The Penang Free School will be bestowed heritage status in time for its 200-year anniversary this Oct 21. Pix by Mikail Ong
The Penang Free School will be bestowed heritage status in time for its 200-year anniversary this Oct 21. Pix by Mikail Ong

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Free School (PFS) will be bestowed heritage status in time for its 200-year anniversary this Oct 21.

PFS board of governors chairman Datuk Abdul Rafique Karim said the school received the nod from the National Heritage Board last year to preserve its historical significance.

"When heritage status is accorded, it means no other buildings can be added onto the site.

"The status also will allow us to receive conservation grants from the heritage authorities," he told a press conference here today.

Rafique said the status could have been accorded earlier, but did not happen due to the state Heritage Enactment, which has yet to be implemented.

"I was told by the National Heritage Board that the state government has the final say in the gazettement of the school as a heritage site.

"I was made to understand the state Heritage Enactment Act is still in the midst of being implemented," he said.

Formed in Oct 21, 1816, the school is the oldest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

This Oct, around 3,000 of its former students from all over the world will be present to witness the bicentenary celebrations to be held at the school grounds.

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