Penang was where I started my career. I stayed there for 15 years until I accepted a regional position based in Kuala Lumpur 5 years ago. It was also the state which my property investment journey started. It will not end anytime soon. In fact, the progress of developments may be accelerating with the new Chief Minister in Chow Kon Yeow working closely with the the ex Chief Minister of Penang who is now the Finance Minister. Remember the worry about heritage properties being snapped up by foreigners? Earlier article here: Protect Penang’s heritage buildings for the future generations There’s now an even stronger push towards protecting Penang’s heritage buildings. News article in thesundaily.my here: Foreigners can own heritage property in Penang (updated)
First of all, let’s be not too worried about the situation of Penang’s heritage properties falling into the hands of foreigners. Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow shared that only a total of around 3-4 percent of some 40,000 shop houses and other properties within the 109.38 zone are owned by foreigners. News article in thesundaily.my here. He also said that the government is not stopping foreigners from buying the over a century-old shop houses within the Unesco World Heritage enclave. The only thing that these buyers must note is that they must adhere to guidelines on conservation and preserving the properties. Penang welcomes investors who are keen to participate in the long-term conservation and preservation of the heritage zone as stipulated by Unesco. This is important because foreigners must understand the need for Penang to undertake a strong effort to protect its heritage legacy. For the next 10 years of its UNESCO listing, Chow wants Penang to be an exemplary township in terms of reliving its heritage values. He also said that the buildings must be preserved in its original form before allowing tenancy or commercial occupants to move in.
With regards to heritage buildings preservation, I know this is quite strictly adhered to because my friend’s cafe within the heritage zone was asked NOT TO RENOVATE any part of the building but he could only move in his stuffs for the business. I have just returned from trips to Sydney and Melbourne. What I can say is that preservation of all the heritage buildings has made these modern cities look even more grand. As Penang continues to move on towards becoming another modern city rivalling the best in the world, our resolve to protect and maintain our unique heritage will make us stand out from just another modern city with sky bars for example. Let’s keep reminding us of this advantage that we have so that we enhance it over time and not losing it. Once gone, it’s gone forever. Happy visiting Penang. Oh yeah, their property choices are awesome too. Earlier article here: 2019 is the year when home prices strengthen. KL and Penang’best buy’
*header image source: https://mypenang.gov.my/culture-heritage/heritage-zones/
written on 21 June 2018
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