Friday, July 11, 2008

George Town to have 3-day celebration

Fireworks will light up the night sky at the Esplanade here on July 26 as Penangites celebrate George Town's listing as a World Heritage Site.

A three-day celebration will be held within the historical enclave of the city, with cultural shows, free trishaw rides and clan jetties' visits for tourists, flower mural painting and tree planting to commemorate the occasion.

Penang Municipal Council president Datuk Zainal Rahim Seman said Friday the council was allocating about RM150,000 for the celebration which would start on July 25.

On July 26, the Yang di-Pertua Negri (TYT) Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas and the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister will grace a cultural show at the Esplanade from 8.45pm to 11pm.

"There will be some fireworks display that night to commemorate the historic event and an acceptance of a declaration of George Town's listing by the TYT. The whole event will be held in a very traditional setting,'' Zainal told reporters after Friday's full council meeting.

The three-day event will kick-start with thanksgiving prayers held at various places of worship.

* Students from five inner city schools will take part in a flower mural painting on the road along Jalan Padang Kota Lama at about 9am on July 25

* Cultural activities will be held at the marina bay at Weld Quay on July 26. Tourists and locals will get to enjoy free rides on 50 trishaws and visit the homes at the seven clan jetties to experience for themselves the living heritage of the city from 9am on July 26.

From 6pm to 9pm, tourists will get a chance to enjoy cultural programmes held at the various heritage buildings such as the Khoo Kongsi and the Cheong Fatt Tze mansion.

* On the final day, another cultural show featuring ghazal and dondang sayang performances will be held at the Upper Penang Road flea market from 10am to 6pm.

Zainal said in view of George Town's listing, the council faced more issues and challenges.

"Our main priority now is to keep the town clean and for this, we would need the co-operation of the people,'' he said.

He added that the council would have to ensure a comprehensive and proper traffic system to ensure tourists would be able to move around the heritage enclave without any hindrance.

"Council officers would be going around the heritage trails to ensure that any barriers which obstruct pedestrians or hinder the smooth flow of traffic would be removed,'' he said.

He added that the council would also be trying its "very best'' to track down owners of dilapidated buildings in the inner city so that they could improve the image of the buildings.

Source : STAR
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