THE path towards World Heritage Site listing for George Town and Malacca was gruelling and at times controversial.

1. St Paul's Church located on top of St Paul's Hill.
2. Various tourist spots can be found in the City Centre.
3. A row of old shophouses along the river in Malacca.

The perseverance of the state governments of Malacca and Penang as well as the Federal Government paid off after 10 years when the two towns received approval to be listed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (Unesco) World Heritage List in Quebec, Canada, on Monday.

1. The Kapitan Keling Mosque.
2. The brightly lit Town Hall building at the Esplanade.
3. The Khoo Kongsi at Cannon Square.

1988 – Malaysia ratifies the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage 1972.

1997 – Then Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry begins World Heritage Site initiative to get Malacca and George Town nominated as World Heritage Sites.

1998 – George Town and Malacca nominated into a waiting list by Unesco’s World Heritage Centre under two separate nomination dossiers.

2000 – Taman Negara Mulu and Taman Negara Kinabalu listed under World Heritage Sites under the natural heritage category.

2004 – Completed dossiers submitted to World Heritage Centre but rejected as they did not fulfil the format and were deemed incomplete.

2005 – The ministry improves on the dossier to suit requirements by agreeing to both applications under “serial nomination”, where both sites would be granted a joint World Heritage Site title.

2007 – Revised nomination dossiers officially submitted to World Heritage Centre in January. Unesco World Heritage Centre certifies submission as complete in March.

2008 – George Town and Malacca listed as World Heritage Sites.

What it means to be on the list

> The resulting prestige often helps raise awareness among citizens and governments for heritage preservation.

> Greater awareness leads to a general increase in protection and conservation.

> A country may receive financial assistance and expert advice from the World Heritage Committee to support activities for the preservation of its sites.

Source: National Unity, Heritage, Culture and Arts Ministry,


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