World Heritage City Mayor
Datuk Yusof bin Hj. Jantan, Mayor of Melaka, Malaysia
Octobre 2010. Datuk Yusof bin Hj. Jantan was born in Melaka on 18th May, 1966, He completed his tertiary education and obtained his Bachelor Degree in Accounting with Hons from North University of Malaysia, Kedah in 1990.
He has 11 years of experience in the private sector of banking and finance. He started his career with Public Finance Berhad and later being promoted as the Branch Manager in the same financial institution before moving to ICM Industries Corporation Berhad as General Manager on February, 2002. In June 2002, he joined the civil service and was appointed as General Manager at Chief Minister Incorporated of Melaka. In 2003, he was appointed to Melaka Foundation as General Manager. During his tenure as General Manager of Melaka Foundation, he was also holding various high profile positions in the State of Melaka such as Acting CEO of Melaka Biotechnology Corporation and Acting General Manager of Melaka Customary Land Corporation.
On 11th February, 2008, Datuk Yusof bin Hj. Jantan has been appointed as Mayor of Melaka Historic City Council (MHCC), Malaysia and become the youngest Mayor in Malaysia. In 2009, he was elected as Vice President of Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) cum treasury recently and the Commander of Regimen 514 Askar Wataniah (Territorial Army Regiment) of Melaka. For Services rendered to the Nation and the State of Melaka, he was conferred the Darjah Seri Melaka (DSM) and the Darjah Mulia Seri Melaka (DMSM), which carries the title of Datuk by the Governor of Melaka in 2005 and 2009 respectively. Besides, he also received the Scout President Resplendent Award from the Scout Association of Malaysia Melaka Branch in 2008 and the Excellent Services Award (Gold) from the St. John Ambulance of Malaysia in July, 2009.
Other Recognitions are:
1. The city of Melaka was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. What changes has your city undergone since your appointment?
Since Melaka was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008, we seriously monitor the management of the site, especially in our enforcement, and we create the new requirement of buildings submission for any new development as well as upgrading and extension proposal within both Core and buffer zone. One of the requirements is to prepare the Heritage Impact Assessment for all proposals which will affect the Outstanding Universal Values of the sites.
The State Government of Melaka also put an initiative to proceed celebration for a month in conjunction with the recognition of Melaka as a World Heritage Site since 2008 until now and the celebration continues in every July annually.
State Government of Melaka together with National Heritage Department and Georgetown are in the process of preparing the Special Area Plan (SAP) and Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for both site, Melaka and Georgetown. This is to fulfill the requirement from the 33rd Meeting of World Heritage Committee in Seville, Spain that took place in 2009.
2. What role did you play as the Mayor in the management of the heritage recognized as World Heritage?
As a Mayor of Historic Melaka City Council, we manage the World Heritage Site by following the existing act and guidelines. Our responsibilities for management of the sites are:
- To control all development in the World Heritage Sites;
- To monitor and enforce the preservation of the sites and retain the status of the sites;
- To plan and prepare the guideline regarding the preservation and conservation of the sites;
- To control and supervised the sites as required in the Management Plan;
- To build and update Geographical Information System and the buildings data;
- To assist and provide all info for research regarding heritage related to the sites;
- To ensure community involvement in preserving their own heritage;
- To initiate the awareness program for all stakeholders;
- To proposed and bared the cost for project and program related to conservation;
- Chairman of the Historic Melaka City Council (HMCC) Conservation Meeting.
3. What are the major enhancement projects of your city related to heritage?
The major enhancement projects of our city are:
- The rehabilitation of Melaka River.
The main objective is to rehabilitate and improve the conditions of the river whilst promoting and integrating the significant of urban design elements and to further enhance its viability and character of the river as an important tourist destination and historical entity.
To develop a world class riverside / river walk development which is socially and economically viable while highlighting the historical elements with a blend of many cultures which are unique to Malacca City.
To introduce new tourism activities appropriate to Melaka’s historical heritage. These will be linked to existing tourist and commercial activities. The atmosphere of the old era with the blend of various cultures and history will be taken into consideration in the urban design to highlight and preserve the historical elements that is unique to City of Melaka.
- The conservation and restoration of the Old Fort, Middelburg Bastion
Excavations managed to reveal part of Portuguese Fort built between 1512 to 1550s. The Dutch later added a square rectangle added on to the Portuguese structure which they named "Middleburg" circa late 1650s to 1670s. This can be seen from top view photo with the other ones. The circular concrete beams also can be seen protruding at the site. They are the remnants of a Shell petrol depot built by the British in 1905. Also discovered was a huge sewage or water pipe dated circa 1895.
According to the last news, about 350m of the buried walls of the fortress will be reconstructed stone by stone to its original dimensions of 8m by 5m, the completed structure would encompass the city’s 11.3 ha heritage site in Bandar Hilir. The Heritage Department, under the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, have implement the project, beginning from the ancient wall site in Bandar Hilir, which has been confirmed as the Middelburg Bastion. The project existing buildings and other structures has not been touched. The Heritage Department did the excavation work and expose the southern side of the foundation of the fort’s walls and its six bastions before using late rite stones from Malacca’s Pulau Upeh to reconstruct the fort. The department also conserved and restores the 23 historical structures within the fort’s confines. The project brings back the memory of the past for us and to preserve it for future.
4. As mayor of a city newly inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO and Vice-President of the OWHC, could Melaka play a leadership role at the regional level to promote conservation and enhancement of heritage in Asia? If yes, what role?
Yes. Mayor of Melaka can carry out the responsibility to leadership role of regional level to promote and enhancement of heritage in Asia. This is based on Malacca international relationship / Malaysia with Asian country is good. Apart from that, through history on the other hand culture that already in Melaka result the external influences from trading activity and western colonization. In spite of this eastern culture stimulization adaptation and west focus in Melaka and still remained until today, this cause Melaka which is not only known on this day but since the past few centuries.
Melaka actually as the centre of leisure-faire those focus on relation between Melaka and other governments in Asia. Culture and heritage will link with all the culture and heritage of Asia. At this note I can say that this is the leading role for conservation and preservation. Melaka should take the examplelary step which could be followed by other country.