Friday, August 8, 2008

Penang seeks RM200mil soft loan for conservation - Star

GEORGE TOWN: Aug 8, 2008

Penang is seeking a RM200mil soft loan from the Federal Government for its heritage conservation action plan after it was listed as one of the world’s heritage site.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said he sent a letter on this to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Friday.

“The loan will enable the state government and private owners to conserve and repair heritage buildings here.”

He said the action plan would be implemented in stages to ensure success and effectiveness.

Lim also urged Abdullah to note that such a loan was approved for RM80mil in 2000 for the previous state government’s urban renewal and restoration of decontrolled pre-war houses programme.

“In the same year, the first round of loans amounting to RM20mil was given out. However, in view of poor awareness among the locals, the loans did not get much response and were returned with interest to the federal government in 2004,” he said.

With the George Town’s Unesco listing and increasing public awareness, the state greatly hoped its appeal for the loan would be granted, he said.

Copies of the letter were distributed to the media during Lim’s press conference Friday.

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