Hooking The Young on Heritage


Recognition of George Town as a Unesco World Heritage site followed a decade of commitment from hundreds of individuals. It was a monumental victory for heritage and conservation movements in Malaysia. The next challenge lies in implementing standard practices that meet compliance requirements. While the listing was the “sexiest land revaluation by a stroke of a pen1”, the singular question becomes, what’s next? Digital media is one way to go.

George Town’s heritage built environment played a significant role in its listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site and the city boasts the largest concentration of intact pre-war shophouses. Many traditional trades and lifestyles continue within these neighbourhoods. In citing the city’s “living heritage”, the listing was an effort to preserve cultures largely displaced in other Malaysian cities.

But while the built environment is physically accessible, the vocabulary is largely misunderstood, and thus undervalued. Heritage architecture speaks a language of the past. Its usage and relevancy no longer resonate with today’s generation. To the uninitiated, it is a collection of dilapidated buildings that should be replaced.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

May 2012

Having to Belong Everywhere

Writer KS Maniam chats with us about gender, language and the Malaysian identity.

Aug 2012

What The Higgs Happened?

The elusive Higgs boson has been discovered. Khoo Teng Jian walks us through the discovery.

Aug 2016

The Common Ice Cream Goes Upmarket

Penang’s frozen desserts are no longer taken for granted.

Jul 2016

A Pulsating Play that is a Stroll of Rediscovery

Pearl of the Eastern & Oriental promises audiences an enchanting story.