Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Gerakan Rep blamed Batu Pahat man for failing to prepare dossier on Penang's hawker culture for UNESCO

MM Online:

Gerakan rep: Penang state government had 12 years to prepare dossier on hawker culture but sat on its hands

Gerakan Penang State Secretary Hng Chee Wey speaks to reporters at its Penang office in George Town December 30, 2020. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

GEORGE TOWN, Dec 30 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government had 12 years to prepare a dossier on Penang's hawker culture for submission to Unesco but it failed to do so, said Penang Gerakan's H'ng Chee Wey.

The Penang Gerakan secretary said the previous state government, under Barisan Nasional (BN) with Gerakan at its helm, took 10 years to prepare a one-metre thick dossier on George Town for submission to Unesco.

“It took the previous state government from 1996 to 2006 to prepare the dossier on George Town and submit it to the federal government to submit to Unesco and George Town was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2008,” he said during a press conference at the Penang Gerakan headquarters today.

He said PH took over the state administration in 2008 and it had until now to prepare a dossier on the state's unique hawker culture but did not do anything.

“The state has George Town World Heritage Incorporated, what are they doing? All they do is take care of old buildings. Why not take the lead in conducting proper full research to compile a dossier on Penang's hawker culture?” he asked.

He said Penang's hawker food, including its famed Penang laksa, was often listed as the top 10 food to try in the world by international news portals and magazines.

“Penang has been known as a food haven for many years. Everyone knows about our hawker food but instead of doing something to get our hawker culture recognised, the state government only wrote a letter to the federal government about this after Singapore applied for their hawker culture to be recognised by Unesco,” he said.

He said a one-page letter could barely describe the vast amount of data and information on Penang's hawker culture and its variety of hawker food.

“The tourism exco wrote only a letter to the federal government. What do they expect the federal government to do?” he asked.

He said any submission for nomination to Unesco has to be backed by full documentation, research and data for the federal government to consider and not a mere letter.

Unesco recently added hawker culture in Singapore to the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Penang had tried to piggyback Singapore's application by writing to the federal government to submit a joint application with Singapore.

However, state Tourism and Creative Economy Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin claimed that the federal government had replied that it was not ready to submit the application as preparation for submission involved a lengthy process that included detailed studies, complete inventories and preservation plans.


  1. Compared to Penang now, at the end of Gerakan rule in 2008 , Penang was a declining , disintegrating dump.
    Thank you for reminding us how bad Gerakan rule was, especially the final decade from 1998 - 2008.

    Nothing for Gerakan to shout about.

  2. But Singaporeans still flock to Penang and to a lesser extent Malacca for hawker food...ha ha ha so much for their so-called air-con Hawker Centres.

    Long Live Penang Lang....

  3. Gerakan so eager to claim credit for protecting Penang's heritage, so why not say something to protect the 129 year old Iconic Ferry? Join Guanee tomorrow at the "Remembrance Ferry Ride" ha ha ha... Wee KHAT Siong invited too.....

  4. Singapore got UNESCO heritage status only for their hawker culture, Penang got UNESCO heritage status for the ENTIRE GEORGE TOWN......ok lah thanks partly for Gerakan's 1-meter thick dossier....ha ha ha, now please say something to protect the Penang Ferry....MCA no more your fren fren right?

    Even Singaporean investors are flocking to Penang to buy up old shophouses for restoration and converting into boutique hotels etc.

    Penang has done ‘better job’ at protecting heritage, says Guan Eng

    December 21, 2015

    GEORGE TOWN (Dec 21): Penang has done a "better job than what was expected" in preserving and protecting its heritage, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.

    He said the authorities in charge of heritage – George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) and the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) – had been doing their part to preserve and protect heritage in the city.

    GTWHI, he said, had even been praised by Unesco.

    As an example, he cited the restoration of the colonial Wisma Yeap Chor Ee in Weld Quay which now housed the Accelerator for Creative, Analytics & Technology (@CAT), Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) and science cafe.

    He said the building brought together heritage and science, and even the Japanese ambassador was impressed during a recent visit.

    "When you open cafes, the buildings are restored according to the guidelines. If we don't allow them to open such businesses, the old structures don't get restored.

    "Sometimes, it is a chicken and egg argument. How do you find a balance?

    "What we do is make sure the buildings are not destroyed but properly preserved and protected," he said.

    Asked about foreign buyers, like Singaporean developer Aspial Corporation's local subsidiary World Class Land (WCL) that has bought a number of properties in and outside the heritage zone at locations like Jalan Pintai Tali, Jalan Gurdwara, and Jalan Sri Bahari, Lim said: "What can you do? It is an open market.

    "But they are also putting in the money for building restorations that most Malaysians (building owners) don't want to do. They (the foreign investors) don't mind spending the money."

    Lim said efforts were also underway to restore six MBPP-owned prewar shophouses on Lebuh Kimberley.

    The shophouses will house traditional craftsmen who had been instrumental in helping the city gain the Unesco recognition. -- The Malaysian Insider

  5. Jasin Man aka PN's "Hatchet Man" destroys Penang Lang's 129 year-old Heritage.

    Last call on the ferry – it trumps even nature’s call
    Predeep Nambiar -December 30, 2020

    GEORGE TOWN: It was a case of you don’t know what you have until you lose it, as thousands of Penangites and out-of-towners scrambled to get their last ride on Penang’s open-decked ferries before they go out of service on Jan 1.

    So desperate were they, that they were willing to wait for more than two hours, even fighting the need to answer the call of nature.

    On the island side, the queue for vehicles stretched more than 1km away, with cars snaking all the way to the Jubilee clock tower. When they finally got on board, the occupants made a beeline to the ferries’ tiny toilets and had to deal with another long queue there.

    For the Cheng Wei Chun family, their wait began at 2.40pm and by the time they drove into the bowels of the Pulau Talang Talang ferry, it was past 5pm.

    Larger than usual crowd for the ferries over the weekend up to now.
    Cheng was among those who climbed the steep, narrow steps to get to the passenger deck where the washroom is. By the time he got back to his car, the ferry was almost ready to dock and he could not be interviewed.

    Others who could speak to the media were disappointed over the retirement of the ferries. Butterworth native Kelly Saw, 41, said it was a big deal for him, as the ferry was the icon of the provincial capital.

    He said back in the late 1980s and 1990s, people of Butterworth looked forward to the ferries every weekend for their leisurely activities. Most in the port town did not own a car back then and worked on the island, he said.

    “At one point, we only had the Grand and Fajar supermarkets, and the island had many more shopping complexes. We would look forward to our weekend trips on the ferry.

    “The ferries are an integral part of Butterworth. Although we have cars now, the ferries were our soul, an icon we are proud of,” he said.

    Foot passenger Saw brought along his wife Valerie Loh, 36 and his two young children aged 10 and four on their ferry ride, to have hawker fare at Weld Quay.

    While many ferry passengers were seen taking in the cool breeze and snapping selfies and wefies on a hot afternoon, some crowded around artist Khoo Cheang Jin, who is sketching daily life on board the ferry.

    He has been on the ferry since Dec 20, trying to capture fleeting moments, from those scanning their temperature at the gates, to the ferry attendants opening up the gates upon docking.

    The 57-year-old island native also said he was saddened over the retirement of the ferries. Recalling older times on the ferry, he said much has changed.

    “Twenty years ago, I would have sketched a bigger variety. People chatted, read newspapers, dozed off in cars. Today, all I see is people on their phones,” he said.

    For senior citizen Endon Abdullah, 66, the ferry remains a novelty. It was only her second ride on a sea-going vessel in all her life, as she lives in Temerloh, Pahang. Her last such trip on the ferry was in the 1990s.

    Kajang-based Shahrullrizal Sulaiman, 44, with his daughter on the Pulau Talang Talang ferry. He wants the old ferries to continue running.
    Kajang-based banker Shahrullrizal Sulaiman, 44, a regular in Penang, said at least one of the old ferries should be maintained.

    “Penang people take great pride in their ferries, we should keep it for good. At least run one old ship with 50% capacity,” he said.

    One of the old ships will actually continue running at least until July 2022 but it will not have foot passengers or cars. Only motorcycles, bicycles and trishaws will be allowed on board.

    More passengers are expected to ride in the ferry tomorrow on their final trips with pedestrians and four-wheeled vehicles.

    In fact, since Dec 24, ferry revenue and ridership have both jumped by 50%, according to officials.