Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang and Fong Kui Lun, MP for Bukit Bintang on the 10th of October, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur
Why is Menara Warisan allowed to be built on the site of Taman Merdeka Negara when the Tourism Minister has confirmed that it is within the buffer zone of Stadium Merdeka and Negara and is protected under Section 25 (1) of the National Heritage Act 2005?
Dr. Ong asked a question in the recent parliamentary sitting on why Section 25 (1) of the National Heritage Act 2005 was not used to gazette Taman Merdeka Negara / Tunku Park, which is next to Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara, as part of the national heritage site.
Tourism Minister Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz’s reply, on the 30th of September, was that Taman Merdeka is already under the buffer zone for Stadium Merdeka and Stadium Negara under Section 40(3)(a) of the National Heritage Act. In addition, even though Taman Merdeka Negara is not gazetted as a national heritage site because it does not meet the conditions under Section 67(2), it is already protected under Section 25(1). We quote his reply in BM:
‘Untuk Makluman Yang Berhomat Serdang, Taman Merdeka Negara telah pun termasuk sebagai Zon Penampan kepada Stadium Merdeka dan Stadium Negara di bawah Section 40(3)(a), Akta Warisan Kebangsaan 2005. Sungguhpun Taman Merdeka Negara tidak diwartakan sebagai tapak warisan kerana tidak menepati kreteria di bawah Seksyen 67 (2), ia sudah pun dilindungi di bawah Seksyen 25 (1).’
Section 40 of the National Heritage Act states that:
(1) The Commissioner shall coordinate and advise the local planning authority before any planning permission or development order is granted involving a heritage site.
(2) (c) measures that have been taken to secure the safety of the heritage site and the neighbouring land; and
(3) (a) any land adjoining within a distance of two hundred metres from the boundary of the land to which an application under this section relates;
Section 25 (1) of the National Heritage Act states that:
Where a site has no natural heritage or cultural heritage significance but the Commissioner is satisfied that it should be designated as a heritage site because of its proximity to and for the protection and enhancement of another site designated as a heritage site under section 24, the Commissioner may so designate such site as a heritage site.
Since Taman Merdeka Negara is within 200 meters of Stadium Merdeka and Negara, we want to know if the Commissioner of Heritage, Professor Emeritus Datin Paduk Siti Zuraina Bt Abdul Majid, has consulted DBKL on the possible negative impact of the building of Menara Warisan on these two National Heritage Sites. We urge the Commissioner to request that DBKL not proceed with the development order that reports indicate have already been given so that construction can begin on Menara Warisan.
We also urge the Commissioner, with the full support of the Minister of Tourism to designate Taman Merdeka Negara as a Heritage Site in order to protect and enhance Stadium Merdeka and Negara under Section 25 of the National Heritage Act.
Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang
Fong Kui Lun, MP for Bukit Bintang
Question for the Minister of Tourism and Culture
Answer from the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Dato Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (Taman Merdeka Negara)