Penang is a Malaysian state located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia, by the Malacca Strait. It has two parts: Penang Island, where the capital city, George Town, is located, and Seberang Perai (formerly Province Wellesley) on the Malay Peninsula. The second smallest Malaysian state by land mass, Penang is bordered by Kedah to the north and the east, and Perak to the south.
|State of Penang|
|• Malay||Pulau Pinang|
|Nickname(s): Pearl of the Orient|
|Motto(s): Bersatu dan Setia
United and Loyal
(Unofficial motto: Let Penang Lead)
|Anthem: Untuk Negeri Kita
For Our State
|• Governor||Abdul Rahman Abbas|
|• Chief Minister||Lim Guan Eng (DAP)|
|• Total||1,048 km2 (405 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,666.32/km2 (4,315.7/sq mi)|
|Human Development Index|
|• HDI (2017)||0.827 (very high) (2nd)|
|Time zone||MST (UTC+8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Not observed (UTC)|
|ISO 3166 code||MY-07|
|Founded by the British East India Company||11 August 1786|
|British crown colony as part of the Straits Settlements||1 April 1867 - 1 April 1946|
|Japanese occupation||19 December 1941 - 3 September 1945|
|Accession into the Federation of Malaya||31 January 1948|
|Independence as part of the Federation of Malaya||31 August 1957|
|^[a] 2,465.47/km2 (6,385.5/sq mi) on Penang Island and 1,117.18/km2 (2,893.5/sq mi) in Seberang Perai|
Penang's population stood at nearly 1.75 million as of 2017[update], while its population density rose to 1,666.3/km2 (4,316/sq mi). It has among the highest population densities in Malaysia and is one of the country's most urbanised states. Penang Island, which includes George Town, is Malaysia's second largest city by population. George Town, in particular, is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a thriving tourist destination.
Penang's modern history began in 1786, when Francis Light founded George Town as a trading post of the British East India Company. Penang formed part of the Straits Settlements in 1826, which became a British crown colony in 1867. Direct British rule was only briefly interrupted during World War II, when Japan occupied Penang; the British retook Penang in 1945. Penang was later merged with the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia), which gained independence from the British Empire in 1957. Following the decline of its entrepôt trade towards the 1970s, Penang's economy was reoriented towards hi-tech manufacturing.
Known as the 'Silicon Valley of the East' for its industries, Penang is one of the most vital economic powerhouses in Malaysia; Penang has the highest GDP per capita among all Malaysian states. In addition, Penang recorded the third highest Human Development Index in Malaysia, after the State of Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. Correspondingly, the state has a relatively well-educated population, with a youth literacy rate of 99.5% as of 2014[update].
Its heterogeneous population is highly diverse in ethnicity, culture, language and religion. Aside from the three main races, the Chinese, Malays and Indians, Penang is home to significant Eurasian, Siamese and expatriate communities. A resident of Penang is colloquially known as a Penangite (in English), Penang Lâng (in Penang Hokkien) or Penangkaran (in Tamil).
The name of Penang comes from the modern Malay name Pulau Pinang, which means 'the island of the areca nut palm' (Areca catechu of the Palmae family). The name Penang may refer either to Penang Island or the State of Penang.
Early Malays called Penang Island Pulau Ka-Satu, meaning 'The First Island', because it was the largest island encountered on the trading sea-route between Lingga and Kedah. The Siamese, then the overlord of Kedah, referred to the island as Koh Maak (Thai: เกาะหมาก), which meant the 'Areca Nut Palm Island'. In the 15th century, Penang Island was referred to as Bīnláng Yù (simplified Chinese: 槟榔屿; traditional Chinese: 檳榔嶼) in the navigational drawings used by Admiral Zheng He of Ming China in his expeditions to the South Seas. The 16th-century Portuguese historian Emanuel Godinho de Eredia's map of the Malay Peninsula in his 'Description of Malacca' in 1613 referred to the island as Pulo Pinaom.
|British East India Company||1786–1867|
|Straits Settlements||1826–1941; 1945–1946|
|Empire of Japan||1941–1945|
|Federation of Malaya||1948–1963|
Archaeological evidence shows that Penang had been inhabited as early as the Neolithic era. Human remains, dating back to about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago, have been uncovered in Seberang Perai, along with seashells, pottery and hunting tools. These artifacts indicate that the earliest inhabitants in the area Seberang Perai were nomadic Melanesians.
The Cherok Tok Kun megalith in Bukit Mertajam, uncovered in 1845, contains Pali inscriptions, indicating that the Hindu-Buddhist Bujang Valley civilisation based in what is now Kedah had established control over parts of Seberang Perai by the 6th century. The entirety of what is now Penang would later become part of the Sultanate of Kedah up to the late 18th century.
Meanwhile, the use of the term 'Penang Island' was first documented by Chinese sailors of the Ming dynasty in the 15th century. Sent by the Ming Emperor Yongle as part of a series of long-range Chinese naval expeditions, the sailors, who were led by Admiral Zheng He, labelled the island as Bīnláng Yù (simplified Chinese: 梹榔屿; traditional Chinese: 梹榔嶼) in the 'Nautical Charts of Zheng He'. Penang Island was also recorded as Pulo Pinaom by Portuguese historian Emanuel Godinho de Eredia.
Founding of PenangEdit
However, the modern history of Penang only began in 1786. On 17 July that year, Captain Francis Light, an English trader-adventurer of the British East India Company, landed on Penang Island, which was then part of Kedah. Fort Cornwallis was later built at the site where he first set foot.
For Light, Penang Island, situated in the middle of the maritime trade route along the Malacca Straits between China and India, was a "convenient magazine for trade", and an ideal location to curtail French and Dutch territorial expansion in Southeast Asia. The British East India Company was also seeking a naval base in the region for the maintenance of Royal Navy ships. Meanwhile, Kedah was facing threats from its stronger northern rivals, Siam and Burma, as well as an internal Bugis revolt. Thus, Light endeavoured to negotiate with Sultan Abdullah Mukarram Shah of Kedah regarding the cession of Penang Island to the British East India Company, in exchange for military assistance against Kedah's foes.
With the negotiations successfully concluded, Light took formal possession of the island on 11 August 1786 "in the name of His Britannic Majesty, King George III and the Honourable East India Company". He then renamed the island the Prince of Wales Island in honour of the heir to the British throne, and established the settlement of George Town at the northeastern tip of the island in honour of King George III. George Town was Britain's first settlement in Southeast Asia, and was one of the first establishments of the British Empire after the loss of its North American colonies. In Malaysian history, the occasion marked the beginning of more than a century of British imperialism in Malaya.
Unfortunately for Sultan Abdullah, Light had been acting without the authority or the consent of his superiors in India. When Light reneged on his promise of protection, the Kedah Sultan attempted to recapture the Prince of Wales Island in 1791, but his forces were ultimately defeated by the British East India Company.
In 1800, Lieutenant-Governor Sir George Leith secured a strip of hinterland across the Penang Strait and named it Province Wellesley (now Seberang Perai). After the acquisition, Province Wellesley was then gradually expanded up to its present-day boundaries in 1874. In exchange to the acquisition, the annual payment to the Sultan of Kedah was increased to 10,000 Spanish dollars per annum. To this day, the Malaysian federal government still pays Kedah, on behalf of Penang, RM 10,000 annually as a symbolic gesture.
Light founded George Town as a free port to entice traders away from nearby Dutch trading posts. As a result, trade in Penang grew exponentially soon after its founding – incoming ships and boats to Penang increased from 85 in 1786 to 3569 in 1802.
In 1796, Penang was made a penal settlement when 700 Indian convicts were transferred from the Andaman Islands. In 1805, Penang became a separate presidency of British India, sharing similar status with Bombay and Madras. When Singapore and Malacca were incorporated with Penang to form the Straits Settlements in 1826, George Town continued to serve as the seat of government. However, in 1829, Penang was reduced from the rank of a presidency, and in 1832, the capital of the Straits Settlements was shifted from George Town to the rapidly-booming town of Singapore. In 1867, the Straits Settlements became a crown colony under direct British rule.
During the early 19th century, colonial Penang thrived from trade in pepper and spices, Indian piece goods, betel nut, tin, opium and rice. The Bengal Presidency was aware of Penang's potential as an alternative to Dutch Moluccas as a source of spice production. Spice cultivation on Penang Island became the chief means of covering administrative costs in Penang. The development of the spice economy drove the movement of Chinese settlers to Penang Island, which was actively encouraged by the British.
However, the Port of Penang's initial pre-eminence was later supplanted by Singapore owing to the latter's superior geographical location. In spite of this, Penang remained an important feeder to Singapore – funnelling the exports meant for global shipping lines by ocean-going ships which had bypassed other regional ports. The replacement of sailing vessels by steamships and the opening of the Suez Canal in the mid-19th century cemented the Port of Penang's importance. The tin mining boom in neighbouring Perak towards the end of the 19th century also transformed the Port of Penang into a major tin-exporting entrepôt competing directly against the Port of Singapore, whilst also ushering in an influx of mercantile firms and banks. By the end of the century, George Town became a leading financial centre in British Malaya.
In August 1867, George Town was gripped with civil unrest during what was known as the Penang Riot which pitted rival secret societies Kean Teik Tong (Tua Pek Kong Hoey), led by Khoo Thean Teik and the Red Flag, against the alliance of the Ghee Hin Kongsi and the White Flag. The British under newly appointed lieutenant-governor Col. Edward Anson put down the violence with sepoy reinforcements after days of chaos. After the elevation of the Straits Settlements into a British crown colony in 1867, the rule of law in Penang was better enforced, gradually putting an end to the Chinese triad activities that had plagued the settlement.
At the turn of the century, Penang, with her large population of Chinese immigrants, was a natural place for the Chinese nationalist Sun Yat-sen to raise funds for his revolutionary efforts in Qing China. These frequent visits culminated in the famous 1910 Penang conference which paved the way to the ultimately triumphant Wuchang uprising which overthrew the Manchu government.
During World War I, in the Battle of Penang, the German cruiser SMS Emden surreptitiously sailed to Penang and sank two Allied warships off its coast – the Imperial Russian Navy cruiser Zhemchug in the Penang Strait, and as it was leaving the island, the French destroyer, Mosquet, 10 miles off Muka Head.
In the interwar years and during the Great Depression, the Penang business elites suffered numerous setbacks but also witnessed the rise of the nouveau-riche such as the legendary Lim Lean Teng. Rice-milling, opium syndicates, and pawnbroking were among the most lucrative businesses. In 1922, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) visited Penang amid much splendour.
During World War II, Penang, then a British garrison, suffered devastating aerial bombardments and finally fell to invading Japanese forces on 19 December 1941 as the British withdrew to Singapore after declaring George Town an open city. The British also covertly evacuated Penang's European population, leaving behind the majority Asian populace to the mercy of the invading Japanese. Historians would later argue that the withdrawal and the silent evacuation of the white race led to the loss of the British prestige, and that "the moral collapse of British rule in Southeast Asia came not at Singapore, but at Penang".
Penang under Japanese occupation was marked by widespread fear, hunger, and the Sook Ching massacres which targeted the local Chinese populace. Especially feared was the Japanese military police Kempeitai and its network of informants. Penang was administered by four successive Japanese governors, beginning with Lt-Gen Shotaro Katayama. George Town also served as a vital U-boat base for Japan's ally, Nazi Germany, during the war, allowing the Monsun Gruppe to operate in the Indian Ocean.
Between 1944 and 1945, the Allies launched bombing raids throughout Southeast Asia, including in Penang. The destruction of the Penang Secretariat building by Allied bombing in the final months of the Occupation caused the loss of the greater part of the British and Japanese records concerning the island, causing enormous difficulties to compile a comprehensive history of Penang.
Following the Japanese surrender on 15 August 1945, the Penang Shimbun published on 21 August the proclamation of surrender issued by the Emperor of Japan. Under Operation Jurist, the British Royal Marines accepted the surrender of the Japanese garrison in Penang on 2 September and retook Penang Island the following day. Thus, George Town became the first city in Malaya to be liberated by British forces; the British would go on to recapture Singapore and the rest of Malaya in the weeks that followed.
Penang was put under military administration until 1946. Subsequently, the Straits Settlements was abolished, as the British sought to consolidate the different political entities in British Malaya under a single polity named the Malayan Union. The now separate crown colonies of Penang and Malacca were merged into the Malayan Union along with the Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States, while Singapore was excluded from this union.
However, by then, British prestige and their image of invincibility were severely dented. After heated public opposition, the Malayan Union was replaced by the Federation of Malaya in 1948. The independence of Malaya as a united political entity seemed an inevitable conclusion.
Nonetheless, the idea of the absorption of the British crown colony of Penang into the vast Malay heartland alarmed some quarters of Penang's population over economic and ethnic concerns. The Penang Secessionist Committee was formed in 1948 under the leadership of D.A. Mackay, who was also the chairman of the Penang Chamber of Commerce, and included Penang Muslim Chamber of Commerce, the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the Penang Straits Chinese Association, the Penang Eurasian Association and the Penang Indian Chamber of Commerce. The committee proposed to exclude Penang from the Federation of Malaya, which would allow Penang to either maintain its links with the British Empire or form a political union with Singapore. The movement ultimately failed; a secession motion tabled in the Penang Settlement Council in 1949 was narrowly defeated by British official votes, while another petition sent to London in 1951 also met with British disapproval.
George Town, the capital of Penang, was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II in 1957, becoming the first city in the Federation of Malaya. George Town continued to be the only city within Malaysia (other than Singapore between 1963 and 1965) until 1972, when Kuala Lumpur also obtained city status.
George Town was, since colonial times, a free port - until its sudden revocation by the Malaysian federal government in 1969. Penang subsequently suffered economic decline, with the loss of trade resulting in massive unemployment and brain drain.
Despite this abrupt setback, the then Chief Minister Lim Chong Eu built up the Free Trade Zone in Bayan Lepas at the southeastern part of Penang Island, turning the area into one of the largest electronics manufacturing bases in Asia and the 'Silicon Valley of the East'. This measure proved instrumental in pulling Penang out of its economic slump and led to the state's rapid economic growth as one of Malaysia's economic powerhouses, until the late 1990s.
During Lim's tenure, a number of major infrastructural projects were undertaken. In 1985, the Penang Bridge that links George Town and Seberang Perai was completed; it was the longest bridge in Southeast Asia until 2014 when it was superseded by the Second Penang Bridge. Somewhat less successful was the Komtar project, launched in 1974 as part of his vision to reverse George Town's then declining fortunes. The tallest skyscraper in Penang was constructed in the expense of hundreds of shophouses, schools and temples, as well as whole streets. However, instead of arresting George Town's decline, Komtar itself became a white elephant by the early 2000s.
By the early 2000s, Penang's slowing economy, coupled with the generally deteriorating state of affairs in Penang including environmental pollution, lack of a consistent urban planning policy and a continuing brain drain, led to simmering discontent within Penang's society. These were compounded by the repeal of the Rent Control Act in 2001, which led to the hollowing out of the historical core of George Town. Low-income residents and small businesses, unable to cope with rental increases, moved out, leaving several colonial-era heritage buildings in the state of disrepair. Unscrupulous private developers, taking advantage of the situation, demolished some of the heritage buildings in the name of redevelopment.
Alarmed by the neglect of George Town's collection of pre-war buildings, the city's vocal non-governmental organisations began intensifying efforts to conserve the heritage buildings within the city centre. A media campaign was also launched in 2004 to restore Penang to its former glory in 2004. The public outcry over the neglect of the city once known as the 'Pearl of the Orient', combined with Penang's relatively lively political scene, contributed to the federal opposition, Pakatan Rakyat, being voted into power in Penang in the 2008 State Election.
On 7 July 2008, George Town was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, alongside Malacca. It is recognised as having "a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia". The new Pakatan Rakyat state government also spearheaded the subsequent efforts to clean up of George Town, and improve traffic flow, pedestrianisation, cultural and environmental aspects. As a result, George Town was also ranked as the most liveable city in Malaysia, the eighth most liveable in Asia and the 62nd worldwide by ECA International in 2010.
With a total land area of just 1,048 km2 (405 sq mi), Penang is the second smallest state in Malaysia by land mass, after Perlis. Penang, situated at the northwestern coastline of Peninsular Malaysia, consists of Penang Island, a narrow strip of the Malay Peninsula and a handful of smaller islets. Its capital city, George Town, lies at the northeastern tip of Penang Island; it is approximately 294 km (183 mi) northwest of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's federal capital, and 123 km (76 mi) south of Bukit Kayu Hitam on the Malaysia-Thailand international border.
Penang is geographically divided into two halves physically divided by the Penang Strait.
- Penang Island: an island of 293 km2 (113 sq mi);
- Seberang Perai: a narrow hinterland of 751 km2 (290 sq mi) on the Malay Peninsula. It is bordered by Kedah to the east and north (demarcated by the Muda River), and by Perak to the south.
The Penang Strait is the body of water separating Penang Island and Seberang Perai, and is divided into the North Channel (north of George Town) and the South Channel (south of George Town). At the channel's narrowest section, George Town on Penang Island is separated from Butterworth on the mainland by a mere 3 km (1.9 mi).
Penang Island is irregularly shaped, with a granitic, hilly and mostly forested interior. The coastal plains are narrow, the most extensive of which is in the northeastern cape. In general, the island can be distinguished into five areas:
- The northeastern plains form a triangular promontory where the capital city, George Town, is situated. This densely populated city is the administrative, commercial, and cultural centre of Penang.
- The southeast, once consisting of rice fields and mangroves, has been completely transformed into new townships and industrial areas, such as the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone.
- The northwest consists of a coastal fringe of sandy beaches lined with resort hotels and high-rise residences.
- The southwest contains the only large pockets of scenic countryside with fishing villages, fruit orchards, and mangroves.
- The central hill range, with the highest point being Western Hill (part of Penang Hill) at 830 metres above sea level, is an important forested catchment area.
From a small settlement at the northeastern tip of Penang Island, George Town has expanded outward over the centuries, eventually linking up with Bayan Lepas at the southeastern part of Penang Island, and in the process, urbanising the entire eastern coast of the island.
The topography of Seberang Perai, comprising more than half of the land area of Penang, is mostly flat save for Bukit Mertajam, the name of the hillock and the eponymous town at its foot. It has a long coastline, the majority of which is lined with mangrove. Butterworth, the main town in Seberang Perai, lies along the estuary of the Perai River and faces George Town at a distance of 3 km (1.9 mi) across the Penang Strait.
As Penang is relatively land-scarce, land reclamation projects have been undertaken to provide suitable low-lying land in high-demand areas such as Tanjung Tokong, Jelutong and Queensbay. These projects were implicated in the change of tidal flow along some coastal areas of Penang Island and the silting of Gurney Drive.
There are three main geological formations in Penang, i.e. the orthoclase to intermediate microcline granite, microcline granite, and the Mahang formation (mainly ferruginous spotted slate). Penang Island has no sedimentary rocks and most of the island is underlain by igneous rocks which are granites in the IUGS or Streckeisen classification.
On the basis of proportions of alkali feldspar to total feldspar, granites on Penang Island are further distinguished into two main groups: the North Penang Pluton (approximately north of latitude 5° 23'), and the South Penang Pluton. The former group is subdivided into the Ferringhi Granite, the Tanjung Bungah Granite and the Muka Head Microgranite, whereas the latter is subdivided into the Batu Maung Granite and the Sungai Ara Granite. A study of three disparate locations on the island show that the soil profile in Batu Ferringhi (of early Jurassic age) is silty whereas those in Paya Terubong (early Permian – late Carboniferous) and Tanjung Bungah (early Jurassic) are clayey.
Penang also consists of nine other islets off its coasts. The biggest of all, Jerejak Island, is located in the South Channel of the Penang Strait. Once the site of a leper asylum built in 1868, which was later converted into a maximum-security penitentiary, Jerejak Island is now a tourist attraction offering jungle trails and a spa resort. The other islets under the jurisdiction of Penang include Aman, Betong, Gedung, Kendi and Rimau.
|Climate data for Penang|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||26.9
|Average low °C (°F)||23.2
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||68.7
|Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)||5||6||9||14||14||11||12||14||18||19||15||9||146|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||248.8||233.2||235.3||224.5||203.6||202.4||205.5||188.8||161.0||170.2||182.1||209.0||2,464.4|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Like the rest of Malaysia, Penang has a tropical climate, specifically a tropical rainforest climate bordering on a tropical monsoon climate, though Penang does experience slightly drier conditions from December to February of the following year. The climate is very much dictated by the surrounding sea and the wind system.
|Temperature (day)||30–32 °C|
|Temperature (night)||23–25 °C|
|Ave annual rainfall||2670 mm|
Urban and suburban areasEdit
Penang forms the heart of Malaysia's second biggest conurbation, Greater Penang. Centred in George Town, the metropolitan area encompasses the entire State of Penang, southern Kedah and northern Perak. As of 2010[update], Greater Penang had nearly 2.5 million residents, second only to Greater Kuala Lumpur (Klang Valley). Greater Penang also generated a GDP of US$13,596,418 in 2010, making the conurbation the second biggest contributor of Malaysia's GDP after Greater Kuala Lumpur.
|1786||less than 100|
Penang, with an estimated population of 1,746,300 as of 2017[update], has the highest population density of all Malaysian states (excluding Kuala Lumpur), at 1,666.32/km2 (4,315.7/sq mi). In addition, Penang is one of the most urbanised Malaysian states, with an urbanisation level of 90.8% as of 2015[update].
Due to its vibrant economy, Penang is also one of the major recipients of interstate migrants within Malaysia. Between 2015 and 2016, Penang attracted about 12,000 interstate immigrants and achieved the highest migration effectiveness ratio among Malaysian states; for every 100 Malaysians that migrated into and out of Penang, the state's population increased by 58 persons. The bulk of the interstate immigrants came from Perak, Selangor, Kedah, Johor and Kuala Lumpur.
Penang's population is almost equally distributed between the island and the mainland.
- Penang Island, Malaysia's second most populous city, had a population of 722,384 as of 2010[update] and a population density of 2,465.47/km2 (6,385.5/sq mi).
- Seberang Perai, Penang's mainland hinterland, had a population of 838,999 as of 2010[update] and a population density of 1,117.18/km2 (2,893.5/sq mi).
While Seberang Perai is the second most populous local government area in Malaysia, the municipality has yet to attain city status. Thus, in terms of cities proper, Penang Island, which includes George Town, is the second largest in the country by population.
The Greater Penang Conurbation, which also covers parts of neighbouring Kedah and Perak, is the second most populous metropolitan area in the nation, with almost 2.5 million inhabitants as of 2010[update].
Whilst Penang has historically been regarded as a predominantly Chinese state, in recent years, the proportion of Bumiputeras within the state, which include ethnic Malays and East Malaysian indigenous races, has reached parity with that of the Chinese. 2017 estimates from Malaysia's Department of Statistics showed that the Bumiputeras constituted nearly 42% of Penang's population, whereas the Chinese made up another 40%. Ethnic Indians comprised 9.5% of the state's populace.
Within the state, Penang Island, where the capital city of George Town is situated, has been traditionally known for its more cosmopolitan population. According to the 2010 Census, ethnic Chinese still composed the majority of the island's population, whereas the Malays have now formed the plurality in Seberang Perai. In addition, there is a greater concentration of various minority ethnicities on Penang Island, including indigenous East Malaysians, the Eurasians and the Siamese. Most Eurasians and Siamese, in particular, still reside at the Pulau Tikus suburb.
Penang is also home to a sizeable expatriate population, especially from Singapore, Japan and various Asian countries, as well as other Commonwealth nations. Almost 9% of Penang's population consisted of foreigners, reflecting the well-established allure of Penang amongst expatriates. Most expatriates settle within the vicinity of George Town; the city's northern suburbs, such as Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah and Batu Ferringhi, are particularly popular.
The Peranakans, also known as the Straits Chinese or Baba Nyonya, are the descendants of the early Chinese immigrants to Penang, Malacca and Singapore. They have partially adopted Malay customs and speak a Chinese-Malay creole of which many words contributed to Penang Hokkien as well (such as "Ah Bah" or "Baba" which refers to a man). The Peranakan community possesses a distinct identity in terms of food, dress, rites, crafts and culture. Most of the Peranakans are not Muslims but practise an eclectic form of ancestor worship and Chinese religion, while some were Christians. They prided themselves as being Anglophone and distinguished themselves from the newly arrived Chinamen or sinkheh.
While the Peranakan culture is still a living one, it is almost extinct today, due to Malaysia's ethnic policies that classify the Peranakans as Chinese. Although many have been reabsorbed into the mainstream Chinese community, others have opted for more Westernised ways of life. Still, their legacy lives on in their distinctive architecture, as exemplified by the Pinang Peranakan Mansion and the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, as well as their cuisine, elaborate costumes like the nyonya kebaya, and exquisite handicrafts.
During the British colonial era, English was the official language in Penang. This was helped by the mushrooming of missionary schools throughout George Town, all of which used English as their medium of instruction and were held in high esteem by the locals. Most Penangites still maintain reasonable command of the language. While British English is formally used, spoken English usually takes the form of Manglish. Notably, George Town is the only city in Malaysia that retains most of its English street names, as can be seen on the multi-lingual street signs in the city.
As in the rest of Malaysia, Malay is now the official language of the state, as well as the medium of instruction of national schools. Penangite Malays typically speak a variant of the Kedah Malay dialect, which has been slightly modified to suit the conditions of a multi-ethnic city. Words of Indian origin are used, as well as the alteration of the final l syllable into i.
Meanwhile, Penangites of Chinese descent use a variety of Chinese dialects, reflective of their forebears' different places of origins in southern China. These include Hakka, Cantonese and Teochew (the latter more so in Seberang Perai), while Mandarin, more widely used by the younger generations, has been the medium of instruction in Chinese schools throughout Penang.
However, it is Penang Hokkien, the mother tongue of 63.9% of Penang's Chinese, that serves as the unofficial lingua franca of Penang. Originally a variant of the Minnan dialect, Penang Hokkien has incorporated a large number of loanwords from Malay and English, yet another legacy of the Peranakan culture. It is spoken by many Penangites regardless of race for communication purposes, so much so that even police officers take courses in Penang Hokkien. In recent years, steps are being taken to maintain the dialect's relevance in the face of increasing influence of Mandarin and English among the younger populace, including through books, dictionaries and movies.
As with other Peninsular states, Islam is the official religion of the State of Penang. Even so, other religions are allowed to be practised within the state, contributing to its cosmopolitan society.
As of 2010[update], Muslims constituted over 44% of Penang's population, followed by the Buddhists at nearly 36% and the Hindus at almost 9%. Notably, smaller communities of Chinese Muslims and Indian Muslims have long existed within George Town, while most Buddhists in Penang follow either Theravada or Mahayana traditions, although the Vajrayana school is becoming increasingly popular. A significant multiracial community of Christians, of both Catholic and Protestant sects, also exist in Penang, consisting of ethnic Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, East Malaysian migrants and expatriates. Meanwhile, more than 10% of the state's Chinese populace adhere to Taoism and other Chinese folk religions.
One particular street in George Town exemplifies the harmonious coexistence of the various religions in Penang. Along Pitt Street, Muslim, Taoist, Hindu and Christian places of worship are situated just metres away from one another, earning the street its nickname, the 'Street of Harmony'. This reflects Penang's diverse ethnic and socio-cultural amalgamation.
There was once a tiny and little-known community of Jews in Penang, who mainly resided along Jalan Zainal Abidin (formerly Yahudi Road). The last known native Jew died in 2011, rendering the centuries-old Jewish community in Penang effectively extinct.
As of December 2016[update], Penang had 407,107 existing housing units, of which almost 57% consisted of high-rises, such as condominiums, apartments and lower-cost flats. Penang Island had a higher concentration of high-rises due to its inherent scarcity of land; more than 80% of all housing units on the island were composed of high-rises.
Penang also has a relatively high home ownership rate, which stood at 82% as of 2014[update], higher than the national average of 76.1%. This also puts Penang on par with European nations like Norway and Estonia in terms of home ownership. By 2010, 87.3% of Penang's owned homes were under individual ownerships, the second highest percentage amongst Malaysian states.
Governance and lawEdit
The Penang state government has its own legislature and executive council, but they have relatively limited powers in comparison with those of the Malaysian federal government, chiefly in areas of revenues and taxation.
Penang, being a former British crown colony, is one of only four states in Malaysia not to have a hereditary Malay Ruler or Sultan. The other three are Malacca, a former fellow British Straits Settlement, and the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak.
The ceremonial head of the State of Penang is the Governor (Malay: Yang di-Pertua Negeri), who is appointed by the King of Malaysia (Malay: Yang di-Pertuan Agong). The present Governor of Penang, Abdul Rahman Abbas, assumed office in 2001. His consent is required to dissolve the Penang State Legislative Assembly. In practice, the Governor is a figurehead whose functions are chiefly symbolic and ceremonial.
The current and fourth Chief Minister of Penang is Lim Guan Eng of the Democratic Action Party (DAP). Following the 2008 State Election, a coalition of the DAP and the People's Justice Party (PKR) formed the Penang state government, with the chief ministership going to the former for being the single largest party in the state legislature. Lim is now serving his second consecutive term as the state's Chief Minister following his coalition's victory in the 2013 State Election.
|Pakatan Harapan (DAP & PKR)||29 (72.5%)||10 (76.9%)|
|Barisan Nasional||10 (25%)||3 (23.1%)|
As of 2017[update], 29 of the seats are held by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, of which 19 are retained by the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the other 10 by the People's Justice Party (PKR). The state opposition is formed by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, which holds 10 seats, and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), which occupies one seat. As in the Malaysian Parliament, Penang practises the Westminster system whereby members of the state executive are appointed from amongst the elected assemblymen.
In the Malaysian Parliament, Penang is represented by 13 elected Members of Parliament in the House of Representatives (Malay: Dewan Rakyat), serving a five-year term. In addition, the two senators that represent Penang in the Senate (Malay: Dewan Negara) are appointed by the Penang State Legislative Assembly for three-year terms.
The Penang State Constitution, codified in 1957, embodies the state's highest laws. Amendments to the Constitution require the support of two-thirds of the Penang State Legislative Assembly. The Malaysian Federal Constitution enumerates matters which come under federal, state and joint jurisdictions. The state may legislate on matters pertaining to Malay customs, land, agriculture and forestry, local government, civil and water works, and state administration, whereas matters that fall under joint purview include social welfare, wildlife protection and national parks, scholarships, husbandry, town planning, drainage and irrigation, and public health and health regulations.
On 1 January 1957, George Town became a city by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the very first city in the Federation of Malaya and subsequently, Malaysia (other than Singapore between the 1963 merger and its 1965 separation).
Although in 1951, Penang became the first state in Malaya to hold local elections, local elections were abolished in Malaysia in 1965 as a result of the Indonesian Confrontation. Local councillors have been appointed by the Penang state government ever since.
There are currently two local councils in Penang.
- The Penang Island City Council administers the city of George Town and Penang Island. It is made up of a Mayor, a secretary and 24 councillors.
- The Seberang Perai Municipal Council is in charge of Seberang Perai. Similar in structure to the City Council, it also consists of a President, a municipal secretary and 24 councillors.
Both the Mayor and the President are appointed by the state government for a two-year term, while the councillors are appointed for one-year terms of office. The local councils are responsible, among others, for regulating traffic and parking, maintaining public parks, upkeeping cleanliness and drainage, managing waste disposal, issuing business licenses, and overseeing public health.
The state is also divided into five administrative districts, each headed by a district officer. The lands and district office in each district deals with land administration and revenue; thus it differs from the local governments (city or municipal council) which oversee the provision and maintenance of urban infrastructure.
The Malaysian legal system had its roots in 19th-century George Town. By 1807, a Royal Charter was granted to Penang which provided for the establishment of a Supreme Court. This was followed by the appointment of the first Supreme Court judge, designated as the 'Recorder'.
The Supreme Court of Penang was first housed at Fort Cornwallis and was opened on 31 May 1808. The first Superior Court Judge in Malaya originated from Penang when Sir Edmond Stanley assumed office as the First Recorder (later, Judge) of the Supreme Court in Penang in 1808. The legal establishment in Penang was later progressively extended to the whole of British Malaya by 1951.
Post-independence, the Malaysian judiciary has become largely centralised. Penang's courts now consist of the Magistrates and Sessions Courts, and the High Court. The court that is the highest up in the hierarchy of courts in Penang is the Penang High Court.
The Syariah court is a parallel court which hears matters concerning Islamic jurisprudence.
|Agriculture, hunting & forestry||1.4||1.3|
|Mining & quarrying||0.1||0.2|
|Electricity, gas & water supply||0.6||0.4|
|Wholesale & retail trade; repair of motor
vehicles, and personal & household goods
|Hotels & restaurants||9.4||8.7|
|Transport, storage & communication||5.1||7.2|
|Real estate, renting & business activities||5.5||6.7|
|Public administration & defence;
compulsory social security
|Health & social work||3.5||2.8|
|Other community, social & personal service||2.9||2.6|
|Private households with employed persons||2.8||3.4|
In spite of its tiny size, Penang, well known as the 'Silicon Valley of the East', has one of the largest economies amongst the states of Malaysia, contributing as much as RM7 billion of Malaysia's tax income in 2015. Penang also has the highest GDP per capita among all Malaysian states, at RM47,322 as of 2016[update].
Furthermore, Penang consistently records one of the lowest unemployment rates among all Malaysian states - 1.5% as of 2015[update]. The state also recorded one of the lowest Gini coefficients in the country, at 0.356 in 2016.
In 2010, Penang recorded the highest total of capital investments in Malaysia, attracting RM12.2 billion worth of investments, a total increase of 465%. On top of that, Penang accounted 26% of Malaysia's total investments in that year. Penang's stunning economic growth, particularly since 2008, was described by the American media firm, Bloomberg, as Malaysia's "biggest economic success" despite the federal government's focus on other states such as Johor and Sarawak. Consequently, the Penang state government was able to decrease Penang's public debt by 95% from RM630 million in 2008 to RM30 million by the end of 2011. In 2016, George Town was ranked Malaysia's most attractive destination for commercial property investment by Knight Frank, surpassing even Kuala Lumpur. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, George Town also contributed close to 8% of Malaysia's personal disposable income in 2015, second only to Kuala Lumpur.
The Penang Development Corporation (PDC) is a self-funding statutory body, aimed at enhancing Penang's socio-economic development and to create employment opportunities, whereas InvestPenang is a non-profit entity of the Penang state government with the sole purpose of promoting investments in Penang.
Since the late 20th century, manufacturing has formed the backbone of Penang's economy, contributing 44.6% of the state's GDP as of 2016[update] and attracting as many as 3,000 firms to set up their plants within the state. Indeed, Penang is known as the 'Silicon Valley of the East' due to the presence of several electronics, engineering and other technology-related multinational firms in the state, making it one of the main electronics manufacturing hub in Malaysia. Also, of Penang's total exports during the first nine months in 2014, machinery and transport equipment accounted for 71%.
The southeastern part of Penang Island is highly industrialised, with a concentration of high-tech electronics plants, including Dell, Intel, AMD, Altera, Motorola, Agilent, Keysight, Renesas, Osram, Plexus Corporation, Bosch and Seagate forming the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone – earning Penang the nickname 'Silicon Island'.
Mainland Seberang Perai has also witnessed massive industrialisation, with industrial estates and oil refineries being established in the late 20th century in areas like Mak Mandin and Perai. The major local firms already operating in Seberang Perai, including Malayan Sugar, Malayawata Steel, Southern Steel, Harvik Rubber and Soon Soon Oilmills, have been joined by multinational companies, such as Sony, Mattel, Pensonic, Hitachi, Mitsuoka, Chevron and Honeywell Aerospace. In addition, a small automotive industry is also based in Butterworth, specialising in the reconditioning and reassembly of heavy commercial vehicles.
In January 2005, Penang was formally accorded the Multimedia Super Corridor Cyber City status, the first outside of Cyberjaya, with the aim of becoming a high-technology industrial park that conducts cutting-edge research.
Aside from electronics and engineering manufacturing, Penang is Malaysia's main jewellery finishing hub, contributing as much as RM6.1 billion or 85% of Malaysia's gold and jewellery exports as of 2016[update]. Penang's jewellery finishing industry is relatively well-established, dating back to the founding of the Penang Goldsmith Association in 1832. Penang companies also export these precious metal jewellery to over 20 foreign markets, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and the United States.
Due to Penang's reputation as one of the popular tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, the state has a booming services sector. In recent years, this sector has grown to become the largest economic sector in Penang, accounting for 49.2% of Penang's GDP as of 2016[update], slightly greater than that of the manufacturing sector which contributed 44.6% of Penang's GDP within the same year. In addition, almost two-thirds of Penang's workforce are employed in services-related industries, which include retail, accommodation, medical tourism, and food and beverages (F&B) sub-sectors.
The numerous private hospitals on Penang Island, cheaper treatment and living costs, well-trained professionals, advanced equipment and Penang's laid-back lifestyle have all contributed to medical tourism becoming an integral component of Penang's services sector. George Town, in particular, has become the medical tourism hub of Malaysia, attracting approximately half of the nation's medical tourist arrivals in 2013 and generating about 70% of Malaysia's medical tourism revenue.
The state also has a vibrant retail sub-sector, which employs as many as 24% of Penang's workforce. As the main shopping destination in northern Malaysia, Penang is home to several shopping malls within its compact land size, such as Gurney Plaza, Gurney Paragon, Queensbay Mall, 1st Avenue Mall, Straits Quay and Design Village. Since 2001, shopping complexes in George Town registered the biggest increases in Malaysia. While shopping malls now dominate the retail scene, centuries-old shophouses are still operating alongside George Town's flea markets and wet markets, all of which cater more to local products, including spices, nutmegs and tau sar pneah, a famous Penang delicacy. This combination of both old and new creates a unique bustling retail scene unlike anywhere else in Malaysia.
More recently, Penang has been intensifying efforts to diversify its economic sectors, including its services sector. The Penang state government intends to turn Penang into a shared services and outsourcing (SSO) hub; this particular sub-sector has provided over 8,000 high-income jobs in Penang and contributed RM12.79 billion of revenue in 2013. As recently as 2015, Penang entered a joint venture with Singapore's state investment arm, Temasek Holdings, to develop a RM1.3 billion mixed-use project near the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone. Other major firms that have already established their presence in Penang's SSO sub-sector include AirAsia, Citigroup and Dell.
George Town was the centre of banking of Malaysia at a time when Kuala Lumpur was still a small outpost. The first international bank to open a branch in George Town (and by extension, Malaysia) was Standard Chartered Bank, then the Chartered Bank of India, Australia and China) in 1875. This was followed by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (then ABN AMRO), also in George Town, in 1885 and 1888 respectively.
To this day, George Town remains the banking centre of northern Malaysia, where branches of Malaysian and international banks, including Citibank, United Overseas Bank, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation, Bank of China and Bank Negara Malaysia (Malaysian central bank), are situated. Most of the international banks still retain their Penang headquarters at Beach Street, which also serves as George Town's main Central Business District.
Since the 1990s, Northam Road, along with Gurney Drive, has also emerged as the city's second Central Business District. A cluster of financial services, including those of Citibank and the Malaysian Employees Provident Fund, now operate within this prime seafront area.
Entrepôt trade and shippingEdit
The entrepôt trade (duty-free trading of imported goods for direct export) has greatly declined, due in part to the loss of Penang's free-port status in 1969 and to the active development of Port Klang near the federal capital Kuala Lumpur. These factors have contributed to the reduction of maritime trade in Penang, which was once one of the major entrepôts in Malaya.
In spite of this, the Port of Penang remains the main harbour within northern Malaysia. The Port of Penang handled more than 1.44 million TEUs of cargo in 2016, making it the third busiest seaport by volume in Malaysia. The Port's strategic location enabled it to service not just northern Malaysia, but also southern Thailand.
The Port of Penang has been operating its cargo and container terminals, as well as other shore facilities, in Butterworth since its relocation from George Town in 1974. The sole remaining Port facility in George Town, Swettenham Pier, now accommodates cruise ships and, occasionally, warships, serving as one of the main entry points into Penang for foreign tourists other than the airport.
Agricultural land in 2008 is used for (in descending total area) oil palm (13,504 hectares), paddy (12,782), rubber (10,838), fruits (7,009), coconut (1,966), vegetables (489), cash crops (198), spices (197), cocoa (9), and others (41). The two local produce for which Penang is famous for are durians and nutmegs. Livestock is dominated by poultry and domestic pigs. Other sectors include fisheries and aquaculture, and new emerging industries such as ornamental fish and floriculture.
Owing to limited land size and the highly advanced nature of Penang's economy, agriculture is given little emphasis. In fact, agriculture is the only sector to record negative growth in the state, contributing only 1.3% to the state's GDP in 2000. The share of Penang's paddy area to the national paddy area also accounts for only 4.9%.
Culture and heritageEdit
Heritage City Day
the Koran Day
There are two major Western orchestras in Penang – the Penang Philharmonic (formerly Penang State Symphony Orchestra and Chorus), and the Penang Symphony Orchestra (PSO). The ProArt Chinese Orchestra is an orchestra playing traditional Chinese musical instruments. There are also many other chamber and school-based musical ensembles. The Actors Studio at Straits Quay is a theatre group which started in 2002.
Dewan Sri Pinang and the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (Penangpac) at Straits Quay are two of the major performing venues in Penang.
Penang is also the birthplace of the Chingay procession, which began with its first parade in 1919. Although Chingay parades are now held throughout Malaysia and Singapore, Penang's Chingay is unique in that the balancing of gigantic flags on one's forehead or hands is an essential component. It is held to celebrate the birthdays of the Chinese deities, on Chinese New Year and during the year-end Chingay parade in George Town.
Bangsawan is a Malay theatre art form (often referred to as the Malay opera) which originated from India, developed in Penang with Indian, Western, Islamic, Chinese and Indonesian influences. It went into decline in the latter decades of the 20th century and is a dying art form today. Boria is another traditional dance drama indigenous to Penang featuring singing accompanied by violin, maracas and tabla.
Chinese opera, especially the Teochew and Hokkien versions, is frequently performed in Penang during the annual Hungry Ghost Festival. There are also Chinese puppetry performances although they are not performed as much today.
In 2012, as part of the George Town Festival of Arts and Culture, Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic created a series of 6 wall paintings depicting local culture, inhabitants and lifestyles. They now stand as celebrated cultural landmarks of George Town, with Children on a Bicycle being one of the most photographed spots in the city centre.
The street art scene in Penang has blossomed considerably since then. Cultural centres such as the Hin Bus Depot in George Town are now curating exciting exhibitions and inviting international artists to visit and paint murals, building on the existing reputation the city has as a vibrant arts and culture centre. In addition, several wrought iron caricatures detailing the daily lives and history of George Town have been set up within the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Museums and galleriesEdit
Other museums in George Town focus on religious and cultural aspects, as well as famous personalities, including the Penang Islamic Museum, Sun Yat-sen Museum, Batik Painting Museum, and Universiti Sains Malaysia Museum and Gallery. Besides that, the birthplace of Malaysia's legendary singer-actor, P. Ramlee, has been restored and turned into a museum.
In recent years, private-run museums have sprung up throughout George Town, such as the Camera Museum at Muntri Street and Penang Toy Museum at Tanjung Bungah. A handful of newer 3D visual and interactive museums have also been established, such as the Made-in-Penang Interactive Museum and the Penang Time Tunnel.
Centuries of development have brought a mix of architectural styles to Penang, both historical and modern. The centre of George Town has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its 'unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia'. Just outside the UNESCO zone lies the modern cityscape, with skyscrapers, residential high-rises, office blocks and shopping malls built all over Penang Island.
Fort Cornwallis was the first structure built by the British in Penang. Outstanding examples of colonial buildings in George Town include the City Hall and the Town Hall, the Supreme Court, the Penang State Museum and Art Gallery, the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, and St George's Anglican Church – all of which are within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most bank headquarters along Beach Street, such as Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC were also constructed in the late 19th century in the Art Deco styles.
In addition, various Asian architectural styles can be seen throughout the UNESCO World Heritage Site, some of them merging different cultural influences. For instance, Kapitan Keling Mosque, the largest mosque within the zone, combines Moorish, Mughal and Islamic styles. Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and the Pinang Peranakan Mansion both combine Chinese architecture and European interior design, while the Sun Yat-sen Museum is one of the countless examples of a typical Peranakan townhouse. Other unique examples of Chinese architecture include Khoo Kongsi, Kong Hock Keong and the Clan Jetties. Little India contains more Hindu and Indian Muslim architecture, such as the Sri Mahamariamman Temple and the Nagore Durgha Shrine. Meanwhile, the Siamese and Burmese have also left their mark on Penang's landscape, with fine examples including Wat Chaiyamangkalaram, Dhammikarama Burmese Temple and Kek Lok Si, the latter combining Chinese influence as well.
Outside the UNESCO World Heritage Site, colonial-era bungalows built by the Europeans and nouveau riche Chinese tycoons of the 19th century can be found as well, such as along Northam Road (now Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah), and stately bungalows like The Residency and Suffolk House. The Residency, also known as Seri Mutiara in Malay, is today the official residence of the Governor.
Since the mid 20th century, modern urbanisation has transformed much of Penang Island. Skyscrapers and high-rises have sprung up all over the city, sometimes side-by-side with heritage buildings. Notable examples include Komtar, Setia V, Gurney Paragon and BHL Tower. Continuing urbanisation has also led to the mushrooming of residential high-rises in the suburbs of George Town.
The cultural mosaic of Penang naturally means that they are a great many number of festivals to celebrate.
The Chinese celebrate, among others, the Chinese New Year, Mid-Autumn Festival, Hungry Ghost Festival, Qing Ming, and the feast days of various deities. The Malays and Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari Raya Haji, and Maulidur Rasul while the Indians observe Deepavali, Thaipusam and Thai Pongal. Christmas, Good Friday and Easter are celebrated by Christians. The annual Saint Anne's Novena and Feast Day draws thousands of Catholics to St. Anne's Church in Bukit Mertajam. Buddhists observe Wesak Day while the Sikhs celebrate Vaisakhi. Many of these festivals are celebrated in a large scale and are also public holidays in Penang.
In recent years, the annual George Town Festival, held by the Penang state government each August, has evolved into one of the most highly anticipated arts event in Malaysia. Another well-known festival is the Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which is held every February at the Polo Ground in George Town. Meanwhile, the famous Penang Festival (Malay: Pesta Pulau Pinang) is a combination of trade expo, family-oriented carnival and cultural events held throughout the month of December since the 1960s primarily at the Pesta site in Sungai Nibong and other locations in the state.
Penang, long known as the food capital of Malaysia, is renowned for its good and varied food. Penang's cuisine reflects the Chinese, Peranakan, Malay and Indian ethnic mix of Malaysia, but also shows some Thai influences. Its especially famous hawker food, many served al fresco, strongly features noodles, spices, and fresh seafood.
Penang was recognised as having the best street food in Asia by Time magazine in 2004, citing that "nowhere else can such great tasting food be so cheap". In addition, Penang Island has been acknowledged as one of Asia's top street food cities by the CNN, as well the top culinary destination in the world by Robin Barton of the Lonely Planet in 2014. According to Barton, Penang's "food reflects the intermingling of the many cultures that arrived after it was set up as a trading port in 1786, from Malays to Indians, Acehenese to Chinese, Burmese to Thais. State capital George Town is its culinary epicentre".
The various street dishes and delicacies of Penang, feature a combination of Chinese, Peranakan, Malay, Indian and Thai influences, include (but not limited to) asam laksa, char kway teow, curry mee, Hokkien mee, nasi kandar, oh chien (fried oyster omelette), rojak, tau sar pneah and chendol. Penang is also famed for its traditional pastries, such as the tau sar pneah (bean paste biscuit).
These dishes and delicacies are ubiquitous throughout Penang, and served at very cheap costs at any of the countless roadside hawker stalls, hawker centres and kopitiams (coffee shops) all over the state.
By far, Gurney Drive has been touted as the most popular food destination in Penang, offering a wide variety of Penang dishes and seafood snacks. However, in recent years, prices at the Gurney Drive Hawker Centre have burgeoned due to its increasing popularity among tourists from outside Penang. The other notable places within George Town to sample Penang cuisine include New Lane, Kimberley Street, Chulia Street and Penang Road, with the latter famous for the two chendol stalls nestled at one of the side streets. Burmah Road at Pulau Tikus is also famous for a number of dishes, such as Hokkien mee. Meanwhile, the old market at Air Itam has become one of the more well-known places to sample asam laksa. Another popular Penang dish, char kway teow, can be found all over the city, with the varying opinions on the best-tasting char kway teow include Siam Road, Burmah Road and Carnavon Street.
Visited by Somerset Maugham, Rudyard Kipling, Noël Coward, Queen Elizabeth II and Lee Kuan Yew among many others, Penang has always been a popular tourist destination, both domestically and internationally. As of 2014[update], Penang attracted about 6.84 million tourists.
Penang is known for its rich heritage and architecture, its vibrant multicultural society, a wide range of modern entertainment and retail choices, natural features such as beaches and hills, and the world-famous Penang cuisine.
Penang Island, in particular, has been ranked by Yahoo! Travel as one of the '10 Islands to Explore Before You Die' and was listed in Patricia Schultz's best-selling 1,000 Places to See Before You Die travel guidebook. In 2016, George Town was recommended as one of the 16 must-see destinations by the Los Angeles Times, as well as one of the top ten by the Lonely Planet. CNN followed suit by listing Penang Island as one of the 17 best destinations of 2017. Forbes also listed George Town as one of the best budget tourist destinations in 2016, while the Time magazine in 2017 included Penang as one of the 10 most budget-friendly Asian destinations.
The most popular beaches in Penang are located at the northwestern edge of George Town - at Batu Ferringhi, Tanjung Bungah and Teluk Bahang. These contiguous beaches are home to Penang's famed hotel and resort belt, which includes a Hard Rock Hotel. However, decades of sea pollution have degraded the beauty of the beaches and led to the infestation of jellyfishes along the northern coast of Penang Island.
More secluded Muka Head, which hosts a lighthouse and a marine research station, and Monkey Beach – both within the Penang National Park – offer more pristine water.
History and cultureEdit
Fort Cornwallis, named after Charles Cornwallis, is one of the oldest historical landmarks in George Town. The fort's walls are roughly 10 feet tall and shaped like a star. Some of the original structures built over a century ago are still standing, such as a chapel, prison cells, ammunitions storage area, a harbour light once used to signal incoming ships, the original flagstaff and several old bronze cannons, one of which is a Dutch cannon called the Seri Rambai, dated 1603.
Adjacent to Fort Cornwallis lies the Esplanade, a waterfront civic promenade. Immediately west of the Esplanade are two colonial administrative buildings - the City Hall and the Town Hall. Today, the City Hall serves as the headquarters of the Penang Island City Council. Also within the Esplanade is the Cenotaph, which was built to commemorate the Allied dead of World War I. To this day, a remembrance ceremony is still being held every Remembrance Day on 11 November, attended by war veterans and foreign diplomats.
Another landmark near Fort Cornwallis is the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, one of the most prominent clock towers in George Town. This Moorish-style jubilee clock tower was built by a local Chinese tycoon to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897.
The Penang State Museum and Art Gallery at Farquhar Street, George Town, is also an architectural gem on its own right. It was originally built to house the Penang Free School, the oldest English school in Southeast Asia. The school moved out to its present grounds at Green Lane in 1927, but the building was still being used to house the Hutchings School until 1960. It was then converted into a museum for the State of Penang, being opened to the public in 1965.
The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion at Leith Street, George Town, was built in the 1880s by master craftsmen brought in especially from China. The famous indigo-blue Chinese mansion, formerly the residence of Cheong Fatt Tze, contains 38 rooms, 5 granite-paved courtyards, 7 staircases and 220 windows, and possesses splendid Chinese timber carvings, Gothic louvre windows, russet brick walls, art nouveau stained glass panels, Stoke-on-Trent floor tiles and Scottish cast iron work. It is filled with a rare collection of sculptures, carvings, tapestries and other antiques, befitting the lifestyles of rich Chinese tycoons in the olden days like Cheong Fatt Tze, who served as the Chinese Consul in Penang.
The Pinang Peranakan Mansion was once the residence and office of the Chinese Kapitan Chung Keng Quee, and incorporates various Chinese architecture. Here, more than 1,000 Peranakan antiques and collectibles can be found. The green-hued mansion, with its Peranakan-inspired interior design, was also used as one of the sets of the famous Singaporean television series, The Little Nyonya.
Another site to explore the deeply rooted Chinese culture in George Town is the Khoo Kongsi, a large Chinese clan house at Cannon Square. Originally built as a meeting place for the Khoo clan, the Khoo Kongsi still retains its authentic Chinese architecture, with its granite-paved courtyard surrounded by an intricately-built association building, a theatre stage and rows of smaller houses inhabited by the clan members in the past. The Khoo Kongsi is actually one of the numerous clan houses that are scattered in the city, which were built by separate surname-based clan associations established to assist the newly arrived Chinese immigrants in the 19th century.
Also called the 'Temple of Supreme Bliss', Kek Lok Si is said to be the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia. Its main draw is the striking seven-storey Pagoda of Rama VI, also known as the 'Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas', which combines Chinese, Thai and Burmese architectural styles. A 30.2-metre (99 ft) bronze statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy in Chinese folklore, was also added in 2002.
On the other end of Penang Island, the Penang War Museum in Batu Maung was erected on the original defence complex built by British before World War II and is dedicated to those who have served and died, defending the country. Many war paraphernalias and relics, as well as historical timelines of events are on exhibit at the museum.
Parks, gardens and natural historyEdit
Despite its limited land size and dense population, Penang has managed to retain a considerable area of natural environment. As of 2011[update], 7% of the state's total surface area, or 7,524 hectares, was forested.
Located at the fringe of George Town, at the foot of Penang Hill are two adjacent green areas – the City Park and the Penang Botanic Gardens, the latter being the oldest botanical garden in Malaysia. Penang Hill, despite encroaching development, remains thickly forested and lush in vegetation. The Relau Metropolitan Park was opened in 2003. Robina Beach Park is a park by the beach near Butterworth.
Gazetted in 2003, the Penang National Park (the country's smallest at 2,562 hectares) at the northwestern tip of Penang Island boasts of a lowland dipterocarp forest, mangroves, wetlands, a meromictic lake, mud flats, coral reefs and turtle nesting beaches in addition to a rich diversity of birdlife. In addition to this, there are nature preserves in Bukit Relau, Teluk Bahang, Bukit Penara, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Panchor, and Sungai Tukun.
The Penang Butterfly Farm in Teluk Bahang, one of the few such establishments worldwide, is a walk-in free-ranging butterfly habitat, breeding and conservation centre. Meanwhile, the Penang Bird Park in Seberang Jaya is the first aviary in Malaysia. Other places of special interest include the Tropical Spice Garden and the Tropical Fruit Farm in Teluk Bahang, and the Bukit Jambul Orchid and Hibiscus Garden.
A small bushy tree, Alchornea rhodophylla, the almost-extinct Maingaya malayana tree and the Ansonia penangensis toad are endemic to Penang Island. Some of the commonly seen birds in Penang include the migratory greater spotted eagle (Aquila clanga), the blue-tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus), the blue-throated bee-eater (Merops viridis), the endemic chestnut-headed bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti), the brahmniy kite (Haliastur indus), the common sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos), and the white-bellied sea eagle.
The sandy beaches of Penang National Park are the nesting grounds for the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) from April to August, and the olive ridley sea turtle (Lepidocchelys olivacea) between September and February. The Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) and the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) are occasionally sighted in the coastal seas off the park. Also living in the park are the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), the flying lemur (Galeopterus variegatus) and one of the world's largest arboreal rodents, the cream-coloured giant squirrel (Ratufa affinis))
George Town is home to some of Malaysia's oldest schools, making it a pioneer of the nation's education system. Under British rule, missionary schools, starting with Penang Free School in 1816, were established across George Town. These English-medium schools produced some of the most influential figures in Malaysian and Singaporean history, including lawmakers, politicians, professionals and businessmen.
International schools have been established to cater to the growing expatriate population, and they are also becoming increasingly popular amongst local Penangites as well. These schools offer primary to secondary education up to A Levels and International Baccalaureate.
Penang is also home to one of the best Malaysian public universities - Universiti Sains Malaysia, as well as several private colleges and institutions.
These educational institutions have contributed to Penang's relatively well-educated population and led to the state having the third highest Human Development Index in Malaysia. Penang's literacy rate stood at 98.2% as of 2010[update], whilst specifically, the literacy rate of Penang's youth between 15 and 24 years of age rose to 99.5% in 2014, behind only Selangor and Kuala Lumpur.
During British rule, Penang boasted a good education system that educated generations of rulers, lawmakers, politicians, professionals and people of social standing. Some of these schools are also among the oldest in Southeast Asia.
- Penang Free School, established in 1816, is the first English school in South-east Asia. Notable alumni include Tunku Abdul Rahman, P. Ramlee, Wu Lien-teh and Lim Chong Eu.
- St. Xavier's Institution, founded in 1852, is the oldest Catholic La Sallian school in Malaysia. Notable alumni include Karpal Singh, Wong Pow Nee and Hon Sui Sen.
- Convent Light Street, also established in 1852, is the oldest girls' school in Malaysia.
- Convent Green Lane
- Convent Pulau Tikus
- St. George's Girls' School
- Methodist Boys' School
- Methodist Girls' School
- Convent Butterworth
- Convent Bukit Mertajam
- Nibong Tebal Methodist School
Since the 1970s, these missionary schools have been converted into national schools, although they still retain their English traditions.
With the establishment of the first Chinese school in the 1900s (Chung Hwa Confucian in 1904), George Town became the nucleus of Chinese education in Southeast Asia. These schools were founded by local Chinese associations with donations from philanthropists, and have historically attracted ethnic Chinese students from Thailand and Indonesia, where Chinese education was banned. These schools are well-supported by the community and have a reputation for consistent academic results, thus attracting non-Chinese students too.
|Public Schools||Private Schools|
National, vocational and religious schoolsEdit
National schools (Malay: Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan, or SMK) use Malay as their medium of instruction. Unlike early Chinese and missionary schools, national schools are mostly built and funded by the government. Examples of national schools are Bukit Jambul Secondary School, Sri Mutiara Secondary School and Air Itam Secondary School.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Technical Institute and the Batu Lanchang Vocational School are two of Penang's vocational schools.
The Al-Mashoor School is a religious school in Penang.
Penang has a high concentration of international schools, which cater to the sizeable expatriate population and Penangites who wish to eventually further their studies abroad. These schools offer primary to secondary education up to A Levels and International Baccalaureate.
- Uplands International School
- Dalat International School
- Tenby International School
- Prince of Wales International School
- Fairview International School
- Straits International School
- Pelita International School
- Hua Xia International School
- GEMS International School
- Chinese Taipei School
- Penang Japanese School
Universiti Sains Malaysia, with its main campus at Gelugor, is one of the top public universities in Malaysia. Other than the main campus, the university also has an engineering campus in Nibong Tebal. Established in 1969 as the second university in Malaysia, it was originally named Universiti Pulau Pinang (University of Penang). As of 2017[update], it is ranked 264th in the QS World University Rankings, the fifth highest in the country. The only other public university within Penang is Universiti Teknologi MARA in Permatang Pauh.
Several private institutions have also been established across Penang, most of which are concentrated within Penang Island.
- Wawasan Open University
- Sentral College
- SEGi College
- KDU College
- INTI International College
- DISTED College
- Han Chiang University College of Communication
- Tunku Abdul Rahman University College
- Olympia College
- PTPL College
- The One Academy
- Equator Academy of Arts
- Penang Skills and Development Centre
- Cosmopoint College
In the field of medicine, Penang is also home to two medical schools, Penang Medical College and Allianze University College of Medical Sciences, as well as Lam Wah Ee Nursing College and Penang International Dental College.
The Penang Public Library Corporation in 1973 replaced the Penang Library, which, in turn, was set up in 1817. It operates the main Penang Public Library in Seberang Prai, the George Town Branch Library, the Children's Library and three smaller libraries.
In 2016, the Penang state government opened the Penang Digital Library in George Town, making it the first digital library in Malaysia. The library currently houses a digitalised collection of more than 3,000 books, magazines and journals, and is accessible by the general public for free.
Health care in Penang is adequately provided by the numerous public and private hospitals throughout the state. These hospitals have also helped Penang to emerge as the centre of medical tourism in Malaysia.
The Penang General Hospital, administered and funded by the Ministry of Health, is the main public hospital for Penang Island. Built in 1882, this hospital in George Town also serves as the reference hospital within the northern region of Malaysia. A medical school within the hospital is expected to be completed by 2017.
The Penang General Hospital is also supported by the other public hospitals in Penang, namely the Balik Pulau Hospital, Seberang Jaya Hospital, Bukit Mertajam Hospital, Sungai Bakap Hospital and Kepala Batas Hospital.
Private hospitals supplement the system with better facilities and speedier care. These hospitals cater not only to the local population, but also to patients from other states and foreign health tourists. Penang is also actively promoting health tourism, given its considerable contribution to the state's economy. George Town, in particular, has attracted approximately half of the nation's medical tourist arrivals in 2013 and generated about 70% of Malaysia's medical tourism revenue. It was estimated that about 1,000 patients arrive on Penang Island daily, mostly from Asian countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Japan.
Hospices are also increasingly becoming the choice for long-term and terminal care.
Infant mortality rate within the state dropped by 85% between 1970 and 2000 to 5.7 per 1,000 live births, while neonatal mortality rate also decreased by 84.7% within this corresponding period to 4.1 per 1,000 live births. As of 2016[update], Penang's life expectancy at birth stood at 72.4 years for men and 77.6 years for women.
George Town was once the nucleus of Malaysia's print press. The nation's first newspaper was founded in the city – the Prince of Wales Island Gazette in 1805. One of Malaysia's top selling dailies today, The Star, has its origins as a regional newspaper founded in George Town in the 1970s, while the country's oldest Chinese newspaper, Kwong Wah Yit Poh, was also established in the city in 1910.
The mainstream newspapers in Penang include the English dailies The Star, The New Straits Times, and The Sun; the Malay dailies Berita Harian, Utusan Malaysia, Harian Metro, and Kosmo!; the Chinese dailies Kwong Wah Yit Poh, Sin Chew Daily, China Press, and Oriental Daily News; and the Tamil dailies Tamil Nesan, Malaysia Nanban, and Makkal Osai. The Malay Mail is an English-language weekly. Nanyang Siang Pau is a Chinese financial daily while The Edge is an English financial weekly newspaper. All of them are in nationwide circulation.
In 2011, the Penang version of Time Out was launched. This edition of the international listings magazine is now published in three versions: a yearly printed guide, a regularly updated website and a mobile app. The Penang state government also publishes its own multilingual newspaper, Buletin Mutiara, which is distributed for free every fortnight. The Penang-centric newspaper focuses on the current state affairs and policies.
The television stations channels available in Penang are national media RTM's TV1 and TV2, and privately owned TV3, NTV7, 8TV and TV9. Programmes are broadcast in Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil. A pay television service, Astro, is also widely subscribed in the state, as it broadcasts international television channels such as CNN International Asia Pacific, BBC World News, Channel News Asia, STAR World, FOX Movies Premium and HBO Asia.
Due to its well-preserved colonial-era cityscape, a number of movies have been filmed in George Town, such as Anna and the King, Lust, Caution and You Mean the World to Me, the latter of which is the first movie to be filmed entirely in Penang Hokkien. Singaporean drama series, The Little Nyonya and The Journey: Tumultuous Times, were also filmed within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore, Penang Island became one of the pit-stops of The Amazing Race 16, The Amazing Race Asia 4 and The Amazing Race Asia 5.
The available FM radio stations in Penang, both government (including Penang-based Mutiara FM) and commercial, are as listed below.
|87.8||One FM||Media Prima||Mandarin, Cantonese|
|88.2||Hot FM||Media Prima||Malay|
|89.9||Fly FM||Media Prima||English|
|91.0||Mix FM||Astro Radio||English|
|92.8||Hitz FM||Astro Radio||English|
|94.5||988 FM||Star RFM Radio||Mandarin, Cantonese|
|97.1||Sinar FM||Astro Radio||Malay|
|98.1||Red FM||Star RFM Radio||English|
|99.3||THR Raaga||Astro Radio||Tamil|
|99.7||My FM||Astro Radio||Mandarin, Cantonese|
|101.3||Ai FM||RTM||Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien|
|102.4||Suria FM||Star RFM Radio||Malay|
|103.6||Era FM||Astro Radio||Malay|
|104.4||Lite FM||Astro Radio||English|
|107.6||goXuan||Astro Radio||Mandarin, Cantonese|
As one of the major metropoles in Peninsular Malaysia, Penang has a well-developed transportation network and infrastructure. The state is comprehensively connected by land, sea and air; within the state, both Penang Island and mainland Seberang Perai are linked via two bridges and a ferry service. The State of Penang also has a well-established sea port and one of the busiest airports in Malaysia; with the latter providing extensive connections with several major regional cities.
In the case of George Town, the city's compact size, its well-developed road network and a relatively well-run public bus system all allow for the ease of commute within the city and out towards its suburbs.
Bridges, expressways and ring roadsEdit
Penang Island is connected to the mainland by two bridges. The first one is the 13.5-kilometre (8.4 mi), three-lane, dual carriageway Penang Bridge, which was completed in 1985. Spanning 24 km (15 mi), the Second Penang Bridge is located further south, linking Batu Maung near the southeastern tip of Penang Island to Batu Kawan on the mainland. It was opened to the public in early 2014 and is currently the longest bridge in Southeast Asia.
The North–South Expressway, a 966 km-long (600 mi) expressway through the western part of Peninsular Malaysia, passes through Seberang Perai. After exiting either one of both bridges, commuters can directly use the expressway to get to the other major cities and towns along the western states of Peninsular Malaysia.
The Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) is a 14 km (8.7 mi) tolled expressway that serves primarily Butterworth, Perai and Seberang Jaya to ameliorate the upsurge in vehicular traffic due to intense urban and industrial development.
On Penang Island, the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway is a coastal highway that runs along the eastern coast of the island. It runs between George Town and Batu Maung to the south, passing through the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone and the suburbs of Jelutong and Gelugor; a bypass also links the expressway with the Penang Bridge. Meanwhile, the Federal Route 6 is a winding trunk road that circles Penang Island, hugging the island's coastline to connect, in clockwise direction, George Town, Bayan Lepas, Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang.
The two major ring roads within George Town are the George Town Inner Ring Road and the Penang Middle Ring Road. These major road networks serve to alleviate traffic congestion by allowing vehicular traffic to bypass the busier streets within the city centre.
About 34.9 km (21.7 mi) of the Malayan Railway's West Coast Line runs through Seberang Perai, with the Butterworth railway station station serving as the main railway station in northern Malaysia, due to its transportation links to Penang Island. As with the North–South Expressway, the West Coast Line, which also runs through Bukit Mertajam and Nibong Tebal, links Seberang Perai with the other cities and towns along the western states of Peninsular Malaysia, as well as Singapore.
Aside from the regular Malayan Railway services along the western states of Peninsular Malaysia, the Butterworth railway station is the southernmost terminus of the State Railway of Thailand's Southern Line (via Padang Besar) and the International Express from Bangkok. Notably, the train station is also one of the main stops of the Eastern and Oriental Express service between Bangkok and Singapore.
One of the earliest modes of transportation in Penang was the horse hackney carriage, which was popular throughout the last quarter of the 18th century until 1935, when the rickshaw (jinriksha) gained popularity, until it, in turn, was rapidly superseded by the trishaw beginning in 1941. To this day, the trishaw is still in use in George Town, albeit mostly for sightseeing rides.
Horse trams, steam trams, electric trams, trolleybuses and double-deckers used to ply the streets of Penang. The first steam tramway started operations in the 1880s and for a time horse-drawn cars were also introduced. Electrical trams were launched in 1905. Trolleybuses commenced in 1925 and they gradually supplanted the trams but they in turn were discontinued in 1961 and regular buses henceforth became the only form of public transport to this day.
For a long time, public bus services were deemed unsatisfactory. In 2007, the government announced that Prasarana, which runs Rapid KL, would take over all public bus services in Penang under a new entity, Rapid Penang, which is formed for this purpose.
Rapid Penang started out with 150 buses covering 28 routes on Penang Island and Seberang Perai. This service has since been extended. After Rapid Penang entered the local public bus scene, public transportation in Penang has improved. Public transportation usage in the state has also increased from a lowly 30,000 commuters a day in 2007 to 75,000 commuters a day in 2010. As of 2016[update], there were 406 buses plying 56 routes throughout Greater Penang, including 53 within Penang itself. However, usage of public transport remains low, contributing to traffic jams in the city during rush hours.
In light of this, the Penang Island City Council has introduced free shuttle bus services for short intra-city commute to lessen the congestion. This bus service, which runs within George Town, also serves tourists seeking cheap and quick transport throughout the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recently, open-air double-decker buses, known as Hop-On Hop-Off buses, have also been introduced for tourists in George Town.
Penang Island is also notable for operating the only funicular railway system in Malaysia - the Penang Hill Railway. An engineering feat of sorts when completed in 1923, the railway underwent an extensive upgrading in 2010 and was reopened in early 2011. It now serves visitors travelling up the Penang Hill, providing quick and direct access to the hill's peak.
Currently, the Penang state government, in collaboration with the Penang Island City Council and private parties, are intensifying efforts to improve pedestrianisation within George Town and promote Penang as the first cycling state in Malaysia. Dedicated cycling lanes have been marked throughout the city, while in 2016, LinkBike, a public bicycle-sharing system, was launched, making George Town the first city in Malaysia to operate such a system. Aside from LinkBike, a number of private companies are also marketing bicycle-rental services within the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For inter-city travel into and out of Penang, there are two main bus terminals within the state for the express buses. Penang Sentral, located in Butterworth, primarily serves Seberang Perai, whereas the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal in Sungai Nibong on Penang Island caters to express buses travelling into and out of the island.
In recent years, the Penang Sentral project has been underway at a site adjacent to both the Butterworth railway station and Sultan Abdul Halim Ferry Terminal. Mooted as the main transportation hub within the State of Penang and as Penang's answer to Kuala Lumpur Sentral, Penang Sentral is intended to serve as the termini for ferry, Rapid Penang, express bus and train services. The first phase of the project is slated for completion by 2017.
Penang Transport Master PlanEdit
There are plans by the Penang state government to bring in more rail-based transportation systems throughout Penang. The Penang Transport Master Plan envisages the following long-term solutions to counter the state's worsening traffic congestion, which is compounded by Penang's abnormally high vehicle ownership rate and the state's limited space for urban development.
- Light Rail Transit line between George Town and the Penang International Airport
- Monorail lines that connect George Town with Air Itam, Paya Terubong and Tanjung Tokong
- A tram line limited to within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Cross-strait cable car line linking Komtar in George Town and Penang Sentral in Butterworth
With the completion of the plan slated in 2030, the Penang state government aims to have multiple public transportation options on the ground, at sea and even in the air.
Penang International Airport (PEN) is located in Bayan Lepas at the southeastern part of Penang Island, 16 km (9.9 mi) south of George Town. One of the busiest airports in Malaysia, the airport serves as the main gateway to northern Malaysia, offering frequent, direct flights with several major Asian cities including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Taipei and Doha.
Some of the international airlines operating at Penang International Airport include SilkAir (a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines), Singapore-based Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia Airways, Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air, Wings Air, Thai Airways International, Hong Kong-based Cathay Dragon, Taiwan-based China Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Qatar Airways. In addition, the airport serves as one of the main hubs of the Malaysian low-cost carrier, Firefly, and one of the secondary hubs of its domestic rival, AirAsia.
The airport also serves as an important cargo hub due to the large presence of multinational factories in the Bayan Lepas Free Trade Zone, as well as catering to the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. As of 2013[update], it handled the second largest cargo tonnage of all Malaysian airports.
Ferry and seaportsEdit
The Port of Penang, the main harbour in northern Malaysia, is operated by the Penang Port Commission. The Port consists of seven facilities, with six of them on mainland Seberang Perai, including the North Butterworth Container Terminal, Butterworth Deep Water Wharves and the Prai Bulk Cargo Terminal.
Since the 1960s, the loss of George Town's free port status and the development of Port Klang, near Kuala Lumpur, have somewhat reduced the Port of Penang's trade volume. Nonetheless, the Port still plays an important role for northern Malaysia, as it links Penang with more than 200 ports worldwide. As of 2016[update], the Port of Penang handled over 1.44 million TEUs of cargo, making it the third busiest seaport in Malaysia by volume. The Port's strategic location enabled it to service not just northern Malaysia, but also southern Thailand.
Meanwhile, the sole Port facility on Penang Island, Swettenham Pier at Weld Quay, George Town, now accommodates cruise ships, making it one of the major entry points into Penang. This makes cruise tourism a major component of tourist arrivals into Penang, other than airport arrivals. As of 2017[update], Swettenham Pier recorded 1.35 million tourist arrivals, thereby surpassing Port Klang as the busiest seaport in Malaysia for cruise shipping; the pier has also attracted some of the world's largest cruise liners, such as the RMS Queen Mary 2. A handful of cruise ships call Swettenham Pier as their homeport as well, bringing tourists into and out of George Town towards regional destinations like Phuket and Singapore.
The cross-strait Rapid Ferry service connects George Town and Butterworth, and was once the only link between Penang Island and the mainland until the completion of the Penang Bridge in 1985. At the time of writing, six ferries ply the Penang Strait between George Town and Butterworth daily.
The state has good sporting facilities which include two major stadia – the City Stadium in George Town and the Batu Kawan Stadium in Seberang Perai. Another major sporting venue in the state, the SPICE Arena in the township of Bayan Baru consists of an indoor stadium and an aquatics centre.
The Nicol David International Squash Centre at Gelugor is one of the major squash training facilities in Malaysia and was reportedly where squash legend Nicol David first trained during her childhood years. As for horse racing, George Town is home to Malaysia's oldest equestrian centre, the Penang Turf Club. It was established in 1864.
Penang also has four golf courses, namely the 18-hole Bukit Jambul Country Club (on the island), the 36-hole Bukit Jawi Golf Resort, the 36-hole Penang Golf Resort and the 18-hole Kristal Golf Resort.
The various Penang-based sports clubs include the Bukit Mertajam Country Club, Penang Club, Chinese Recreation Club (CRC), Penang Sports Club, Penang Rifle Club, Penang Polo Club, Penang Swimming Club, Chinese Swimming Club and the Penang Squash Centre.
One of the major annual sporting events in Penang is dragon boat racing. The Penang International Dragon Boat Festival is held annually since 1979 around the fifth day of the fifth moon of the lunar calendar. Aside from that event, the state also organises the year-end Penang Pesta Dragon Boat race. In addition, Penang successfully held the World Club Crew Championship in Teluk Bahang in 2008.
The Penang Bridge International Marathon is another popular annual event. The full marathon route starts from near Queensbay Mall, traversing along the Bayan Lepas Expressway and onto the 13.5 km (8.4 mi) long Penang Bridge, before returning via the same route to the starting point near Queensbay Mall. This event attracted 24 000 runners in 2010.
Water supply which comes under the state jurisdiction, is wholly managed by the state-owned but autonomous PBA Holdings Bhd whose sole subsidiary is the Perbadanan Bekalan Air Pulau Pinang Sdn Bhd (PBAPP). This public limited company provides reliable, round-the-clock drinking water throughout the state. Penang was cited by the World Development Movement as a case study in successful public water scheme. PBA's water rates are also one of the lowest in the world; at RM0.32 per 1,000 litres, Penang's water tariff is the cheapest in Malaysia. Penang's water supply is sourced from the Air Itam Dam, Mengkuang Dam, Teluk Bahang Dam, Bukit Panchor Dam, Berapit Dam, Cherok Tok Kun Dam, Waterfall Reservoir (at the Penang Botanic Gardens), Guillemard Reservoir, and also from the Muda River of Kedah.
Penang was among the first states in Malaya to be electrified in 1905 upon the completion of the first hydroelectric scheme. At present, electricity for industrial and domestic consumption is provided by the national electricity utility company, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).
Telekom Malaysia Berhad is the landline telephone service provider and an Internet service provider (ISP) in the state. Mobile network operators and mobile ISPs include Maxis, Digi, Celcom, and U Mobile.
As of 2014[update], Penang had a recorded broadband penetration rate of 80.3%, the highest among all Malaysian states (excluding Kuala Lumpur). Currently, the Penang state government is in the process of implementing a statewide Wi-Fi service. Known as Penang Free Wi-Fi, it aims to boost internet penetration throughout Penang and is provided free-of-charge. Its bandwidth speeds within the centre of George Town were increased to 3Mbit/s, while 1,560 hotspots have been installed throughout the state. When completed, Penang will be the first state in Malaysia to provide its citizens with free Internet connection.
Sewage treatment in Penang is managed by the national sewerage company, Indah Water Konsortium. Prior to systematic sewerage piping and treatment, waste water was haphazardly disposed, mostly in the sea, causing coastal water degradation.
The Tun Razak Camp (Malay: Kem Tun Razak) at Bukit Gedong on Penang Island is home to the 2nd Infantry Division of the Malaysian Army, while the Peel Avenue Camp (Malay: Kem Lebuhraya Peel) in George Town houses the 509th Regiment of the Territorial Army Regiment, the Malaysian Army's reserve force.
RMAF Butterworth (Malay: TUDM Butterworth) in Butterworth is a Royal Malaysian Air Force base. The installation is also the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) command centre of the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA). The airbase stations four RMAF squadrons and hosts a Royal Australian Air Force squadron as part of Australia's commitment to the FPDA.
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)Edit
Penang is one of the hotbeds of social activism in the country. Anwar Fazal, one of the world's leading social advocate, together with several individuals, founded the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) in 1969. The country's most vocal and active consumer protection group, CAP strives to protect the interests of consumers. It publishes the Utusan Konsumer, Utusan Pengguna, Utusan Cina, Utusan Tamil, and Majalah Pengguna Kanak-kanak. It established the Third World Network (TWN) in 1984 to connect NGOs in developing countries. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action is an organisation based in Penang whose objectives are to protect, promote and support breastfeeding globally.
The Penang Heritage Trust is an NGO whose objective is to promote the conservation of Penang's heritage, and to foster cultural education about the history and heritage of Penang. PHT worked to enlist the historic enclave of George Town as a World Heritage Site and had played an important role in saving many heritage buildings in Penang from demolition.
Friends of the Penang Botanic Gardens Society is a voluntary organisation dedicated to supporting the botanic, horticultural, educational and recreational objectives of the Penang Botanic Gardens.
The Penang Institute (formerly the Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute) is a non-profit Penang-based think tank and research institute with a focus on facilitating dynamic and sustainable development for Penang. It publishes the Penang Monthly.
Aliran is a national reform and human rights movement which began in 1977 in Penang. It publishes the Aliran Monthly.
The State of Penang has inked a sister area agreement with Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan in 1991. In addition, it has a friendship state agreement with Hainan Province in China, which was signed in 2013.
- Sanya, China
- Zhongshan, China
- Busan, South Korea
- Changwon, South Korea
- Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Several nations have either established their consulates or appointed honorary-consulates within the State of Penang. Most are based on Penang Island, a major city with various multi-national economic and social interests.
Penang's firsts (in chronological order)Edit
- George Town was the first British outpost in Southeast Asia in 1786.
- Malaysia's first newspaper was printed in George Town in 1805 – the Prince of Wales Island Gazette.
- The Royal Malaysian Police had its roots in George Town, where in 1807, a Charter of Justice was granted by King George III to form the police force and the Court of Justice.
- Consequently, the Supreme Court of Penang, established in 1808, was the first to be established in British Malaya and also formed the foundations of Malaysia's modern legal system.
- College General, the only Catholic seminary in Peninsular Malaysia, was founded in 1665 in Ayutthya, Thailand before relocating to Penang Island in 1808.
- St. George's Church, founded in 1816, is the oldest Anglican church in Southeast Asia.
- Penang Free School, founded by Rev. Sparke Hutchings in 1816, is the first and oldest English School in Southeast Asia.
- Sekolah Kebangsaan Gelugor, established in 1826, is the first Malay school to be established in Malaysia.
- St Xavier's Institution, formed in 1852, is the first school established in Malaysia to be administered and fully owned by the La Salle Brothers.
- Convent Light Street, a girls' school founded by a French Sisters' Mission in 1852, is the oldest girls' school in Southeast Asia.
- The Penang Island City Council is the successor of the George Town Municipal Council, which was formed in 1857 as the first local council in British Malaya.
- The Penang Turf Club, opened in 1864, is Malaysia's oldest horse racing and equestrian centre.
- Standard Chartered Bank was the first international bank to open a branch in Malaysia, with the first branch in George Town in 1875.
- The Penang Botanic Gardens, founded in 1884, is the oldest botanical garden in Malaysia.
- The first ferry service in Malaysia commenced operations in Penang in 1894. It was succeeded by Rapid Ferry in 2017.
- George Town Dispensary, opened in 1895, was the first dispensary in British Malaya.
- Chung Hwa Confucian School, established in 1904, is one of the oldest formal Chinese schools in Southeast Asia.
- Penang completed its first hydroelectric scheme in 1905.
- George Town's first electric tramway made its appearance in 1906.
- Malaysia's oldest Chinese newspaper still in circulation today, Kwong Wah Yit Poh, was formed by Sun Yat-sen in 1910 in George Town.
- To date, the Penang Hill Railway, completed in 1923, is the only operational funicular railway in Malaysia.
- St. Nicholas' Home, a social outreach ministry under the Anglican church established in 1926, is first charitable organisation serving the needs of the blind and visually impaired community of Malaysia. St. Nicholas' Home also built the first blind school in Malaysia.
- Phor Tay High School, established in 1940, is the first Buddhist school in Malaysia.
- Federation School for the Deaf, the first deaf school in the Federation of Malaya, was launched in 1954.
- The Diocese of Penang was the first Catholic diocese in Malaysia to have a local bishop at helm.
- George Town, the capital of Penang, was declared a city by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 January 1957, becoming the first city in the Federation of Malaya and subsequently, Malaysia.
- Penang Island is the only island in Malaysia to be connected to the mainland through land transport when the Penang Bridge was completed in 1985.
- Penang Butterfly Farm, established in 1986, is the world's first butterfly and insect sanctuary to be set up in the tropical world.
- The 2,562 ha (6,330 acres) Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang, gazetted in 2003, is the world's smallest national park.
- George Town and Malacca are the first cities in Malaysia to be granted the UNESCO World Heritage Site status on 8 July 2008.
- Penang became the first state in Malaysia to ban plastic bags and polystyrene containers, with the ruling enforced since 2011.
- Penang has recorded a waste recycling rate of 32%, the highest of all Malaysian states.
- Established in November 2011, the Penang Women's Development Corporation (PWDC) is the first state funded agency in Malaysia dedicated to the mainstreaming of gender into the policies and programmes of all sectors to achieve gender and social justice in the state.
- The Camera Museum, established in 2012, is Southeast Asia's first and only museum dedicated to the history of cameras.
- In 2013, Penang became the first state to adopt a state policy for childcare via its Penang Childcare Policy and Action Plan by PWDC.
- The Penang Digital Library in George Town, opened in 2016, is the first digital library in Malaysia.
- Design Village in Batu Kawan, launched in 2016, is the biggest premium outlet mall in Malaysia.
- As part of efforts to turn Penang into the first cycling state in Malaysia, George Town became the first city in Malaysia to operate a public bicycle-sharing service.
- The Rainbow Skywalk at the summit of Komtar in George Town is the highest outdoor glass skywalk in Malaysia.
- Penang emerged as the third cleanest Malaysian state in 2017.
- SPICE Arena, formerly known as the Penang International Sports Arena, is the first hybrid solar powered convention centre in the world and is also the first Green Building Index (GBI)-certified convention centre in Asia.
- Penang imposes the lowest water tariff among all Malaysian states.
- Covering 738 km2 (285 sq mi), the Seberang Perai Municipal Council is the largest local council in Malaysia in terms of land area.
Some of the notable people who were born in Penang, and are either former or current residents of Penang, are listed below.
- Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia (2003–2009)
- Nazrin Shah of Perak, 35th Sultan of Perak
- Anwar Ibrahim, 7th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (1993–1998), currently the leader of Malaysia's opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan
- Karpal Singh (1940–2014), prominent lawyer and opposition politician
- Khaw Boon Wan, Singapore's Minister for Transport and Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure
- P. Ramlee (1929–1973), actor
- Nicol David, squash player, former world number one
- Lee Chong Wei, badminton player, 3-times Olympic silver medalist in men's singles
- Chan Peng Soon, badminton player, Olympic silver medalist in mixed doubles
- Simon Russell Beale, actor
- Jimmy Choo, the renowned couture shoe designer
- Wu Lien-teh, the first Malayan to be nominated for the Nobel Prize
As one lands on Penang one is impressed even before reaching the shore by the blaze of colour in the costumes of the crowds which throng the jetty.— Isabella Bird, 19th-century English traveller and writer.
The spell which makes those who never been, wish to go there, those who live there want to stay, and fills those who have spent their appointed hour or two with a longing to return.— J.W. Clark, George Town, Penang Illustrated Guide, Margaret Adams 1952
References in popular cultureEdit
Penang was the shooting location for numerous movies and television series, most notably:
- Indochine (France, 1992), featuring Catherine Deneuve and Vincent Perez.
- Beyond Rangoon (US/UK, 1995).
- Paradise Road (US/Australia – 1997), starring Glenn Close and Frances McDormand.
- Anna and the King (US, 1999) featuring Jodie Foster and Chow Yun-fat.
- Ibu Mertuaku (Malaysia, 1962), featuring P Ramlee and Sarimah.
- The Touch (Hong Kong, 2002), featuring Michelle Yeoh.
- Lust, Caution (Taiwan, 2007), directed by Ang Lee.
- Sun Yat-sen biography film Road to Dawn (China, 2007), featuring Winston Chao and Angelica Lee.
- The Little Nyonya (Singapore, 2008)
- The Blue Mansion (Singapore, 2010), featuring Patrick Teoh.
- Appalam, Malaysia, 2010), featuring Raja Ilya, Jaclyn Victor and Ghana
- Ice Kacang Puppy Love (Malaysia, 2010), featuring Ah Niu and Angelica Lee.
- The Amazing Race 16 Episode 8.
- The Amazing Race Asia 4 Episodes 1 and 2.
- Asia's Next Top Model Episode 8.
- The Journey: Tumultuous Times (Singapore, 2014).
- The Journey (Malaysia, 2014).
- Indian Summers (UK, 2015).
- The Amazing Race Asia 5 Episodes 3 and 4.
- You Mean the World to Me (Malaysia, 2017), featuring Yeo Yann Yann and Chelsia Ng.
Other than that, Penang was also the featured location on an insightful and touching episode of the BBC series Tribe, hosted by Bruce Parry, about the indigenous peoples whose lives are being ruined by logging.
Penang was featured in or alluded to in books such as:
- The Phantom Ship by Frederick Marryat (1792–1848).
- Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. (1815–1882).
- A Retrospect by Protestant Christian missionary J. Hudson Taylor (1832–1905), which documented how he founded the China Inland Mission (renamed in 1964 Overseas Missionary Fellowship and now OMF International).
- The Penang Pirate by John Conroy Hutcheson (1840–1897).
- An Outcast of the Islands by Joseph Conrad (1857–1924).
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859–1930).
- Around the World in Seventy-Two Days by American woman journalist Nellie Bly (birth name Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, 1864–1922). It is a true account of her journey in 1889 to see if she could beat the fictional journey in Jules Verne's 1873 novel, Around the World in Eighty Days.
- The Man Who Could Work Miracles by H. G. Wells (1866–1946).
- Threshold of Hell by Albert J. Rupp, a crew member of the USS Grenadier SS210 submarine who were captured by Japanese in April 1941 along with 75 others, recounted in the book the dark days when he was interned at Convent Light Street in Penang.
- The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng, set in World War II Penang, was nominated for 2007 Man Booker Prize.
Penang was featured in or alluded to in musicals such as:
- P. Ramlee The Musical, staged in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore by ENFINITI Vision Media.
- The Secret Life of Nora, 2011, a musical set in 1960s Penang, telling the tale of a spy who masqueradees as a cabaret singer on a reconnaissance mission to acquire intelligence on a ring involved in human trafficking.
- "Journal of the parliaments of the Commonwealth". Journal of the Parliaments of the Commonwealth. Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, General Council. 34. 1953.
- "Laporan Kiraan Permulaan 2010". Jabatan Perangkaan Malaysia. p. 27. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2011.
- "Current Population Estimates 2017". Malaysian Department of Statistics: 55. 14 July 2017.
- "Massive projects in place to alleviate urbanisation in Penang". 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
- "Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims, 2010 (page 1 & 8)" (PDF). Department of Statistics, Malaysia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 19 July 2013.
- "History of Penang". Visitpenang.gov.my. 14 September 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- C. Peter Chen. "Invasion of Malaya and Singapore | World War II Database". Ww2db.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Christie, Clive (1998). A Modern History of Southeast Asia: Decolonization, Nationalism and Separatism. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-86064-354-5.
- "A Silicon Valley of the East: Penang's thriving start-up community". Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Styling itself as the 'Silicon Valley of the East'". Nikkei Asian Review.
- "Penang is on its way to becoming the Silicon Valley of the East, and IoT is how". Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Only 6% of the population yet Penang contributes about 36% of Malaysia's FDI in 2010: Penang must not live in the past but learn from the past so that we can save the future for our children". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "GDP and GDP per capita by states and federal territories" (PDF). Malaysian Department of Statistics.
- Idris, Imran. "PIHEC 2018 - Penang International Halal Expo & Conference 2018 - About Penang". www.pihec.com.my. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
- "Malaysia Millennium Development Goals Report 2015" (PDF). United Nations.
- "The last Siamese village of Penang". The last Siamese village of Penang,. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- "The History of Penang Eurasians". Penang Tourism. 2013-12-02. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- "Tanjung Bungah in Numbers". Tanjung Bungah in Numbers,. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- Simon Gardner, Pindar Sidisunthorn and Lai Ee May 2011. Heritage Trees of Penang, p. 206. Penang: Areca Books. ISBN 978-967-57190-6-6
- "Pulau Pinang Pulau Mutiara". Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia. 2000. Archived from the original on 9 April 2008. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
- "Welcome to Penang State Museum". Penangmuseum.gov.my. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Raymond, Boon. (19 March 2010) Penang, Penang lang(槟城人) lah : Penang is called Koh Maak, not Koh Opium. Teochiewkia2010.blogspot.com.[unreliable source?] Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- ปีนัง : พันเรื่องถิ่นแผ่นดินไทย โดยศ.ดร.เอนก เหล่าธรรมทัศน์ (Press release) (in Thai). Komchadluek. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Penang Special Attractions | Penang Travel Tip | Best Tourist Location in Asia Archived 11 January 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Penangspecial.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- "Betel Nut Island". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Freedman Leonard, Rousham Emily (1996). Perspectives In Human Biology: Humans In The Australasian Region. World Scientific. ISBN 9789814497862.
- "Penang to seek Unesco heritage status for Guar Kepah neolithic site - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-04-29.
- "Prehistoric human skeleton found at Penang neolithic site". Retrieved 2017-04-29.
- Habibu, Sira. "Lembah Bujang covers a larger area - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-05-01.
- "Plan Of Prince Of Wales Island And Province Wellesley". www.nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
- "Map of Prince of Wales Island, or Pulo Penang and Province …". www.nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
- "Map Of Prince Of Wales Island And Province Wellesley, …". www.nas.gov.sg. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
- "Documents Archive | Empire in Asia". www.fas.nus.edu.sg. Retrieved 2017-05-01.
- "History of Penang". Visit Penang. 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Rough guide to Malaysia, Singapore ... – Google Buku. Books.google.co.id. 28 October 2003. ISBN 978-1-84353-094-7. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "The Founding of Penang". www.sabrizain.org. Retrieved 2017-05-25.
- Eliot, Joshua; Bickersteth, Jane (2002). Malaysia Handbook: The Travel Guide. Footprint Travel Guides. ISBN 1-903471-27-3.
- "Francis Light Grave, Penang | Malaysia AsiaExplorers". Asiaexplorers.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
- "Unconstitutional to wipe Penang off Malaysia's map, Kedah told". 2017-02-11. Retrieved 2017-03-04.
- Hussin, Nordin (9 September 2017). "Trade and Society in the Straits of Melaka: Dutch Melaka and English Penang, 1780-1830". NIAS Press – via Google Books.
- "Penal System in Andaman". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Singapore becomes admin centre of the Straits Settlements - Singapore History". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Penang Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. 1911encyclopedia.org (30 August 2006). Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- "When Penang became a Spice Island". Penang Monthly. 21 January 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Wong, Yee Tuan (2015). Penang Chinese Commerce in the 19th Century: The Rise and Fall of the Big Five. Singapore: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. ISBN 978-981-4515-02-3.
- Langdon, Marcus (2014). George Town's Historic Commercial and Civic Precints. Penang: George Town World Heritage Incorporated.
- "Influential Muslim leaders who shaped Penang in its early history". Penangheritagecity.com. 4 October 1994. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "The Penang Story". Penang's Changing Role in the Straits Settlements, 1826–1946.
- "Asian Studies". Government Legislation for Chinese Secret Societies in the Straits Settlements in the Late 19th. Century.
- Dr Sun Yat-sen's historic Penang conference. Biz.thestar.com.my. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- Mücke, Hellmuth von. The Emden-Ayesha Adventure: German Raiders in the South Seas and Beyond, 1914. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000. ISBN 1-55750-873-9
- Raymond, Boon. (3 May 2011) Penang, Penang lang(槟城人) lah : Penang WW1 German Naval War, 1914. Teochiewkia2010.blogspot.com.[unreliable source?] Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- "Malaya Study Group". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Penang Evacuated - British Garrison Withdrawn NEW JAP THRUSTS IN MALAYA London, December 19 - Northern Times (Carnarvon, WA : 1905–1952) - 20 Dec 1941". Trove. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Bayly, Christopher (2005). Forgotten Armies: The Fall of British Asia, 1941–1945. Harvard University.
- "War and Occupation in Penang, 1941–1945". Webcache.googleusercontent.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Biography of Lieutenant-General Shotaro Katayama – (片山省太郎)". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "U-boat Operations- The Monsun U-boats – 3. Monsun boats". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- War and Occupation in Penang, 1941–1945, Paul H. Kratoska, Department of History, National University of Singapore
- "Penang: The Rebel State (Part One)". Penang Monthly. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Bound For Leave".
- Christie, Clive J. (15 February 1998). "A Modern History of Southeast Asia: Decolonization, Nationalism and Separatism". I.B.Tauris – via Google Books.
- Koay, Su Lin (September 2016). "Penang: The Rebel State (Part One)". Penang Monthly. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
- "Newspaper Article - "Gallup Poll" On Penang Secession". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Penang: The Rebel State (Part Two)". Penang Monthly. 1 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Rekindling a port's glory days". Archived from the original on 1 November 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Brash, Celeste (2008). Kuala Lumpur, Melaka and Penang. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74104-485-0.
- Daniel Goh, P. S. (2014). "Between History and Heritage: Post-Colonialism, Globalisation, and the Remaking of Malacca, Penang and Singapore" (PDF). Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia.
- "History of Industrial Development Strategies in Penang since Independence: A Study of the SMEs". Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/ass/article/viewFile/27013/16497.
- "The man behind Penang's economic transformation". The Star. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- Ooi, Kee Beng (December 2009). "Tun Lim Chong Eu: The past is not passé". Penang Monthly. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- "Transformation of Bayan Lepas into free trade area does not diminish its attractions | Wong Chun Wai". wongchunwai.com. Retrieved 2017-11-30.
- "Komtar: Malaysia's Monument to Failed Modernism — Failed Architecture". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- "Penang's iconic Komtar gets RM50m facelift". 29 October 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Loh, Arnold. "Much of Komtar's charm is gone - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
- Ooi, Kee Beng (2010). Pilot Studies for a New Penang. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9789814279697.
- Jenkins, Gwynn (2008). Contested Space: Cultural Heritage and Identity Reconstructions : Conservation Strategies Within a Developing Asian City. LIT Verlag Münster. ISBN 9783825813666.
- Sue-Ching Jou, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Natacha Aveline-Dubach (2014). Globalization and New Intra-Urban Dynamics in Asian Cities. Taipei: National Taiwan University. ISBN 9789863500216.
- "Tsunami impact in Penang, Malaysia: Our island, our world". aliran.com. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- "Akta Warisan akan diperkenal". Utusan Online. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- "Asia Times: Wreckers ball rips heart out of city: Car Rentals at www.The-Car-Reservations-Desk.com". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Ng, Su-Ann (7 November 2004). "Penang losing its tourism lustre". The Star.
- Habibu, Sira (7 December 2004). "CM: Work hard to bring lustre back to Penang". The Star.
- "Penang - who should stop the rot?". Malaysiakini. 16 December 2004. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- Wong, Chun Wai (12 December 2004). "Act fast to boost island's sagging image". Wong Chun Wai. Retrieved 2017-12-06.
- Khoo, Salma Nasution (2009). Penang and Its Region: The Story of an Asian Entrepôt. Singapore: National University of Singapore. ISBN 978-9971-69-423-4.
- Saravanamuttu Jayaratnam, Lee Hock Guan, Ooi Kee Beng (2008). March 8: Eclipsing May 13. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ISBN 9789812308962.
- "Eight new sites, from the Straits of Malacca, to Papua New Guinea and San Marino, added to UNESCO's World Heritage List". UNESCO. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
- "Penang as an 'entrepreneurial state' | Buletin Mutiara". www.buletinmutiara.com. Retrieved 15 October 2016.]]
- "Making George Town more walkable, one street at a time". 9 August 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.]]
- "Guan Eng lifts from Singapore playbook in ambitious bid to make Penang world class (VIDEO)". 14 May 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2016.]]
- "Penang's capital is eighth most liveable city in Asia, on par with KL and Bangkok". Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "quality of life". Penang Monthly. Retrieved 15 October 2016.]]
- "Penang most liveable city in M'sia - Community | The Star Online". Retrieved 15 October 2016.]]
- Chow, Tan Sin. "Penang's capital is eighth most liveable city in Asia, on par with KL and Bangkok - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 15 October 2016.]]
- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 2010-09-28.
- "Where is George Town?". The Malay Mail. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Looi Sue-Chern (24 March 2015). "George Town a city again". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- Nasution, Khoo: The sustainable Penang initiative. Penang: IIED, 2001|
- "theSun". Thesundaily.com. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "penang". Archived from the original on 6 November 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
-  Archived 5 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
- "The Malaysian Insider". Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Penang Very Own Fireflies Colonies at Krian Rivers". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Penang/Bayan Lepas Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 4 February 2015.
- "Sumatra haze blankets northern Malaysia". Planet Ark. 23 September 2002. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- "Malaysian Meteorological Department – Pejabat Meteorologi Bayan Lepas". Met.gov.my. 16 December 2007. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Malaysia: metropolitan areas". World Gazetteer. Archived from the original on 5 December 2012. Retrieved 14 July 2008.
- "Achieving A System of Competitive Cities in Malaysia: Main Report". World Bank Group & Khazanah Nasional. November 2015.
- Robert Montgomery Martin (1839). Statistics of the colonies of the ... – Google Buku. Books.google.co.id. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Colonial Construction of Malayness: The Influence of Population Size and Composition" (PDF). Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang – LoveToKnow 1911". 1911encyclopedia.org. 30 August 2006. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Malaysia States". Statoids.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Population Distribution and Demography" (PDF). Malaysian Department of Statistics. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2013.
- "Migration Survey Report 2016". Malaysian Department of Statistics. 26 May 2017.
- "Massive projects in place to alleviate urbanisation in Penang". 2016-10-29. Retrieved 2016-11-26.
- "Migration report: Selangor, Penang most popular with locals". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2017-07-03.
- Christopher Tan (24 June 2017). "Penang ranks second in influx of new residents". The Star.
- "Penang – not so Chinese after all". Free Malaysia Today. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- "Peninsula states asked to give East Malaysians time off for festivals". BorneoPost Online | Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News. 2017-05-27. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
- "Penang's Kelawi Road where the Eurasians set words to music - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- "Population Distribution by Local Authority Areas and Mukims". Malaysian Department of Statistics. December 2011.
- "Malaysia and Singapore – Google Books". Google Books. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Andrea Filmer. "All things Peranakan Chinese". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Lee, Su Kim (2008). "The Peranakan Baba Nyonya Culture: Resurgence or Disappearance?" (PDF). Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka.
- "The Architectural Style of the Peranakan Cina". Hbp.usm.my. 3 December 1994. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Cheah Hwei-Fe'n. Phoenix Rising: Narratives in Nonya Beadwork from the Straits Settlements: Malaysia, 2010. ISBN 978-9971-69-468-5
- "NECF Malaysia". www.necf.org.my. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Lim, Kim Hwa. "Penang The Next Metropolis" (PDF). Penang Institute.
- Abdul Rahim, Hajar (2015). "Bahasa Tanjong: The Heritage Language of the Jawi Peranakans of Penang" (PDF). Kajian Malaysia. 33.
- "Dialects and Languages in Numbers". Dialects and Languages in Numbers,. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
- "The Telugu heritage - Features | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
- Ooi Kok Hin, Julia Tan. "Penang Hokkien On Life Support". Penang Monthly. Retrieved 2017-05-27.
- "Mind your Hokkien". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang Hokkien in peril". The Star. 16 July 2008. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 18 July 2008.
- "Penang Hokkien will be 'dead' in 40 years if people stop using it, says language expert". 2 August 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Penang Hokkien Dialect for Penangites & Tourists. George Town, Penang: Areca Books. 2008. ISBN 978-983-40774-3-3.
- Loh, Arnold. "Shooting to begin for first Penang Hokkien film - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "Translating Penang Hokkien to English with ease | theSundaily". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- "Constitution of the State of Penang" (PDF). Penang State Legislative Assembly.
- "Indian Muslims in Penang: Role and contributions". Penang Tourism. 2015-04-08. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- "Koay Jetty: The social evolution of the Hui people in Penang". Penang Tourism. 2015-02-05. Retrieved 2017-07-05.
- "Penang Samye Buddhist Society « Vajrayana Malaysia Centre Directory". Vajrayana Malaysia Centre Directory. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Street of Harmony". Time Out Penang. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- "Street of peace and harmony - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-02-15.
- Raimy Ché-Ross (April 2002). "A Penang Kaddish: The Jewish Cemetery in Georgetown – A case study of the Jewish Diaspora in Penang (1830s–1970s)". The Penang Story – International Conference 2002. Archived from the original (Word Document) on 19 August 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2008.
-  Archived 7 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Archived text of NST news article: "Uncle Mordy laid to rest". New Straits Times, 18 July 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2013". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Publication - NAPIC". napic.jpph.gov.my. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
- "Selected Statistics until 31 March 2015" (PDF). Malaysian Ministry of Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government. 2015.
- Mustafa, Siti Fairuz. "Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang – Governor". www.penang.gov.my. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
- "Pengajian Am @ Malaysia: SENARAI PERSEKUTUAN, NEGERI DAN BERSAMA". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Constitution of Malaysia" (PDF).
- "Do we need local council elections?". My Sinchew. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Laman Web Rasmi Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang – Latar Belakang". Mppp.gov.my. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang Bar". Penang Bar. Archived from the original on 20 November 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Labour Force Survey, Department of Statistics, Malaysia (2009)
- Ng, Peng Zui (January 2018). "Penang Economic Indicators". Penang Monthly. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
- "Penang Greatest Directory". PenangOnlineDirectory.com. Archived from the original on 7 November 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang - Malaysia My Second Home for YOU". mm2h4u.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Working in Penang". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Guan Eng: Penang airport may turn into 'pasar malam'". Free Malaysia Today. 2016-11-29. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- "Department of Statistics Malaysia Official Portal". www.dosm.gov.my. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
- "CM: Penang's 1.5pct unemployment one of the lowest in country - Malaysiakini". www.malaysiakini.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "recruitment". Penang Monthly. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Penang's economy is healthy and strong". Malaysiakini. 2017-10-13. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
- The Star (20 January 2011). "Penang tops total capital investment list for 2010". The Star. Archived from the original on 21 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- "1.6 Million Penangites Deserve Full Credit for the Historic Feat of Penang Being No. 1 in Malaysia in Manufacturing Investment for the 2nd Consecutive Year in 2011". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "You too can be like Penang, Guan Eng tells Malaysia". Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Malaysia Commercial Real Estate Investment Sentiment Survey 2016" (PDF). Knight Frank.
- "ASEAN Cities: Stirring the Melting Pot". Economist Intelligence Unit.
- "Corporate Profile". Pdc.gov.my. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Welcome to". Investpenang.gov.my. Archived from the original on 25 January 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "The Big Read: Penang takes a leaf from S'pore, and bids to become a competitor". TODAYonline. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
- "Fullcontact: About Malaysia". Fullcontact.nl. 22 April 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "P 01. A brief history of Prai". butterworthguide.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-05.
- "MAA – Member Listing – Manufacturing & Assembly Plant". Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA). 16 April 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "HS Group of Companies". hs-grp.com. 16 April 2016. Archived from the original on 16 April 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "InvestPenang.gov.my". InvestPenang.gov.my. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Gold and jewellery cluster formed at Batu Kawan Industrial Park - Business News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
- "Gold and jewellery cluster to be set up in Penang". The Edge Markets. 2017-05-18. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
- "Gem and gold hub in the offing - SMEBiz News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-23.
- "Higher Education in Regional and City Development : State of Penang, Malaysia". OECD.
- "Penang Monthly". penangmonthly.com.
- "Penang accounts for 50% of medical tourists". www.thesundaily.my.
- "Penang Economic Indicators" (PDF). Penang Monthly.
- Lim Yoke Mui; Nurwati Badarulzaman; A. Ghafar Ahmad (20–22 January 2003). "Retail Activity in Malaysia : From Shophouse to Hypermarket" (PDF). School of Housing, Building and Planning, University of Science, Malaysia. Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 January 2016. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "Penang signs RM1.3b joint venture with Temasek and EDIS". 31 July 2015. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Penang eyes foreign companies to set up IT operations". Nikkei Asian Review. 5 January 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-01-05.
- "About Us - Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia". www.sc.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Fullcontact: About Malaysia". www.fullcontact.nl. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Penang's new financial hub - Business News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
- "KWSP - Pulau Pinang - KWSP". www.kwsp.gov.my (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-27.
- "List of Company Secretaries, Taxation and Accounting Services" (PDF). Invest Penang.
- "Stacking up MMC's ports against Westports". The Edge Markets. 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- "The Mainland Awakens". Penang Monthly. 2016-09-01. Retrieved 2017-02-10.
- "General Info". Port of Penang.
- "Is Penang's tourism on the right track?". Penang Monthly. 1 October 2015. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Penang Dept of Agriculture, Malaysian Palm Oil Bhd, Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (RISDA)
- Tengku Mohd Ariff Tengku Ahmad (29 November 2001). "The Agriculture Sector in Penang: Trends and Future Prospects" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- "Official Website of Penang Philharmonic". Pessoc.com. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- woonviolincollections.com Archived 10 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine.. woonviolincollections.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- "ProArt Chinese Orchestra :: About Us : Profile". Proart.com.my. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
-  Archived 24 December 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
- http://www.chingay.gov.my Archived 2 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- "myPenang - Penang Pesta Chingay Parade". mypenang.gov.my. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- Gopinath Rao.S. "Bangsawan". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "The case for bangsawan". Archived from the original on 29 October 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Minni Ang. "Boria". Musicmall-asia.com. Archived from the original on 14 May 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Lim, Serene (24 April 2015). "The good, bad and ugly of street artist Ernest Zacharevic's murals". Today. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
- asiarooms.com. "Penang Museums, Malaysia Travel Information, Penang Travel Guide". Asiarooms.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang Art Gallery: Art Galleries and Museums in Penang Area, Malaysia". Penang.world-guides.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- p-ramlee/gallery penang Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine.. P-ramlee.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- "Made In Penang Interactive Museum :: 美因槟廊". www.madeinpenang.my. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Penang Time Tunnel | The History Museum". penangtimetunnel.com. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- III, Administrator. "About Penang - City of Life". www.visitpenang.gov.my. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
- Virtual Malaysia. "Fort Cornwallis | Malaysia Destination | Malaysia Tourism". Virtualmalaysia.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Fort Cornwallis, Penang Colonial Heritage | Malaysia AsiaExplorers". Asiaexplorers.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "myPenang - HSBC Building". www.mypenang.gov.my. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Pinang Peranakan Mansion Home Page". www.pinangperanakanmansion.com.my. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "The Architectural Style of the Peranakan Cina". www.hbp.usm.my. Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Candlelight communion". Article.wn.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Big turnout for St Anne's". Article.wn.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "George Town Festival 2016 - GTF Programmes, Events & Performances in Penang world heritage". George Town Festival 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- Tourism, Penang Global. "Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2016". Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- II, Administrator. "Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2016". www.visitpenang.gov.my. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
- Penang Trade and Commerce "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-12.
- Andrew Catchpole. "Melting pot – Travel". the Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Gross, Matt. (5 November 2006) In Malaysia, Take Many Peoples and Ingredients, Mix, Enjoy – NYTimes.com Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Travel2.nytimes.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- Tourism Malaysia: Penang Food | Malaysia by a Malaysian[permanent dead link]. Audioguidemalaysia.com (12 March 2011). Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- 10 Islands to Explore Before You Die. Travel.yahoo.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- Fitzpatrick, Liam (15 November 2004). "TIMEasia Magazine: Best of Asia – Best Street Food". TIME. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Asia's 10 greatest street food cities | CNN Travel". Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- "Where are the foodies going in 2014?". The Independent. 2 February 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Gurney Drive Hawker Centre". Time Out Penang. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul". www.chendul.my. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul". Time Out Penang. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Behold, the Penang Hokkien Mee". 2014-04-13. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Penang Air Itam Laksa | 槟城亚依淡巴刹叻沙". www.penanglaksa.com. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Paradise in Penang". AsiaOne Travel. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "The famous Penang char koay teow". 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Char Kway Teow on Siam Road, Penang - HungryGoWhere Malaysia". Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "From jungle durians to a tour, our pick of farms to visit in Balik Pulau". 2015-06-28. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
- jalmsab@st (2015-07-13). "Forget D24 and Maoshan, try kampong durians in Penang". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2016-10-21.
- Crossette, Barbara (30 June 1985). "Correspondent'S Choice – Correspondent'S Choice – On Penang Island, A Legend Lives". The New York Times. Penang Island (Malaysia); Malaysia. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Following Maugham's Footsteps–Malaysia " A Guy's Moleskine Notebook". Mattviews.wordpress.com. 10 April 2009. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "History | 'Respect for self; respect for others'". Uplands.org. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Travel - Yahoo Style". travel.yahoo.com.
- Patricia Schultz. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, 2003. ISBN 0-7611-0484-4
- Times, Los Angeles. "Looking for a 2016 vacation? Here are 16 must-see destinations". latimes.com. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Planet, Lonely. "Lonely Planet: Best in Travel 2016 - George Town". www.lonelyplanet.com. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- CNN, Katia Hetter, Karla Cripps, Peter Shadbolt, Barry Neild and Marnie Hunter. "17 best places to visit in 2017". CNN. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- "Penang one of 2016's 'best budget travel destinations' | theSundaily". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
- Renzulli, Megan Leonhardt, Kerri Anne. "10 Amazing Asian Vacations That Won't Cost a Fortune". Money. Retrieved 2017-08-01.
- Yee, Kow Kwan. "Sea change for Batu Ferringhi - Community | The Star Online". Retrieved 2016-10-21.
- "Fort Cornwallis". Tourism Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "WWII veteran in Remembrance Day Malaysia service". BBC News. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Veteran recalls wartime memories on Remembrance Day - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion". Tourism Malaysia. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Pinang Peranakan Mansion". Tourism Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Kek Lok Si". Tourism Malaysia. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Penang War Museum". Tourism Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
- "Setting boundaries". Archived from the original on 18 October 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Emerald | Disaster Prevention and Management | Environmental hazards associated with hill land development in Penang Island, Malaysia: some recommendations on effective management". Emeraldinsight.com. doi:10.1108/09653569810230148. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang Butterfly Farm – The World's 1st Tropical Live Butterfly Sanctuary, Butterfly, Insects, Nature, Lizards, Tarantullas, Tour, Penang, Malaysia". Butterfly-insect.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Welcome to Penang Bird Park". Penangbirdpark.com.my. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Alchornea". Nationaalherbarium.nl. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Full text of "Flora Malesiana"". Archive.org. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- https://archive.is/20120715095327/http://terence-ang.blogspot.com/2010/11/birding-in-penang-part-one-migratory.html. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2011. Missing or empty
- Wild, All. (14 July 2010) ALL-WILD: Bee-eaters in Penang. All-wild.blogspot.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- "Penang National Park". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Penang National Park Tour – Penang Nature Tours". visit-malaysia.com. Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Private schooling getting popular". Penang Monthly. 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2016-12-31.
- Idris, Imran. "About Penang - PIHEC 2017 | Penang International Halal Expo & Conference 2017". www.pihec.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- "Report on Educational and Social Characteristics of the Population 2010". Department of Statistics, Malaysia. https://www.statistics.gov.my/images/stories/files/LatestReleases/population/Summary_Findings_on_Education_%20and_Social_Characteristics_of_the_Population_2010.pdf.
- "Hua Xia International School - Penang". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
- "Wawasan Open University Open Distance Learning in Malaysia". Wou.edu.my. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM)". Top Universities. 16 July 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "UiTM Pulau Pinang Official Website". Penang.uitm.edu.my. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Laman Web Rasmi Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Pulau Pinang". Penanglib.gov.my. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Perpustakaan Kompleks Membeli Belah". Penanglib.gov.my. 17 December 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Penang Digital Library". www.penangdigitallibrary.com. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
- Zabidi, Nor Diana. "Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang - The Penang Digital Library". www.penang.gov.my (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-03-20.
- "Paperless library option - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
- "Penang to have first-ever school in hospital". NST Online. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Penang health statistics" (PDF). Penang State Health Department.
- "Getting back its mojo". The Economist. 13 August 2011.
- "Department of Statistics Malaysia Official Portal". www.dosm.gov.my. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
- "Penang State Government". Penang.gov.my. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Criz, Penang-based blogger (19 June 2011). "The Official Launch of TimeOut Penang". Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- "Time Out Penang". Malaysia. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- Astro.com.my. "Astro Radio introduces Zayan and goXUAN to its 15.4mil weekly listeners | Press Release | Mediaroom | Astro". www.astro.com.my. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Penang Museum display information
- "The Legacy of Penang Trishaw". Penang-vacations.com. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Francis, Ric & Ganley, Colin: Penang trams, trolleybuses & railways: municipal transport history, 1880s–1963. Areca Books: Penang, 2006
- Siow Yuen Ching. "Glorious days of Penang's trams". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang – The Pearl of the Orient". Equator Academy of Art. Archived from the original on 14 September 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
- Siow Yuen Ching. "Rivalry 'caused inefficiency'". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Ng Su-Ann. "Commuters stage protest". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 June 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Rapid Penang Information, Rapid Penang Reference Articles – FindTarget Reference". Reference.findtarget.com. Archived from the original on 11 July 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Firm adds 30 more double-decker buses to its fleet - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-03-19.
- "A "step" towards sustainable transport: a case study of Penang, Malaysia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang Hop-On Hop-Off".
- "Penang Hill train service to resume next year". The Malaysian Insider. 6 October 2010. Archived from the original on 28 April 2015. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Penang tourism: Promoting cycle lanes in urban heritage areas". The Sun. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Penang to be first cycling state | Buletin Mutiara". www.buletinmutiara.com. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "Link Bike". www.linkbike.my. Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "Penang Monthly - It's Time to Cycle to Commute!". Retrieved 2017-03-26.
- "First phase of Penang Sentral to be ready this year". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 2017-02-07.
- "Penang transportation by the numbers". Penang Monthly. 2015-01-18. Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "First LRT project in Penang next year - Nation - The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my.
- "Keeping folk in the know - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- Loh, Arnold. "More rail access for Penang - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- Chow, Tan Sin. "Trams making comeback under RM27bil Penang plan - Nation - The Star Online".
- migration (17 April 2015). "Penang to ease island's transport woes".
- "AirAsia to turn Penang into fourth hub in Malaysia". The Star. 8 July 2009.[permanent dead link]
- Eckhardt, Robyn (2 December 2010). "In Malaysia, Tourists Are Lured by George Town's Colorful Past". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Swettenham Pier Cruise Terminal". Penang Port.
- "More liners to visit Penang - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- "Swettenham Pier surpasses Port Klang as top port of call for cruise ships". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- "Newspaper Article - S'pore gunboats call at Penang". eresources.nlb.gov.sg. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- II, Administrator. "Royal Thai Navy's Visit to Penang". www.visitpenang.gov.my. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "US Navy ship calls at Penang - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Chinese warships visit Penang - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-05-16.
- Penang Greatest Directory Archived 8 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. PenangOnlineDirectory.com. Retrieved on 11 August 2011.
- "Penang attractions painted on two ferries - Metro News | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
- "Nicol David International Squash Centre". Time Out Penang. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "About us". Malayan Racing Association. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- Bhatt, Himanshu (28 January 2008). "Race of the Ancients; Penang Dragons". Penang Forward Sports Club. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- "Welcome to Penang Bridge International Marathon – Official Web Site". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Heading for failure: How water privatisation threatens the Millennium Development Goals|"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
-  Archived 30 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Home users the main guzzlers - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-04-28.
- "Pocket Book of Statistics" (PDF). Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
- "Penang Free Wifi". www.penangfreewifi.com.my. Archived from the original on 8 July 2014. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Penang Free WiFi to get speed boost in 50 spots soon". 19 October 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
- "Penang launches statewide free WiFi project". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "Impact modelling of sewage discharge from Georgetown of Penang, Malaysia on coastal water quality". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "RMAF Base Butterworth : Royal Australian Air Force". Airforce.gov.au. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "NO. 324 COMBAT SUPPORT SQUADRON: Royal Australian Air Force". Airforce.gov.au. 30 January 1999. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "About Anwar Fazal". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- JIN, SOO E WE (30 January 2010). "Up close & personal with Martin Khor". Star Publications. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- "World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA): right to food and nutrition watch". 6 October 2010. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Penang Heritage Trust – Preserve heritage for future generations". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Persatuan Sahabat Kebun Botanik Pulau Pinang Friends of the Penang Botanic Gardens Society". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Socio-Economic and Environmental Research Institute (SERI) – Home". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "The Think Tank Turns Twenty". Penang Monthly. 2017-01-01. Retrieved 2017-02-13.
- "About us " ALIRAN". ALIRAN. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- "Archives – The Star Online". Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Zabidi, Nor Diana. "Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang - Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) On The Enhancement of Friendly Relationship Between Penang State, Malaysia & Hainan Province, The People's Republic of China". www.penang.gov.my (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-03-06.
- "Lim to reveal details of China visit". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
- Hans Michelmann (28 January 2009). Foreign Relations in Federal Countries. McGill-Queen's Press – MQUP. pp. 198–. ISBN 978-0-7735-7618-6.
- "Achievements of the Sister City Relationship". Adelaide City Council. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Malaysia-Xiamen trade volume gets a boost". New Straits Times. 21 November 2001. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "SISTER CITY PARTNERSHIP OFFICIALLY FORMALIZED BETWEEN PENANG, MALAYSIA AND XI'AN, SHAANXI PROVINCE, CHINA". SEIA. 2014-10-27. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
- "Kunjungan Hormat oleh Konsul Jeneral ke atas Walikota Medan" (in Malay). Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia. 13 September 2012. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Malaysia: Taipei, Georgetown ink friendship memorandum". Central News Agency. Taiwan News. 29 March 2011. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Sister Cities Agreement, Georgetown". International Affairs Division, Bangkok Metropolitan Administration. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- Natthaphol Wittayarungrote (18 September 2014). "Phuket and Penang become twin cities". Phuket Gazette. Archived from the original on 20 December 2015. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Sister cities | City of Fremantle". www.fremantle.wa.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
- "Seberang Prai to draw on Fremantle's success story in solid waste disposal - Community | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
- "Forging friendship city ties between Penang and Sanya - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-04-21.
- "Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang - The Signing of MOU on Friendly City Cooperation Between George Town, Penang & The City of Zhongsan, China". www.penang.gov.my. Retrieved 2017-03-06.
- "Signing of MOU to Promote Culture and Tourism between Busan Metropolitan City, Republic of Korea and Penang Island City Council" (PDF). Visit Penang. 2 December 2015.
- changwon. "home". eng.changwon.go.kr (in Korean). Retrieved 2017-03-07.
- "Australian Consulate in Penang, Malaysia". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- Zabidi, Nor Diana. "Portal Rasmi Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang - Austria Reception". www.penang.gov.my. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Honorary Bangladeshi Consulate in Penang, Malaysia". Penang Island City Council. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "Honorary Canadian Consulate in Penang, Malaysia". iDirectory of the Penang State Government.
- "China officially launches consulate office in Malaysia's Penang - Xinhua | English.news.cn". news.xinhuanet.com. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- UM. "Consulates". malaysia.um.dk. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Honorary Consulate of Finland, Penang - Embassy of Finland, Kuala Lumpur : Contact : Finland's honorary consulates in Malaysia". www.finland.org.my. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Consulate - Embassy of France in Kuala Lumpur".
- "Deutsche Botschaft Kuala Lumpur - Visa and Passport Service, Legal and Consular Department". www.kuala-lumpur.diplo.de. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "KJRI Penang - Beranda". www.kemlu.go.id. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Consulate-General of Japan in Penang, Malaysia". www.penang.my.emb-japan.go.jp. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Honorary Norwegian Consulate in Penang, Malaysia". Penang Island City Council. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "Honorary Pakistani Consulate in Penang, Malaysia". Penang Island City Council. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "Opening the first Consulate Honorary of the Republic of Poland in West Malaysia". www.kualalumpur.msz.gov.pl. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "About Embassy - Embassy of the Russian Federation in Malaysia". malaysia.mid.ru. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Honorary Swedish Consulate in Penang, Malaysia". Penang Island City Council. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
- "สถานกงสุลใหญ่ ณ เมืองปีนัง". www.thaiembassy.org. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "British Consulate in Penang". www.british-consulate.net. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
- "Penang State Government". Penang.gov.my. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- "St Xavier's marks a new chapter after 156 years". The Star. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008.
- "Prasarana to take over Penang's ferry service for token sum of RM1 - Nation | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
- Administrator III. "History of Penang". Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- Ng Su-Ann. "World's smallest national park". The Star. Malaysia. Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 3 January 2011.
- Centre, UNESCO World Heritage. "Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca". whc.unesco.org.
- "AsiaOne". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 2010-11-07.
- "Penang hopes to increase recycling rate to 40% by 2020". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
- "High-rise folk find it pays to go green". Malaysia Premier Property and Real Estate Portal. Retrieved 2017-05-03.
- "Largest outlet mall in Malaysia opens in Penang". 2016-11-29. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
- "Malaysia's highest skywalk opens to public". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- "Melaka not the cleanest state anymore - Community | The Star Online". www.thestar.com.my. Retrieved 2017-07-02.
- http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/community/2017/03/20/a-most-outstanding-convention-centre/%7Ctitle=SPICE Convention Centre runs on hybrid solar power
- "One of Penang's most iconic landmarks, The Subterranean Penang International Convention and Exhibition Centre". www.setiaspice.com.
- "New water rates for Penang". www.thesundaily.my. Retrieved 2017-04-26.
- NB Travel <firstname.lastname@example.org>. "Cuti Malaysia – Penang / Pulau Pinang". Cuti.my. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
- s:Phantom Ship/Chapter XXXIX
- s:Two Years Before the Mast/Twenty Four Years Later: Part III
- s:A Retrospect
- s:An Outcast of the Islands/Part III/Chapter II
- s:The Hound of the Baskervilles/Chapter I
- s:Around the World in Seventy-Two Days/Chapter X
- s:The Man Who Could Work Miracles
- The Penang Tourism Action Council. The "Light" Years and Beyond. Retrieved 2005-07-26.
- Khoo Salma Nasution: More Than Merchants: A History of the German-speaking Community in Penang, 1800s–1940s, Areca Books, 2006: