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Kedah applies for RM41 million federal funds for Sg Batu archaeological site development, research

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 09:25 PM

ALOR STAR: Kedah has applied for RM41 million allocation from the federal government for the purposes of research and development of the Sungai Batu archaeological site in Sungai Petani.

State Tourism, Cultural and Entrepreneur Development Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Salleh Saidin said the application has been forwarded to the Tourism, Arts and Cultural Ministry via the National Heritage Department (NHD).

"I have conveyed the matter to the tourism minister (Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing). We have applied for RM41 million for Sungai Batu, from the RM350 million announced by the prime minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) in the 2024 Budget.

"We hope that the ministry will expedite the approval so that we can develop Sungai Batu as a main tourist attraction in Kedah," he said in response to a question by Datuk Dr Mohd Hayati Othman (PN-Tokai) in the state assembly.

Hayati had asked the state government to apply for the allocation from the ministry to develop Sungai Batu archaeological site particularly in extracting an ancient ship that proves the site was once a cosmopolitan seaport.

Salleh also informed the house that the state government was maintaining heritage sites and buildings in Kedah.

"The state government is also mulling to appoint the Kedah State Museum Board or form a a dedicated agency to look after heritage sites that have been gazetted in Kedah.

"This is to ensure that the heritage sites will be well preserved to for heritage tourism niche," he said.

He added that the ministry, via NHD, is also giving priority to preserving heritage sites in Kedah, including the move to gazette and recognise Yan district under the National Heritage Act 2005.

"The move will add value to the tourism sector attraction, besides to preserve, rehabilitate and protect heritate assets," he said.

Salleh informed the house that to date, there are 10 heritage sites in Kedah that have been gazetted under the National Heritage Act.

They are Kota Kuala Kedah; Alor Star old police station; Alor Star old post-office; SK Tunku Putra in Baling; Sungai Petani old police station; Bujang Valley Ancient Temple Complex (site 23); Bukit Batu Pahat Ancient Temple (site 8); Sungai Batu Archaeology site; Permatang Pasir Ancient Temple site; and Bukit Choras Ancient Temple (site 1).

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