Unesco’s World Heritage Committee, which met yesterday in Quebec City, Canada, has approved the inscription of eight more sites into the World Heritage Sites, including Georgetown in Penang and Melaka… in Melaka of course.

Kinabalu Park in Sabah, on the northern part of Borneo island and Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak, also in Malaysia’s Borneo, were included in the list in 2000. That makes four of us.

The committee said:

Melaka and Georgetown, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca (Malaysia) have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca.

The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible.

With its government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications, Melaka demonstrates the early stages of this history originating in the 15th-century Malay sultanate and the Portuguese and Dutch periods beginning in the early 16th century.

Featuring residential and commercial buildings, Georgetown represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia.

In 2000, the committee, in announcing the inscription of Kinabalu Park and Gunung Mulu National Park into the list, said:

Kinabalu Park in the State of Sabah on the northern end of the island of Borneo, is dominated by Mount Kinabalu (4,095m), the highest mountain between the Himalayas and New Guinea.

It has a very wide range of habitats, ranging from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain forest, sub-alpine forest and scrub on the higher elevations.

It has been designated as a Centre of Plant Diversity for Southeast Asia and is exceptionally rich in species with examples of flora from the Himalayas, China, Australia, Malaysia, as well as pan-tropical flora.

The Gunung Mulu National Park: Important both for its high biodiversity and for its karst features, Gunung Mulu National Park, on the island of Borneo in the State of Sarawak, is the most studied tropical karst area in the world.

The 52,864-ha park contains 17 vegetation zones, exhibiting some 3,500 species of vascular plants. Its palm species are exceptionally rich, with 109 species in 20 genera noted. The park is dominated by Gunung Mulu, a 2,377m-high pinnacle karst, which is said to be the most cavernous mountain in the world.

At least 295km of explored caves provide a spectacular sight and are home to millions of cave swiftlets and bats. The Sarawak Chamber, 600m by 415m and 80m high, is the largest known cave chamber in the world.

Congratulations. Here is a complete list of World Heritage Sites.

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