Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS) director Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk and Professor Emeritus Dr Omar Farouk Sheikh Ahmad, Professor Datuk Dr Ahmad Murad Mohd Noor Merican call for the villages to be preserved and protected at all cost. Pix by DANIAL SAAD

GEORGE TOWN: Concerned with the fate of many traditional kampungs in the state, a group of academicians today sounded a clarion call for the villages to be preserved and protected at all cost.

Universiti Sains Malaysia's Centre for Policy Research and International Studies (CenPRIS) also called on the authorities to rethink their urbanisation paradigm.

Its director Professor Dr Azeem Fazwan Ahmad Farouk said many of these villages would disappear if nothing is done to preserve and protect their existence.

"CenPRIS want to suggest other models of development statewide.

"Infrastructure development and urbanisation can't continue in this manner at the expense of traditional and heritage villages," he told reporters here.

Present were Professor Datuk Dr Ahmad Murad Mohd Noor Merican and Professor Emeritus Dr Omar Farouk Sheikh Ahmad.

Azeem said it was imperative for a proper inventory of each village in the state to be carried out.

"The kampungs provide a narrative of the history and heritage of Penang. Each kampung has a story to tell.

"Unfettered urbanisation will not only create despair amongst the population, but will destroy the very ingredient that has made Penang unique in its cultural fabric," he added.

Azeem also said that the state authorities must gazette and preserve the kampungs by way of rebuilding it and improving its infrastructure and facilities.

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