Rather impressed, i am glad that finally the Kajang - Sg. Buloh MRT project, (linking several densely populated areas, important sites and tourist spots in Klang Valley from Kajang in the south and Sg. Buloh in the north of Kuala Lumpur) is approved and its construction has begun. Also, as far as i know, two more MRT lines are currently under final planning and evaluation that will cover larger hotspots area in the capital.
So like other tourists, when i was exploring the city, i saw posters of the "Light A Lantern Save Jalan Sultan" event pasted everywhere along Jalan Sultan and Jalan Petaling (Jalan = street). Majored in transportation (bachelor degree) and completed my master in Urban Agglomerations last year, and have been travelling all over the world, i can seriously tell you, all historical buildings should be remained untouched.
Our heritage is a legacy from our past. It is something we live with today and, hopefully, something that we can pass on to future generations. In every country, cultural heritage is both a record of life and history and also an irreplaceable source of creativity and inspiration. Our cultural and historical heritage, like our DNA, determines who we are, giving us both identity and the values that will guide our lives in this changing world.
Yet despite its importance, there is never any guarantee that heritage will survive and be passed on to the next generation. This has been true throughout history and it is even truer today. The best ever example would be the Jalan Sultan case. While the rest are busy rebuilding and restoring their heritage, we are destroying the priceless legacy. Pre-war shophouses on Jalan Sultan, some of which are more than a century old, are at risk of being demolished to make way for a underground station. A famous Malaysian tourist landmark known all over the world is now in danger of having its landscape changed forever. I am upset to know there's no prior consultation or correspondence from the government with the MRT operator and a compulsory land acquisition of the affected area in the bustling historic street that tourists like to hang around.
Number of countries have launched initiatives designed to protect and preserve their own cultural heritages. These initiatives are designed not only to protect famous monuments, buildings, and the natural landscape, but also the more ordinary buildings and objects that reflect the history and ways of life in each country. But the question is, why we would still have such conflict between heritage preservation and the development of public transportation in this 21st century. Where has the ethical considerations gone? Indeed, both can be co-existed if all parties (the government, the mayor, MRT operator, city planners, heritage preservation committees, NGOs, etc) work closely, smartly and wisely. Thus, station re-alignment please or make sure no historic buildings demolished for the project!
Light a Lantern, Save Jalan Sultan, 5th February 2012, Jalan Sultan, KL