Foreign Ownership does not control World Heritage site

Penang Barisan Nasional (BN) Youth claims the state government does not have a policy to protect 4,000 premises at UNESCO World Heritage site here. Its chief, Oh Tong Keong said the state government should have a plan to control foreign ownership of heritage premises as the position of Penang in world heritage is very important. "The state government must control ownership by foreigners. If all premises at George Town Heritage Site are owned by foreigners, it is a great loss to Penang people," he told reporters here today.

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George Town Heritage Site

World Heritage George TownA Penang BN Youth study found that 82 out of 120 heritage premises are owned by foreigners, mostly Australians and Singaporeans. Most of the premises are in the centre of George Town Heritage Site like Love Lane, Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Armenia, Lebuh Stewart and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. Oh said a row of heritage premises in Lebuh Stewart currently under renovation was sold to an Australian for hotel construction.

Penang BN Youth deplored the state government statement that of 882 titles that involve transfer of ownership, only 34 lots were owned by foreigners. He urged the state government to identify foreign ownership according to premises rather than lots as one lot consists of one or more premises. Meanwhile, Tanjung BN Youth chief H'ng Khoon Leng urged the state government to inform Penang people on its policies on foreign ownership at the heritage site.

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