Yangon Mayor Hla Myint said there is no need to enact a heritage preservation law for the city and apparently sees no need for a committee to preserve Yangon's immense cultural heritage.
“The Ministry of Culture has already enacted a law of protecting and preserving heritage [nationwide]. Therefore, currently, we do not have any plan for [a law to protect the city’s heritage],” he told the Yangon Region Parliament during its 9th session.
He was responding to a question from Dr Nyo Nyo Thin, who represents Bahan Township’s No 2 constituency. “Though preservation is said to be being done, heritage sites are significantly decreasing. So, I want to know whether there is a plan to organize a preservation commission and enact a heritage preservation law,” Nyo Nyo Thin asked.
Yangon is considered to the one city’s in Asia that has managed to preserve most of its heritage sites, which include parks, buildings, lakes, and other green places, Nyo Nyo Thin said. He added that the European Union had given the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) funds to upgrade the Yangon Heritage Preservation Team.
It had provided nearly 800,000 euros (about US$1 million) for the team, about 90 per cent of its annual budget, the representative added. The committee only needs to chip in 10 per cent, he said.
The team collects heritage data and plans for preservation of buildings like ministers’ offices. Inscriptions have been placed in front of the city hall to explain its history and the same will be done at other sites, he added.
Despite the official conservation efforts, Yangon is losing its heritage sites at a fast rate, said Nyo Nyo Thin. The YCDC has designated 189 buildings as heritage buildings. The buildings are also included in the 2014 World’s Monuments Watch list.