Botanical Gardens: What Heritage status means

In Humour on 14/04/2013 at 5:07 am

A few weeks ago, it was reported that S’pore made an initial application for “World Heritage” status for the Botanical Gardens. And a few days ago, ST carried an editorial on the issue, praising the govt, last week, for making the application.

I couldn’t help but recall an exchange, a few years ago, at a seminar on investing in Penang. A lady presented on how the inner city of George Town acquired the status. A S’porean senior official said the problem with status is that once given, the govt cannot change anything. hence S’pore never applied for anything. He asked why would Penang take that risk with part of its capital?

Lady’s reply was along the lines of, “If you made a decision to preserve something that you think is unique, why would you want the flexibility to then tear it down? The inner city is one of a kind that we in Penang want to preserve.” The S’porean official was stunned by the rebuke.

Coming back to the Botanical Gardens, I hope the govt realises that if the Gardens get the “World Heritage” status, the govt would never ever be able to aircon the place. Now while I love the place, it can be rather hot or humid, or both, often. Nothing like air conditioning the place. I’m sure Donaldson, New Reublic’s chief editor, would agree. The weather has him has praising the aircon on his Facebook wall.


  1. […] health : Support and don’t forget our football legends – Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Botanical Gardens: What Heritage status means – Helen Ang: DAP of today like PAP of […]

  2. Frankly donch know why anyone is hung up on getting Unesco World Hertiage status. Has Rome’s Coliseum applied for it? I’ve been to Georgetown, Hoi An and heaven knows where accorded the status, and frankly the best memories remain always the food and the accommodation (hotel or friends’ home). World Heritage is just another marketing gimmick n we would be better off without it. 🙄

  3. It is a bad idea to apply for the World Heritage badge. What this means is that the Botanical Gardens will be damn crowded from then onwards.

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