Kelantan proposes Guillemard Bridge to be a World Heritage Site

The Kelantan Government plans to submit the Guillemard Railway Bridge, built in 1920, over Sungai Kusial, as a candidate for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Status.

The proposal will be presented to the National Heritage Department by Datuk Md Noor, chairman of the State Tourism, Culture, Arts and Heritage Committee.

In July 2024, the bridge will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

He told Bernama that the bridge would become a major tourist attraction for Kelantan. To achieve this, he will need to work with various agencies and parties, including both state and federal government.

Kamarudin stated that the Railway Assets Corporation owns the bridge and that cooperation is required to make it an important world heritage site.

He said that before declaring the site a World Heritage Site, it was necessary to upgrade the infrastructure around the area and to hold a celebration of the centennial.

Bahari Mohd Noor, Gual Ipoh Assemblyman, said that the unique history of the bridge would make it a great icon for heritage tourism in Kelantan.

Muhamad Rahiq Umardin of Tebing Tinggi village, who shared his sentiments, stated that the bridge in the 1980s was the only way to connect villages travelling between Machang and Kuala Krai as well as outside Kelantan. This made this village the town centre for Tanah Merah.

The area has been deemed ‘dead and forgotten’ since the Tanah Merah – Machang bridge and highway construction.

He said that the village and other parties have worked together to revitalize the area and develop it as a tourist product. He added that he is currently building facilities like sales kiosks, footpaths public toilets, and playgrounds.

Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad still uses the 609.6m truss, which is Malaysia’s largest railway bridge.

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