Give Incentives To Owners Of Heritage Buildings
PENANG: The Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry plans to recommend that incentives be given to owners of heritage buildings so that they will preserve them.
Its Deputy Minister Datuk Wong Kam Hoong said the ministry would recommend to the Government to provide incentives like assessment and quit rent deductions for those who preserve heritage buildings.
He said following the demolition of the 77-year-old Bok House in Kuala Lumpur, his ministry was seriously looking into getting private owners to help cooperate to to preserve heritage buildings.
“It is important for owners of such buildings to understand the historical and cultural values of their premises,” he told a press conference on Sunday after launching Children Education programme at Che Hoon Khor Moral Uplifting Society.
Wong said the owners should not be shortsighted but be aware that heritage buildings also had commercial value.
“We know that the cost for proper restoration works could be burdensome but private owners would benefit in future,” he said.
Citing the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion here as an example, he said when the buyers first bought the mansion it only cost a few million ringgit.
He said after restoration works, there were many who were willing to offer a price many times more than the original value.
Wong said it was impossible for the Government to acquire all heritage sites and restore them.
He said the Public Works Department had also set up a special unit with trained personnel for proper restoration of heritage buildings.
He said private heritage building owners who needed help on proper restoration works were welcomed to seek technical assistance and consultation from his ministry.
“We hope to cooperate with private sectors and non-governmental organisations that have knowledge on preservation to protect our valuable heritage,” he said.
Source :The Star 17/12/2006 Close Window