Monday, September 3, 2007

News:(The Star)Lim Yong Long: Preserve whole colony

I REFER to the letter ‘Preservation of Sungai Buloh Leprosy Settlement’ (The Star, July 10) to the Health Ministry and the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry.

The letter was to further clarify the importance of preserving the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Settlement and to express my disappointment over the lack of response from the afore-mentioned ministries.

I only learnt about the formation of a working committee to study the partial preservation of the colony through the media on July 20.

On Aug 10, the local leprosy community informed me that they had to be resettled in other settlements to make way for the “as-planned” project.

Based on various reliable sources and documentation, I strongly emphasise that this particular settlement signifies the country’s most vital contribution and achievements in the history of medicine.

As such, the government should seriously consider the preservation of the whole settlement and environment. Partial preservation to give way to an “as-planned” project would be incapable of achieving the root objectives of conservation and reflect a shallow decision by the government.

The establishment of the settlement allowed leprosy patients to be treated and housed in a secluded area that was turned into a ‘garden city’.

Besides that, the Sungai Buloh Leprosy Research Unit also helped put Malaysia on the world map as a renowned leprosy research centre that contributed to the modern history of medicine.

The settlement is a common heritage of humanity, and hence, should be recognised as such and fully preserved for the benefit of present and future generations.


Petaling Jaya.


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