We’re working on it, govt says on making Kuala Kubu Bharu a Unesco site

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KUALA LUMPUR: The government is studying a suggestion to have Kuala Kubu Bharu in Selangor listed as a heritage site under the National Heritage Act 2005, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Mohamaddin Ketapi (Warisan-Silam) said only after Kuala Kubu Bharu is listed as a heritage site can it be recommended as a Unesco world heritage site.

“The study is being carried out by the National Heritage Department in collaboration with the Selangor government, local councils and other related agencies,” Mohamaddin, who is tourism, arts and culture minister, added.

He was responding to June Leow (PH-Hulu Selangor) on the latest developments on making Kuala Kubu Bharu, the district capital of Kuala Selangor, a Unesco site.

Malaysia currently has four Unesco sites: the Kinabalu Park in Sabah, Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, Lenggong Valley archaeological site in Perak, and Melaka and George Town in Penang which are considered one site.

Mohamaddin also said the federal government is taking measures to protect the 302 existing heritage sites in the country.

These include having potential sites classified as heritage sites under the Heritage Act, having programmes to encourage tourism, and working with the media to highlight these destinations.

When asked about the criteria for local art forms like Dondang Sayang to be recognised as cultural heritage by Unesco, Mohamaddin said he would provide these in writing.

Deputy Federal Territories Minister Shahruddin Md Salleh told the Dewan Rakyat earlier that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) would proceed in closing the Ramadan and Deepavali bazaars along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR).

Shahruddin (PH-Sri Gading) said they would be moved to Jalan Raja, where the Sultan Ahmad Samad building is located, as Jalan TAR is no longer appropriate for bazaars.

He said DBKL had received many complaints regarding the bazaars at Jalan TAR, including on traffic congestion, cleanliness and congested pedestrian walks.

On whether such a move would affect tourism at the Sultan Ahmad Samad building, a 19th-century building in front of Dataran Merdeka, Shahruddin said DBKL had already taken this into consideration.

To Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (BN-Putrajaya) who asked whether bazaars in Putrajaya and Labuan would “face the same fate” as their counterparts in Kuala Lumpur, Shahruddin declined to comment.

“That’s outside the scope of the question,” he said.