Thursday, 5 August 2010

Penang City Hall's planned facelift

I read earlier this week that the Penang government intends to spend about RM6 million over the next two years to give the stately City Hall building at the Esplanade a facelift: replacing and refurnishing old furniture, repairing the roof and toilet ceiling, and replacing the leaky gutters and damaged lamps, etc.

This is, of course, very welcomed news. However, I've got to add some hope and wishes. While the front of the building still looks very grand, the same cannot be said for its side or the back.

A walk around the two-storey masonry building, which was completed in 1903, shows up the external defects.

So I hope that the facelift will also include immediate repairs to these windows. They are eyesores and they say a lot about the present concern for the building (or the lack of it). It is a wonder that little has been done in the past few years to repair them.

By the way, I wonder what has become of the RM3.58 million that the Federal government had allocated to the previous state government about six or seven years ago for a restoration and refurbishment project. I read that the project would involve the restoration of building structures and elements, salt desalination and termite treatment, interior refurbishment of the Council Chamber, main lobby, councillors’ offices, mezzanine floor, dining hall and toilets.

If all these had been done properly, why has the overall condition of the building still suffered such deterioration that a facelift is now required? Methinks, the previous government had not put the taxpayers' money to good use by getting the best possible treatment with those funds. I hope the present government will do better to stretch the dollar!

1 comment:

Jeffrey Chew said...

one rule of thumb mr quah. don't get sucked into the old game of blaming the past government cos the money allocated probably went somewhere else. Good to learn from all this. After all, the Pendatang ex councilor is going to take a year's sabatical .... doing nothing. So if I were you, write to and tell him how you feel about all this.