Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Comment: Colony is worth preserving

I READ “Living legacy” (StarTwo, Aug 21) with great interest. I am aware that the debate on preserving the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Settlement started in July, but your article was an eye-opener on the true significance of the place.

I strongly believe that the whole colony is worth preserving, and the communities that live there and their culture need to be kept as authentic as possible, in order to maintain the true meaning and spirit of this settlement, for future generations to appreciate.

If the present generation is not fully aware of the existence of such an important site, just imagine what historical “emptiness” we would be passing on to our young if places like this settlement were to come to an abrupt end.

It would be a great loss to let the structures just deteriorate with time, or worse, be demolished on the lame excuse of building some structures that could be easily accommodated on other sites.

Preserving heritage sites must surely be as important as the management of modern infrastructures. Therefore, I hope that the government will put more emphasis on keeping invaluable sites intact, even as it makes plans to build new projects.

Moreover, careful planning must be made before turning any historical place into a tourist attraction. Otherwise, the essence of its heritage may become “commercialised”, not to mention the threat of environmental degradation due to overpopulation or uncontrolled human activity.

Like the effects of global warming, such losses can never be redeemed with tourism revenue, or any other revenue! – Doris, Johor

Source: www.thestar.com.my

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