PHT Profile

Penang Heritage Trust

The Penang Heritage Trust (PHT), established in 1986, is a membership-based non-government organisation, open to all. It is wholly dependent on membership subscriptions, donations, and grants to continue its work in promoting the conservation of Penang’s tangible and intangible heritage, and working to save the State’s many historical buildings, and its shared community and cultural practices and values. In addition, PHT organises cultural, educational, and public awareness programmes for its members and the public. It also strives to work with like-minded organisations, both local and international.


After a ten year campaign by the Penang Heritage Trust, George Town was inscribed together with Melaka to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008. Since then, the Trust has worked even harder to promote the safeguarding of Penang’s traditional trades, as well as its heritage architecture. We also articulate the need for maintaining a balance between economic revitalisation through tourism and retaining the old tenant communities, and the historic fabric of the city. Many of PHT’s key members offer their time and expertise voluntarily in matters pertaining to the health and well-being of the historic city of George Town.


To keep our city’s rich history alive, we organise the ‘Penang Story Lectures’; seeking out academics and local historians to share their knowledge on the early pioneers who built Penang, and encouraging cultural communities to articulate their role in Penang’s socio-historical development. PHT created the Living Heritage Treasures Awards, and the Penang Apprenticeship Programme for Artisans, to disseminate the knowledge and skills related to our intangible cultural heritage to the next generation.


While much has been achieved, the Penang Heritage Trust continues to voice its concerns, steadfastly working to promote, protect, conserve, and revitalise our cultural heritage.


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