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The Chief Minister of Malacca has threatened to seek a ‘divorce’ from Penang’s Georgetown under their joint World Heritage listing, after last week’s revelation that some construction works in Georgetown may contravene the guidelines set by UNESCO. While the potential for the World Heritage title to be stripped is real, the controversy and war of words might be just overplayed in the local media and it could all just be simple politicking between the ruling party (under Malacca), against the opposition-controlled Georgetown.

photo credit: nimbu

Go ahead, divorce us, says Penang’s CM
The New Straits Times, 30 November 2008

Malacca unhappy with Penang
The Straits Times, 29 November 2008 

Malacca seeks for a ‘divorce’
The Star, 28 November 2008

M’cca may ‘divorce’ Georgetown over heritage status
The Star, 27 November 2008

Malacca wants to be divorced from George Town if the Penang government continues to allow the building of four high-rise hotels in its heritage zones.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the projects’ constructions in Penang’s heritage core and buffer zones would violate guidelines set by the World Heritage Committee.

“If Penang wants to go ahead with the project, then we will ask to be divorced from George Town. We will ask Unesco if it is possible for Malacca to be awarded the status on our own merit,” he told reporters after opening the National History seminar at Universiti Malaya here yesterday.

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