CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH CONTEXT
3.3 Legislative Approaches to Built Heritage Conservation in Malaysia
3.3.2 State Government
or site. Part XV, Section 134 grants exemptions from any rate imposed to the State Authority when buildings or part thereof exclusively used as public places for charitable purposes, or for the purposes of science, literature or the fine arts as opposed to any pecuniary profit. The provision of the Act is more or less similar to the Town and Country Planning Act 1976, but the former implementation is aimed more at the local level.
d) Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act 133)
Efforts to preserve heritage buildings in Malaysia are supported by several acts and legislations, one of which is the Street, Drainage and Building Act 1974 (Act133). To date, any erection of buildings is loosely bonded by this Act as well as the Town and Country Planning Act 1976 (Badaruddin, 2005). Part VII of the Act empowers the state authority to make by-laws for or in respect of every purpose which is deemed necessary for carrying out the provisions of the Act. In regards to the preservation of buildings, the State Authority has the right to make by laws in:
The construction, paving, width and level of arcades and footways
The construction, alteration and demolition of buildings and the methods and materials to be used in connection therewith
The minimum timber or other building material content in any building
of State Planning Committee. The committee is the approving authority for development plans and may issue directives as well as policies which the local authority must comply. Development plan means the local plan for the area, or if there is no local plan for the area, the structure plan for the area and in relation to any land or building, means the development plan, as so defined, for the area in which the land or building is situated (Government of Malaysia, 1976d).
a) State Structure Plans
The State Structure Plan is a statutory planning document which sets out the policies and general proposals for the development and other use of land within each state and thus providing guidance for spatial development on states‟ issues of structural importance. The plan also provides the framework and basis for the preparation of a statutory local plan covering each district of the state. Generally, the preparation of the structure plan has to confirm to the provisions of the national economic, social, physical, environmental and conservation policies. The plan is provided by State Director of Town and Country Planing, approved by the State Planning Committee and need to be agreed by the state authorities. Since the study focusses on three case studies in three different states (as mentioned in Section 1.6 of Chapter 1), the following structure plans are importance to this study:
Selangor State Structure Plan 2020
The Selangor State Structure Plan 2020 is a written statement stating the policy and general proposal of the state authority with regards to the overall development and use of land in the state of Selangor. The plan interprets the national strategies and policies outlined in the National Physical Plan (NPP-2) in order to ensure that the state contributes towards the realization of Malaysia as developed nation by the year 2020.
Although covering a wide range of sectors for the state of Selangor, the plan takes into
consideration the presence of cultural heritage in proposing implementation measures.
For example, the plan sets that new development must respect the existing significance of the built heritage and other historic assets in particular area. The plan has also identifies the cultural heritage as one of the tourism products that need to be exploited in an innovative way while at the same time stressing the importance of protecting, preserving and managing these valuable resources. This implies heritage conservation as a catalyst for economic development in the state.
Pahang State Structure Plan 2002-2020
The Pahang State Structure Plan 2002-2020 is a statutory document comprising of policy statements on land use, physical planning policies and development strategies up to the year 2020. The plan is prepared for the purpose of creating an attractive and environmental friendly physical environment for the whole state of Pahang. The plan is used by the State Government, Local Planning Authority and technical departments as a legal reference pertaining to future physical and land use development up to the year 2020.
In line with the national strategies and policies outlined in the National Physical Plan (NPP-2), the plan states the need to protect cultural heritage presence within historic towns as part of the efforts in developing cultural and heritage tourism for the state. The plan has identified Lipis, Kuantan, Maran, Pekan and Beras as districts within the state of Pahang with heritage tourism potential. Cultural heritage programmes should also be organized in ensuring better protection and security of the built heritage. Furthermore, the plan acknowledges that rural settlements in the state of Pahang still retain most of its cultural and historic resources. Thus, the strategies proposed must be able to provide robust protection of these valuable resources.
Perak State Structure Plan 2020
The Perak State Structure Plan 2020 is a written statement covering the policies and proposal of the state authority in respect of the development and use of land in the state of Perak. These include measures for the improvement of the physical environment, management of traffic, improvement of socio-economic development, promotion of economic growth and sustainable development within the state of Perak. The plan acknowledges the former tin mining landscapes in Perak not only as state but also as national eminence which have lead to the growth of economy and cultural diversity of the state of Perak. Concentrated in the Kinta, Batang, Padang and Larut Matang districts, the plan encourages the use of former mining land as part of the economy expansion as well as physical development of the state of Perak.