GEORGE TOWN, Feb 11 – Several vacant colonial heritage buildings by Runnymede, were demolished during the second day of Chinese New Year. Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) council member Clement Liang said the building should not demolished, although it is not classified as a heritage building. He said there is the site was once home to Singapore’s founder Sir Stamford Raffles when he was assistant secretary to the governor of Penang in the early 1800s before leaving for Singapore.
Today, Local government, traffic management and flood mitigation committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said that the planning permission to demolish the building (in lots of 131, 132 and 133) has been approved by the Penang Municipal Council since 10 November 1999. He told this to the reporters during a press conference at Komtar here this morning. Also present were the Secretary of MBPP, Ir. Ang Aing Thye and Director of MBPP Heritage Department, Noorhanis Noordin.
Marcus Langdon, 63, Early Penang Historian who has made Penang as his home for about seven years ago, said he is disappointed that he had done nothing to preserve the several buildings in the Runnymede property along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah and which were demolished during the second day of Chinese New Year (Feb 9, 2016) evening.
In the meantime, he also told the reporters after attending a press conference today that what was more disappointing was that ‘the demolition was legal.’ Runnymede was built in 1807, it was destroyed in a fire in 1901 and a hotel was built on the site in the 1930s.