan.

Penang Forum is a coalition of progressive public interest civil society groups based in Penang.

The letter was under the subject “Melaka and George Town Heritage Property: Request for Unesco Advisory Mission and Impact Assessment of Proposed Transport Master Plan in George Town, Penang” dated on June 23.

“When we were informed about the letter, we were caught off guard.

“A copy of the letter was not forwarded to either GTWHI or the National Heritage Department and now we are in the midst of preparing an explanatory report to be submitted to the centre,” Dr Ang told a press conference at GTWHI office in Lebuh Acheh.

She added that Penang Forum’s four-page letter “explains on the drawbacks of the transport plan, claiming to negatively impact the Unesco status and environment.”

“The letter was signed by one of Penang Forum’s member Dr Lim Mah Hui, but he failed to cite proper references and sources of his claims.

“We are working closely on the issue and I hope Dr Lim can provide us with references for his statements, assumptions and suggestions,” she said, adding that she unable to provide a copy of the letter to the media due to infringement of copyright.

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