Saturday, June 22, 2019

Preserve our Penang heritage

From FMT:

Acquire and preserve convents under land Act, Penang govt urged

The Convent Light Street recently turned 167 years old. (Facebook pic.)
GEORGE TOWN: The Penang government has been urged to use its acquisition powers to take over the land and buildings of three iconic convent schools that have decided to close in 2024.
Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said the three schools – Convent Light Street (CLS), which houses both primary and secondary schools, and Convent Pulau Tikus (CPT), which is a secondary school – were important historically to Penang and Malaysia’s education system.
“I urge the state government to take the necessary steps to acquire the said land under the Land Acquisition Act 1960 in the event the landowners insist on taking it back.
“There is no doubt that this option is open to them as it is certainly in the public interest and for a public purpose to preserve the said schools.
“They are iconic structures in Penang and will continue to contribute immensely to the cause of education in the state, as they have in the past,” Ramkarpal said in a statement today.
The missionary that owns the land and the buildings – the Sisters of the Infant Jesus (SIJ) – has informed the education ministry it wants to repossess the land.
The schools were previously operated by SIJ before they were nationalised in the 1970s.
Ramkarpal said while acquiring the land would incur costs to the government, it was the only way to save the schools and maintain them as they were.
He urged parents and teachers to support the proposal.
“It would be very sad indeed if CLS and CPT no longer stand where they are today, and all efforts ought to be made to ensure they remain, more so from Penangites,” he said.


  1. NO ! Commercial forces should prevail. The buildings with historical value can be ordered to be preserved by law, but there must be NO nationalisation of land.

    Penang must not become a museum or plaything for Penang's loud Luddite minority to be preserved like a stuffed animal.
    Penangites need more jobs and economic opportunities and not museum pieces.

    1. Light Street Convent is 167 years old, almost as old as Penang - and preservation of heritage buildings has nothing to do with Luddites - you misuse this term without understanding what it means, wakakaka

    2. You forget that my generation learnt real Cambridge English, not the Sekolah Kebangsaan type.

      Luddites were 19th Century fanatics who resorted to destructive methods to stop what they saw as the threat from new machines.

      The modern day Luddites in Penang want to stop further development and keep Penang like a museum.
      No new highways, no new buildings, no land reclamation, no Rapid Transit.
      THAT will inevitably be accompanied by economic stagnation.

      The are adequate laws to ensure the historic buildings comprising the school will be preserved.
      What will be economically destructive is Nationalisation of the property, as Ramkarpal wants.
      The guy's mouth is often either not connected to the brain, or has limited gray matter up there.

    3. we're talking about a 167-year old institution - what nonsense about keeping Penang as a museum? wakakaka

    4. If the truth history of the melayu can be dressed up to suit the ketuanan agenda, WHY not reducing the influences of the other faiths within the same zombieic encumbered idea?

      Penang will be lucky to get even a display as a museum piece le!

  2. Spare a thought for the poor little Sisters of Baby Jesus. People think the Catholic Church is rich but in reality not so. They have assets like land and buildings but they are cash poor. And since the school buildings are classified as heritage they can’t do anything except continue using as a school. Because enrolment has fallen due to the unpopular local syllabus their best option is to convert to international school, to generate higher fees. As long as the original buildings are retained and maintained properly, and they keep the old school names.....why not let them continue? No need for the government to acquire.

  3. St Johns Institution in KL also started an International School recently, side by side with the local school, to cater for the popularity of international syllabus, while retaining the old school building. The international school with higher fees generates more cash to maintain the school overall. The Catholic Church owns all the buildings and surrounding land but lacks the money to maintain it all. By doing it this way they don’t have to go begging the government for help.

  4. Wakakakakakakaka

    Looks like a Mafia like land/property grab operation under the guise of preserving nostalgia for the former students of those Convent schools.

    What heritage value are schools really? And for whom?

    Everyone sells even their Fathers/Mothers inheritance/property once the nostalgia of keeping it dissipates with time. Just take some pictures for rememberance and safe keeping should be good enough.