Malacca City could be preserved after becoming world heritage

Malaysia’s historic city of Malacca could be protected better after being listed as a world heritage, a local official said here on Friday.

Admission of the city into the world heritage family will promote people’s awareness to treasure the site more and protect it better than before, said Erne Hamsah from the Conservation Architect Unit of the City Council of Malacca.

The success in its long journey towards the world heritage will bring many other benefits to the city, she told Xinhua at the City Hall.

For example, Erne said, as a new world heritage, the Malacca City would attract more eyes around the world, which will enhance its status in the world and strengthen its position as a tourism site.

The new status also would facilitate to acquire membership of some organizations and funds to facilitate its preservation, said the official in charge of the city’s heritage conservation work.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added Malaysia’s Malacca City and George Town, among others, into the World Heritage List on July 7 this year in Canada.

The country just had two world heritage sites before, all in East Malaysia. One is the Kinabalu National Park in Sabah and the other is the Mulu National Park in Sarawak.

The heritage site of the city is within the city’s old town and divided into two areas which is demarcated by the Malacca River.

One is the St. Paul’s Hills Civic Zone which comprises museums, churches, and the original fortress town from the 16th century Portuguese and Dutch period.

The second area is the Historical Residential and Commercial Zone, embracing some 600 shophouses, commercial and residential and religious buildings and four streets.

The city, together with George Town, has been striving for joining the world heritage family over the past years, Erne said. It submitted applications in 2004 and 2007 separately, but failed.

The Malacca State and the Malacca City Council have formed related committees and worked a detail action plan to unroll followup campaigns to upgrade and promote the city after the city was inscribed into the UNESCO world heritage list, she said.

Erne disclosed that the city will hold a one-month celebration to mark this occasion, starting in August.

The city is also ready to continue to make efforts to win the status if it would fail this time, she said.

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