Tuesday, September 4, 2007

News: (TheStar)Cabinet to discuss demolition of buildings in Sungai Buloh

KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet will discuss the demolition of buildings in the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Centre on Wednesday to seek the best solution, said Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.

He said the Health Ministry and his ministry had agreed that Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) should not be rushing into abolishing all the buildings at the Leprosarium.

"On the technical part, it is too late for us to save the buildings that have been pulled down. However, the Heritage Commissioner has been asked to do an assessment on what has been demolished and what we can still save," he said.

He said the lesson from the episode was that certain quarters should not act hastily in demolishing old buildings, with historical elements, as it would cause the country to lose part of its history.

However, he said the negotiations between Health, Culture, Arts and Heritage and Higher Education Ministries were necessary as the country should also not allowed itself to lose out in development just because it wanted to keep a heritage site.

The Heritage Commissioner issued a stop work order on Monday to stop further demolition of the building until a decision is made as to whether to preserve it as a heritage site.

The order was to protect the site pending discussion between the three ministries.

The leprosy centre opened in 1930 and was once the Commonwealth’s largest and most modern facility for the research and treatment of the disease with up to 3,000 patients.

It is learnt that 16ha of the east section of the settlement would be redeveloped for a UiTM hospital.

Source: www.thestar.com.my

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