While I was back in Malacca for my annual Ching Ming (All Souls Day) at Jelutong, I had the opportunity to go to Majestic Malacca for a meeting.
Since I arrive early for the meeting, I took an evening walk along Melaka River opposite Kampung Morten.
What was noticeable were concrete piles being piled into one side of the Melaka River.If I am not mistaken, these piles are for the construction of a monorail along the Melaka River from Spice Garden to the front of Majestic Malacca. A monorail station is to be constructed here.
Located near here is the heritage site of "Church of Rozary" where you can still see the pillars of the old church.
However, to my horror on that night, a 4 meters piling machine was parked INSIDE the heritage site. One pillar of the old church was pushed down.
As Melaka is now a World Heritage City - Unesco from July 2008,this act of parking a piling machine inside a heritage site is a blatant act of deviance of our Heritage.
The contractor must be penalised and fined for being disrespectful and ignorant. They should be sensitive to our heritage sites rather than treating the area as a construction site.
If we cannot even maintain and prevent unauthorised violation of our heritage sites, how can we invite world visitors to come and visit our heritage sites? As Malaccans in particular and Malaysians in general, we must protect and preserve what we have in hand and not destroy them.
Let us do more in protecting our heritage for generations to enjoy and reflect.
Tuesday April 7, 2009
Official: Protect Malacca ruins
By MARTIN CARVALHO
MALACCA: Heritage conservationists are upset over the lack of protection of the 17th Century Portuguese church ruins in Jalan Bunga Raya next to the Malacca River.
Although gazetted as a historical monument under the Antiquities Act 1976, the ruins have been left neglected with a piling machine used for the Malacca River beautification project parked in the compound.
The Ermida do Rosario or The Church of Rosary was a Portuguese chapel built on the site of the Church of St Lawrence.
It was either destroyed or allowed to fall into ruins during the first decade of the Dutch occupation in 1641 and was subsequently taken over by St Peter’s Church which was erected nearby in 1710.
Malacca Heritage Trust vice-president Michael Benerji described the situation as a lack of sensitivity and respect towards the protection of a historical monument.
Parking a crane in the compound of a state heritage site showed total disregard and disrespect, he said, hoping that the relevant authorities would order the contractors off the site and fence up the area to better protect the site.
State Tourism, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Seet Har Cheow said he would alert the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry and request that it fence up the site to prevent unauthorised intrusions.