The Unesco’s decision to put Penang jointly with Malacca on its World Heritage List two years ago signifi ed a few fascinating things.
For one thing, it was of course a satisfying triumph for the many ngo activists in Penang who had been patiently pushing for that status for years.
Secondly, the listing of the two port-towns marks the acknowledgement of the uniqueness not only of the history of these two human sett lements but of the Straits of Malacca itself and its human and historical dynamics. Aside from these dual urban centres, there are no other cultural heritage sites close by listed under the Unesco programme at the moment which are not purely archaeological in nature.
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