Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri today said the National Heritage Department had been trying to gazette Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN) as a heritage site since 2008 but could not due to protest by the school’s trustees.
She said the department had, in May 2008, initiated the process of gathering information and related documents for the purpose of gazetting the school under the National Heritage Act 2005 (Act 645) after taking into consideration the historical and architectural significance of the school.
However, she said the school’s trustees on July 12, 2010, submitted a notice of protest to the heritage commissioner through their lawyers, with a hearing session held on April 8, 2011.
“On July 21, 2011, the heritage commissioner, after careful consideration and deliberation, decided not to proceed with gazetting the school as a heritage site under Act 465,” she said in a statement.
The statement was issued in reply to questions raised by the public regarding the alleged lack of efforts taken by the government to gazette CBN as a heritage site under Act 645, considering its contributions to the national education system since 1899.
Nancy said her ministry welcomed the school’s trustees to consider and nominate CBN for gazettement as a heritage site under Act 645 for the purpose of conserving, preserving and protecting its heritage.
She said this would not affect its ownership, custody and administration.
“The gazetting will not take away the land ownership as it will remain with the official owner as stated in the Official Search,” she said.
The minister also called on all quarters to work together to preserve and protect the country’s heritage, both gazetted and ungazetted.
Yesterday, the government agreed to extend the land lease for CBN by 60 years upon its expiry on Sept 6 this year, following an application from the school’s board of governors.