Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng launched the commemorative George Town Heritage Passport on 7-7-2009 , which features 26 heritage sites in the Heritage City of George Town.
The dark brown passport, a souvenir booklet is selling at the price of RM8 per book, which can be purchased at Penang Heritage Trust office at Church Street. Passport holder could visited all the 26 heritage sites, and have the passport stamp with the unique rubber stamp specially make for each heritage sites. The 12 heritage sites that participated are Syed Alatas Mansion,Sun Yat Sen's Penang Base, Meng Eng Soo Temple, Kapitan Keling Mosque, Goddess of Mercy Temple, St George's Church, Arulmigu Mahamariamman Temple, Teochew Ancestral Temple, Hock Teik Cheng Sin Temple, Cheah Kongsi, Acheen Street Mosque and Khoo Kongsi. The remaining rubber stamps of other heritage stamps can be obtained from PHT office.
Mr Lim Guan Eng also announced that the state government will declared July 7th,the date Georgetown and Malacca were declared as Heritage City, as state public holiday.
The month long anniversary celebration started 3-7-2009, and end on 26-7-2009.
I hope the month long celebration will create awareness of heritage conservation, not only the government but also the people of Penang. The awareness of the heritage conservation is generally not high in Penang, compared to other western countries. We still have long way to learn. The local conservation work and awareness promotion, are depend on some NGOs. We need to start from schools, and community, businesses, and the government need to provide continuous support. A statutory body need to set up, and conservation experts from locals and foreign counties recruited for the management of Heritage city. MPPP and state government need to have a special unit mainly for management of Heritage city. The cooperation between the relevant ministries and the state government authorities need to be close , regardless of politic. We may even need to have a heritage police or monitoring units to ensure enforcement of the policies, daily monitoring, and to prevent destruction of the the heritage sites.
It is a Heritage City, not only a heritage site; a proper planning and management is required.