Between heritage and hotels

Apparently, our State Government is in deep dilemma over the issues. If we are to maintain our UNESCO heritage site, we cannot build high rise buildings near the heritage sites. Yet, some of the hotels project have gone ahead with their building works. Four hotels projects have been approved by the previous state government. Canceling the projects will costs the State Government millions of dollars.

So, let’s imagine I have to make that decision, which would I choose? Of course, as a citizen here who do not wish to see more developments taking place in this tiny island, I will opt for heritage. Who in their right mind wants to get throngs of curious, annoying, loud, brash tourists invading their peaceful haven, right?

I certainly hope we do not end up like Hong Kong. If you take one of those open air, double-decker bus in Hong Kong, you will see how horrid their flats and dirty, run down tall buildings are. Down below, you get miles of gleaming shopping malls and up there, crammed, living quarters.

I would prefer my city to remain like Florence in Italy. If you go up to that little hill, over the bridge (forget it’s name) you can see the whole city of Florence with its old, buildings. Those are the most beautiful sights in the world which cannot be bought with money. The Italians are smart in maintaining the old buildings as they are. Even their toilets are ancient! Darn, I still remember how I shivered in the cold when someone else in another toilet flushed the toilet, causing the hot shower to turn icy cold.

So, I hope the State Government will also have the wisdom to maintain the city as it is. Why not sell off blocks of pre-war houses and make them into boutique hotels instead of building, ugly, uninspiring, new tall buildings? When we have lost the UNESCO award, what is there to see over here? It is not like we have hundreds of interesting, international exhibitions, shows, concerts to draw the tourists? It is not like our state has huge events like the boat shows and people needing lots of hotels found on 2009 Miami Boat Show Hotels site.

Therefore, Mr. CM, please stop bickering over the follies of the previous State Government and make the tough decision to make our island unique and antique. Cancel the hotels, maintain the heritage status. I should know the previous government dirty dealings. It was Gerakan who sold the Hotel Metropole heritage building and pretend not to know that it will be demolished and rebuild. After all, what’s a little summons to make millions?

6 thoughts on “Between heritage and hotels

  1. The hotels better comply man to ensure that Penang doesn’t lose its heritage status. After all the hotel business very much depends on tourism. If Penang lost its status and lure to the tourists, the hotels may find themselves with a lot of empty rooms at the end of the day.

  2. It would be a pity to see Penang be riddled with so many high-rises and lose the beauty of the old buildings.

    Anyway, some time back when I visited HK, they were running out of sky that they want to start digging underground so that they can have more real-estate space… Scary thought…

    Angie Tan´s last blog post..Sentimental Thursday – Lucky

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