MALACCA, MALAYSIA: The state's well-known historical landmark, Bukit China, has been included in Malacca and Penang's joint bid for listing as a World Heritage Site next month.
The decision to bring the 256ha hill within the state's conservation buffer zone comes into immediate effect following a recommendation by the United Nations International Council on Monuments and Sites to include it as part of the listing effort.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said the hill was deemed to have historical value and significance dating back to the 15th century Malacca Sultanate.
"Besides being recognised as the largest Chinese cemetery outside of China, the hill is also the site of the ruins of a 16th century Portuguese monastery," he said after chairing the state exco meeting yesterday.
With this, Mohd Ali said, the buffer zone to protect the state?s 235ha core heritage zone in the heart of the old city would be enlarged to 1,049ha from the previous 793ha.
"This will mean that the hill will now be preserved. Any proposed development must now obtain approval from the relevant conservation agencies," he said, adding that the World Heritage Council would sit in Quebec, Canada, next month to decide on the joint bid.
"It has taken eight years for us to prepare the dossier for submission to the World Heritage Council in Paris and there?s a good chance that we can succeed," Mohd Ali said.
He said the state would receive recognition as "Malacca and George Town Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca" if successful.