HOUSING and local government minister Nga Kor Ming has invited the Umno leadership to discuss the proposal to nominate Chinese new villages in Selangor as a Unesco world heritage site.
Nga, who is also DAP vice-chairman, said he has reached out to Umno leaders for a meeting to explain the proposal.
According to Sinar Harian, he said the meeting is to prevent Umno from being misled by statements or sentiments played up by the opposition.
Nga had previously proposed nominating the Chinese new villages in Selangor as a Unesco world heritage site in recognition of their cultural and historical significance since their creation 76 years ago.
Umno subsequently opposed the move, with the party’s deputy president Mohamad Hasan saying there was no need for these villages to be designated a world heritage site.
Umno secretary-general Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said although the proposal aimed to empower the country’s tourism sector, it would indirectly affect the Malay-Bumiputera position.
He said the proposal was against the Federal Constitution, impinging on the status and rights of Bumiputeras.
According to Nga the proposal is still in its early stages and said the ministry would also support a similar Unesco nomination for a traditional Malay village.
“At the ministry level, we are conducting a feasibility study. We have several world heritage sites like Gua Mulu in Sarawak, Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Melaka and Penang. If we can add one more, it would be good for the country.”