Friday, April 17, 2009

Kg. Banda Kaba Joins Heritage Status

Two urban villages in historical Malacca Town to be declared Heritage Villages.

Khamis Abas, GM for PERZIM – the state museum board - briefed about 80 families in Kampung Banda Kaba and Kampung Bukit Cina on April 14, 09 on the Chief Minister’s plan to accord them as Heritage Village – Kampung Warisan. Khamis said that these “special status” villages are created to enhance and safeguard the development of Malacca as UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The two villages totaling 276 households and 54 houses, if they are successfully listed under the Malacca Conservation Enactment 1993, would join other urban villages in the state namely Kampung Morten, Kampung Chetti and Portuguese Settlement and Chinatown enclaves in Heeren Street and Jonker Walk to be accorded the special status.

According to Khamis, by listing the villages with the status would help to preserve the heritage there. And he adds that the move would draw the tourists to the areas.

This turn of event may be a lifeline of hope to residents in the affected areas.

Because of its proximity to the town center, the population consisting of mostly wage earners and small petty traders has for decades stayed in their houses without knowing when the ironic ball of development will strike their stilted homes next.

Previously a quaint and peaceful inter racial settlement but their fate lingers by the tender hooks with low cost flats and other property projects mushrooming next to their neighborhood. Amongst in the pipeline, a multi storey condominium set to overlook the Banda Kaba surau.

The result is a downgrade affecting the peace and tranquility of the neighborhood. Old residents suffer unbearable ding from traffic jams all day long and the narrow roads are choked with outstation registered vehicles on weekends and holidays.

However, the affected residents could face headaches to renovate their mostly wooden houses and the state is unashamedly vague on this crucial matters because some structures are weathered and in dire needs of repair.

Upgrading their homes may prove more troublesome now because the occupants must now seek special permission from the MBMB (Malacca’s City Hall) and PERZIM for approval.

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