The Macau Post Daily (January 9, 2007)
Legislator, historian ‘worry’ about view of Guia Lighthouse
A legislator and a historian expressed yesterday concern at the view of the Guia Lighthouse in the wake of three high-rise building projects in the Outer Harbour (Zape) that have been approved by the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT).
A DSSOPT staff told The Macau Post Daily yesterday the height of the three buildings planned to be built in Zape ranged between 90 and 135 metres. According to the staff, the three buildings will stand in front of the Guia Hill that measures 91 metres. The 15-metre tall Guia Lighthouse, which was built in 1865, stands on top of the hill, which is the highest point on the Macau Peninsula.
Chan Su Weng, vice-chairman of the Association for the Protection of Macau’s Historical and Cultural Heritage, told The Macau Post Daily that if the three high-rise buildings turned out to “block the view” of the Guia Lighthouse, “this would upset the feelings of many residents who have fond memories of it.” Mr. Chan said the lighthouse was “part of Macau’s heritage that belongs to the whole world. The government should not only protect the lighthouse but also protect its original surroundings.”
Mr. Chan said he was “worried” about the issue. He urged the public to express “their views on the matter.”
Pro-democracy legislator Ng Kuok Cheong said, on the other hand, that while he was “worried” about issue, he was “rather pessimistic” whether it would be able to “save the view of the lighthouse,” due to the fact that the three construction projects were legal. Mr. Ng also said that “local civic awareness is not mature enough to fight to have the height of the three buildings lowered” in order to “save the view of the lighthouse.”
One of the buildings, which will house the premises of the Liaison Office of the Central Gvoernment in Macau, is planned to be 99.9 metre tall, symbolizing Macau’s return to the motherland at midnight on December 19, 1999.
Mr. Ng urged the Liaison Office to have the building’s height lowered “in order to protect Macau’s heritage,” adding he did not believe that the Liaison Office had a “high-handed attitude” and that its representatives “care for Macau people’s demands.” He also said the Macau government should “not only care about businesspeople’s benefits but manage heritage like an asset. The government should have a historical and cultural vision to protect Macau’s heritage.”
Foundations works of the so-called “Liaison Office Tower” have already begun.
The Guia Lighthouse is said to be the first European-style lighthouse built on the southern Chinese coast. Its beacon still burns nightly. The Guia Lighthouse, the St. Paul’s Ruins and the “old” Macau-Taipa Bridge are widely seen as Macau’s internationally best known landmarks.