Saturday, October 29, 2016

Mainland Penang

Malay Mail Online - Massive projects in place to alleviate urbanisation in Penang (relevant extracts:



Highly aware of the rapid development and resulting urbanisation of the island, the Penang state government launched several projects to spread out the population and to resolve the traffic congestion that has become a major problem in recent years.

According to Jagdeep, the state government launched its affordable housing projects in all five districts of the state ― northeast district and southwest district on the island, North Seberang Perai, South Seberang Perai and Central Seberang Perai.


Batu Kawan is one of the sites that the state is focusing on to develop and become a natural site for the population to spread out to.

Jagdeep Singh Deo
Chairman, Penang Town and Country Planning and Housing committee

“The first phase of Bandar Cassia will be ready in December this year, there are already existing industries there and commercial outlets like Ikea is also coming up, soon we will see Batu Kawan coming up much like what happened to Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur,” Jagdeep said.

He believes that it will be a natural phenomenon as once these commercial and residential aspects slowly take shape, many will start to set up and live there.

It's inevitable and commonsense to spread out to the greater sparse expanse of mainland, unless of course one is prepared to spread its urban areas to the western region of the island.

For years Chinese Penangites have considered only the island as Penang, with the mainland referred to as 'koay kang' (translated: 'diseberang sungai' or 'across the river').

Hmmm, I wonder why our elder Penangites considered the channel as a river, wakakaka.

The Western side of the island, from Teluk Bahang in the north to Gertak Sanggul in the south (where incidentally my family used to picnicked in umpteen years gone by, with the ladies korek-ing mucho siput on its beaches), is still rural with major parts of it being a forested region, well, at least in my time years ago. I wonder whether it has changed?

But unless one is so desperate as to develop that quite hilly region (at great expense), mainland Penang is a better solution to more space. But I have to say the view of the great Indian Ocean from the west coast road is magnificent.

If one looks at the vast expanse of water spiritually, I wonder whether one may see Bhāratmātā (smile).


One of the major requirements for new urban areas is to have a good public transport system. Light rail may be far too expensive but I believe a well networked bus system will be good enough. But alas, our bureaucracy is likely to be the usual obstacle.

My uncles told me that in Penang years ago the Island was well served by three private bus companies, namely, Lim Seng Seng (Prangin Road - Ayer Itam), Yellow Bus (Prangin Road - Teluk Kumbar), Hin Bus Co (Prangin Road - Teluk Bahang) and the City Council Bus (Jetty - Ayer Itam). But today there is a set of new players in town.

City Council Bus

Lim Seng Seng Bus

Yellow Bus Co

Hin Bus Co

On the mainland there were more than a couple of bus companies (exactly how many, my uncles didn't say) providing transportation to areas north and south of Butterworth town.

Thus, if we allow private bus companies to serve the proposed new urban centres in the mainland, it's more likely to succeed, than to leave such expectations of transport service in the capricious over-controlling hands of our bureaucratic officials. But then, why should there be commonsense in our planning?

Mind you, before, many blame a certain PM for giving priority to Proton cars than public transportation. But he has long gone. So we hope for better things in public service.

As for Batu Kawan, the district was where my family (maternal side) used to live. In fact, my mum was born there. And they might probably have voted for Anwar, wakakaka. 

Food Restaurant in Tambun, Batu Kawan

I wonder whether the same stream flowed through
great granddad's plantation?


Great granddad had a small plot of land there which he developed right from blukar. Typical of a Cinapek, he changkol-ed his land for years from blukar into a cosy mini estate of vegetable garden, fruit plantation and even hundreds (alas, not thousands) of rubber trees.

My mum told me there was a reasonably big stream flowing through great granddad's mini estate, where fishes, turtles and otters lived and frolicked in the waters, but sadly for her, those otters ate her pet duck.

When she narrated that tragic story of her pet duck, which she claimed was a prolific egg-factory, her eyes grew red at her memories of her childhood days, or was it her duck?

But alas, my great granddad was tipu-ed of his own-hands-built-from-scratch estate, ironically by one of his cousins. Such was our family's misfortune or kaytee could have possibly grown up as the scion of landed gentry driving a Porsche, wakakaka.

1 comment:

  1. Penang Island is becoming notorious as an island which floods every few weeks or so.
    Previously , serious floods used to occur years apart, except for well known low-lying areas such as Jalan P.Ramlee.

    Maybe its due to global warming.
    Maybe its due to the Developer First policies of the current State Government.