MELAKA: Sections of the three-century-old Stadthuys building in Bandar Hilir here has been left in disrepair, claims Kota Laksamana assemblyman Low Chee Leong.

He said the iconic building had been neglected despite the state government previously saying an executive councillor would oversee the heritage aspect of such historical sites.

“Hopefully, there will be some efforts made to restore the Unesco [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation] World Heritage Site,” he said yesterday.

The Stadthuys was built by the Dutch in 1650 as offices for the governor and deputy governor.

Located opposite Jonker Street and adjacent to the Christ Church, the Stadthuys is one of the most important historical sites in Melaka.

Low said the building, considered to be one of the oldest in the country, should be well preserved.

“It’s an indisputable fact that Melaka is a world heritage site and this kind of thing should not be allowed to happen.

“I call upon the new chairman of the Melaka Museum Corporation and the Melaka mayor to propose the restoration of the neglected parts of the building,” he said.

The state government, Low said, needs to show commitment towards preserving buildings with historical value.

“It’s sad when those responsible for taking care of these sites have shunned their responsibilities.

“The site has been left to decay for some time now,” he said.

A check by The Star confirmed that parts of the building that once housed the Melaka Court complex are filled with shrubs and trees.

Windows and paint surfaces have also deteriorated.

The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry had previously said that it was committed to continue supporting the development and promotion of Melaka as one of Malaysia’s prime tourist destinations.

Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said attention would be given to showcasing Melaka’s unique arts, culture and heritage, tourism products and diversity of gastronomy as the main catalyst for the growth of the country’s tourism and cultural sectors.