Friday June 10, 2011
Malacca to boost security at historical sites, says CM
By R.S.N. MURALI
MALACCA: The state government has initiated measures to protect its historical sites following the theft of wheels from ancient Portuguese cannons on top of St John's Hill at Bandar Hilir on Wednesday.
Describing the theft as a threat to the state's artefacts, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he would immediately see to it that all historical sites in the state have CCTV facilities.
“We have to seriously consider beefing up security at these sites after the recent theft including placing guards, especially at sites in the World Heritage Zone,” he told reporters after the groundbreaking ceremony for Malacca's Hard Rock Cafe yesterday.
Mohd Ali said he would direct the relevant authorities to secure outdoor artefacts with locks and chains to prevent thieves from carting away items like cannons.
Lighting up: Workers conducting immediate remedial work to light up St John’s Hill after Wednesday’s theft.
He said CCTVs should be installed inside museums and other enclosed historical sites to prevent such occurrence in the future.
“This (thefts) should not have happened in the first place but I believe it's the work of drug addicts,” he said.
He said the state would work with the police to nab those responsible for the theft.
“I hope scrap metal dealers will inform us or the police if they come across anyone attempting to dispose of these wheels,” he said.
Twenty solid cast iron wheels that supported five ancient Portuguese cannons on top of the hill went missing on Wednesday each cannon with four wheels weighs between 500kg and 600kg.
Malacca has several historical sites, including the A Famosa, Stadhuys, St Paul's Church, Bukit Cina, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Dol Said's Grave, Hang Li Poh and Hang Tuah wells.
This is the second theft involving state artefacts.
In March 2008, eight Malay keris and three Dutch-era pistols were stolen from the Malacca Ethnography Museum.