YAB Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang
The Historic Cities of Melaka and George Town are the most extensive historic port settlements in Malaysia. George Town's unique urban fabric detailing a rich mosaic of cultures dating from the 18th Century together with the monumental facades and latticed grids, are still largely intact. The blending of Arab, Chinese, Indian, Armenian, Russian, Indonesian Archipelago, Thai, Burmese, Japanese and English cultures together with the indigenous Malay cultures provides a backdrop that led to the inscription as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
The historical and cultural imprint of the traders remain significant in George Town as evident in the architectural styles, the religious rituals and customs that together form our tangible and intangible heritage. This is best represented by sections of the local populace carrying on with their lives in the same manner as their ancestors two centuries ago.
The Penang State Government believes that we need to protect, preserve and promote George Town World Heritage Site by:
Engaging civil society and experts in heritage conservation through collaboration with civil society and experts both local and international;
Involving the stakeholders comprising of the State and Federal Government, private investors and civil society to manage and implement projects in the heritage site through the concept of Public-Private-Partnership.
Enacting state legislation that will empower the State Government to preserve, promote and protect all heritage sites apart from George Town World Heritage Site. This includes the setting up of a State Heritage Fund which we hope will attract both private and public donors whether locally or internationally.
In order to achieve the above commitment, the Penang State Government has set up George Town World Heritage Incorporated whose main function is to manage the site by working together with all the stakeholders. This body acknowledges that George Town World Heritage Site is a source of pride not only to Penang and Malaysia but also to the world and humanity.
We are duty-bound to ensure that our future generation would be able to enjoy George Town in its present distinctive form. We are convinced that to peer into the future we must know and be connected with our common past. Let us prove that we are worthy custodians and keepers of our precious heritage!