Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming wants the government to make good on its promise to regazette the Malaysian Tourism Centre (Matic), or Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman, as a heritage building.
This was after the government degazetted the building and surrounding areas along Jalan Ampang to allow for development on the adjacent plots, but promised to reintroduce the heritage status specifically for the building.
Ong said he had raised the matter in the special chambers of Parliament and was told by Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz that the government had already published its intent to designate the building as a heritage site.
“The minister also gave me his verbal assurance that any construction that will take place in the plot of land adjacent to the Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman would be in line with the conditions stipulated in the National Heritage Act 2005, including having the necessary buffer zone as a protection for the heritage site.
“I welcome this decision by the minister to ensure that an important building in Malaysia’s history in the heart of Kuala Lumpur will be preserved and protected under the National Heritage Act 2005.
“In the meantime, we will be waiting for the publication of the public notice confirming that Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman has been officially designated as a heritage site,” he said.
Ong noted that the notice published by the government on Jan 26 was only an intent, and does not yet officially designate the building as a heritage site.
“As citizens who care about the history and heritage of our nation, we must continue our efforts to protect important heritage sites not just in the federal territories but all over the country as well,” he said.
The building was the venue for the installation of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1957.
It was also used for the first Parliament meeting of independent Malaya.- Mkini