KUALA LUMPUR: A historian says a proposal to nominate new villages in Selangor as a Unesco World Heritage Site is unreasonable.
"Historically, the new villages were established on a basis that cannot be glorified, do we want to recognise these new villages as a Unesco World Heritage Site," Prof Datuk Dr Ramlah Adam told Harian Metro.
She said the villages were set up by the British to restrict the Chinese who supported the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) with food and medicine.
"The new villages were built by the British on the edge and outskirts of the jungle, each person was given 10 acres (four hectares) of land and surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by police personnel known as 'Special Constables' in 1948.
"I think he (Nga Kor Ming) understands history, he might want to erase the dark history of the Chinese new villages where some Chinese once supported the Malayan Communist Party (MCP).
"If he wants to erase that dark history, then he will distort history."
Housing and Local Government Minister Nga Kor Ming had on Feb 1 made the proposal to list the villages in Selangor as a Unesco World Heritage Site to recognise their cultural and historical significance.
She said there is nothing to be proud of about the new villages because there are no monuments that can be shown to the new generation.
"Back then, there were only wooden houses, now they are gone, most houses have been replaced by brick houses and turned into towns, many of those who supported the MCP have also passed away, so what is there to be proud of?
"Unlike Melaka which is indeed a historical place. For example, the Melaka River which was a route for ships to attack Melaka, it should be preserved and recognised as a Unesco World Heritage Site," she said.