Foreigners can own heritage property in Penang


Foreigners are allowed to buy up the over a century-old shop houses within the Unesco World Heritage enclave, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

He however said they must adhere to guidelines on conservation and preserving the properties.

Chow said the state welcomes investors, who are keen to participate in the long-term conservation and preservation of the heritage zone as stipulated by Unesco.

He said the situation of foreigners owning heritage properties was controlled, with only 3% to 4% of some 40,000 shop houses and other properties within the 109.38 zone, owned by foreigners.

Chow said the state government would also monitor these properties.

He said this after visiting an exhibition on the 10th anniversary celebrations of George Town’s listing as a World Heritage site under Unesco.

Chow said that foreigners must understand the need for Penang to undertake a strong effort to protect its heritage legacy.

As for the future, Chow said that Penang aspires for George Town to be a living heritage city with the core and intangible values of conserving and preserving not only buildings; but culture, traditions and gastronomic delights.

He said that for the next 10-years of its Unesco listing, Penang should be an exemplary township in terms of reliving its heritage values.

Chow said the buildings must be preserved in its original form before allowing tenancy or commercial occupants to move in.

The exhibition at Gat Lebuh China runs for over a month.

It is situated at the building which houses the federal government-linked company — Think City Sdn Bhd, an agency under the Finance Ministry.

Think City assists the George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI), the local authority on heritage, in ensuring that Penang upkeeps its Unesco status.

Among the interesting exhibits were insightful accounts of the state’s history as well as a pictorial of Penang as a base for the civil society movement.

Source: TheSunDaily.my


  1. curious
    June 15th, 2018 at 11:12 | #1

    3% to 4% owned by foreigners are only under foreigner IC or including SDN BHD set up by foreigners ?

  2. Peng
    June 15th, 2018 at 18:11 | #2

    Very soon the NGOs will come out to cry wolf. They think the new Chief Minister to them is just too “easy meat” for them to contain!

  3. Priceless
    June 16th, 2018 at 01:00 | #3

    Heritage is priceless

  4. Paul
    June 16th, 2018 at 17:02 | #4

    Penang people should not have a sense of indispensable, Penang still need foreign investors as well as tourists in order to move on to developing our future.
    Don’t follow whatsoever negative advice from many of those xenophobia NGOs. They are still living in their “good old (?)” dreams hence, very anti-developments!
    Which way are you going, Billy? 人总是得向前看的。

  5. Polly
    June 16th, 2018 at 21:03 | #5

    Foreign investors can be tourists too, they can renovate heritage win win win , put rent control

  6. curious
    June 22nd, 2018 at 21:59 | #6

    more steeps need to be taken to preserve ownership of heritage property

  7. James Yew
    September 7th, 2018 at 15:37 | #7

    As owner of a small heritage property, I have to spend an annual average of RM 8 k to maintain the property to be in good order. Maintenance of heritage property is serious matter. We must make it as much as possible a free market. Of course the existing guidelines on ownership and conservation must remain. But do not suggest rent control and other impractical rules without first understanding the cost of maintenance and other needs of such properties.
    It would be helpful if the government can provide some financial assistance and rebates for residential heritage properties to help with the costly upkeep.

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