The historic Vivekananda Ashram in Brickfields will be declared a national heritage site, Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz told Parliament today.
Nazri said the decision to gazette the 111-year old building was made on July 15 by the Heritage Commissioner, and enforceable under Section 31 of the National Heritage Act.
“The site owners and local authority (City Hall) have been informed of the decision. The board of trustees have submitted an appeal but was rejected under the authority as the minister,” he said, as quoted by the New Straits Times Online‘s Nuradzimmah Daim.
Nazri’s statement was a response to a question from Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran of the DAP.
The Vivekananda Ashram has been the focus of public debate since last year, when the building’s board of trustees announced that a 23-storey luxury residential tower would be built over and around the ashram.
After much consternation and several protests by concerned Brickfields residents, Nazri and his ministry stepped in to initiate the process of blocking any development of the site.