28th October 2014
Via fax & post
Fax No: 03-2272 1392
Yang Berbahagia Dr Zainah Ibrahim
Commissioner for Heritage
Department of National Heritage
Ministry of Tourism and Culture
Istana Negara Lama,
Jalan Istana 50460 Kuala Lumpur.
RE: Objection on the proposed development on the Swami Vivekananda Ashram’s site in Brickfields pursuant to DBKL Public Notice dated 27th October 2014
We refer to the above matter and wish you a pleasant day.
We are sure you are well aware of the above mentioned matter as there has been a growing voice from members of public and community leaders against the proposed development on the said site by the trustees bearing its historical status and heritage significance for the Indian community in Malaysia.
Malaysia which is currently sitting in the WHC committee is well positioned to understand the importance of cultural heritages such as the Swami Vivekananda Ashram based on the basic tenet of UNESCO in its effort to preserve heritage conservation.
We are not aware if the trustees had ever made an application to categorize this building as a heritage building but nonetheless in an effort to protect and promote National Heritage, as
the Commissioner of Heritage, under Section 24 of the NHA 2005, it clearly states that “The Commissioner may designate any site which has natural heritage or cultural heritage significance to be a heritage site.
Further under Section 40 of the said Act, you are empowered to advice and coordinate with the local planning authority, in this case the DBKL in safeguarding, promoting and dealing with a heritage site.
No.50, Taman Sri Labu, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.
H/P: +6013-7070352 Tel : +606-7671707 / 7672707 Fax : +606-7673707
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.hindraf.co
It is our understanding that the Swami Vivekananda Ashram had been categorized as a class 2 heritage building under the gazetted Structure Plan for city of Kuala Lumpur in 2004, therefore the heritage department’s task in preventing such destruction should be initiated immediately.
We are unable to comprehend the reasoning given by the trustees claiming that while building the apartments and car park in the same site, they would maintain the existing building. This is practically impossible as this would naturally damage and destroy the existing structure & building that has been standing there for over 100 years. There are clear guidelines for buffer zones in such heritage building both domestically and as outlined by UNESCO.
Swami Vivekananda Ashram without any doubt clearly fits all the necessary criteria in the form of its historic importance in the Malaysian history, its social and cultural association, its richness in exhibiting diversity and evolvement of the multicultural social fabric of the Malaysian community that is clearly enacted in Section 67 of the NHA 2005.
HINDRAF is fully committed and firmly believes in the interest of public, it has an obligation to protect Malaysia’s heritage and therefore humbly request that the Department of National Heritage intervene in the proposed development on the site of the Swami Vivekananda Ashram and prevent it from being desecrated and deprive the Malaysia community of one of its historic heritage.
We look forward for a response from your Department and are eager to know the position you would take. We also hope you would interfere and exercise your discretion and powers under the Heritage Act to protect this building on an urgent basis.
P. Waytha Moorthy
YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz
Minister of Tourism and Culture Malaysia
No 2, Tower 1, Jalan P5/6
Fax No: 03-8891 7011
Email : email@example.com
Source: WHN Media Network