GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Government will declare July 7 as a state public holiday beginning next year to commemorate George Town receiving the Unesco World Heritage Site status.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced this yesterday when launching the month-long anniversary celebrations at the century-old Town Hall here.
“George Town’s and Malacca’s joint listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site not only brings honour to the state but also makes our city the heritage of all mankind,” he said.
“In the state’s commitment to preserve the listing, I have taken the suggestion of some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and will declare July 7 as the George Town Unesco World Heritage Day and a public holiday to create awareness and education on heritage issues,” said Lim.
He added that the theme for this year’s anniversary celebrations is One Heritage, to symbolise the importance of collective awareness to preserve, protect and promote George Town’s heritage.
On a related matter, Lim appea-led to the Federal Government to release the state’s share of the RM50mil allocated to Malacca and George Town in Budget 2009 for conservation work.
“Our plan for the types of conservation work to be undertaken has already been submitted by the Penang Municipal Council to the National Heritage Department in April.
“We hope the Federal Govern-ment will assure us of the RM25mil allocation that was promised,” he added.
Lim later launched the commemorative George Town Heri-tage Passport that features 26 significant heritage sites in the city.
Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) council member Timothy Tye said the dark brown souvenir booklet could be purchased for RM8 at its office on Church Street.
He said that during the state’s grand anniversary celebrations on July 25, passport holders can visit 12 of the sites in the passport to rubber stamp the booklet in unique stamps.
The participating sites are the Syed Alatas Mansion, Sun Yat Sen’s Penang Base, Meng Eng Soo Temple, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Goddess of Mercy Temple, St Geor-ge’s Church, Arulmigu Mahamari-amman Temple, Teochew Ances-tral Temple, Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, Cheah Kongsi, Acheen Street Mosque and Khoo Kongsi.
P/s: Yayyy!! :)