Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Swiftlet farming a threat to Penang World Heritage listing


The state government better do something, else it will do do us any good :)

A heritage activist has issued a "red alert", saying that George Town's listing as a Unesco World Heritage site is in jeopardy owing to swiftlet farming.


Penang Heritage Trust Council member Rebecca Duckett warned the Penang government that if action was not taken against swiftlet farming, George Town may be placed on the World Heritage in Danger list or have its current status revoked.

Duckett's wake-up call came at a time when George Town is about to celebrate its second anniversary as a joint Unesco World Heritage site with Malacca.


The listing as a World Heritage site occurred on July 7, 2008, and the state government had declared July 7 a state holiday effective this year.

"The assistant general manager of the George Town World Heritage office, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, had stated that the swiftlet industry posed a conflict to the World Heritage listing, and should be relocated.


"By condoning and allowing this (breeders to openly set up farms all over George Town) to happen, the state government and the Penang Island Municipal Council accept that they are responsible for any negative impact as well as health hazard that might arise," Duckett said yesterday.

Duckett said laws were being enforced by the state government on developers, residents and landlords who were trying to revitalise George Town as a residential, cultural, heritage and tourist hub.


"Yet, swiflet farms are being allowed to proliferate freely. The state government must act with a balanced hand."

NST Online

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