Monday, January 11, 2010

Georgetown & city status

We are not only lost George Town City status, we have actually lost George Town.....

The latest news on the city status, the current state Penang government is applying for the city status for Penang island, and MPPP will be the city hall. The following reporting was the extract from the newspaper, The Sun Daily on 10-1-2009:

Penang is applying to the Housing and Local Government Ministry for the whole island to be granted city status, and for the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) to be elevated to a city hall.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said today(10-1-2010) he had recently raised the matter with minister Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, who did not object to the proposal idea.

He said the conferment of city status for the whole island was important, especially since George Town had already been recognised by Unesco as a historic city.

State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow, who was also present, said city status would bring added benefits to the island residents.

For example, as a City Hall, the island’s local government would have more powers in managing public roads, as stipulated under the Road Transport Act 1987. Currently, many of the roads in Penang are under the purview of the federal Public Works Department.

(Extract from source: Sun2Surf,

George Town
George Town or Georgetown, is the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia. Named after Britain's King George III, George Town is located on the north-east corner of Penang Island and has about 220,000 inhabitants, or about 400,000 including the suburbs.

Formerly a municipality and then a city in its own right, since 1976 George Town has been part of the municipality of Penang Island, though the area formerly governed by the city council is still commonly referred to as a city, and is also known as Tanjung ("The Cape") in Malay and 喬治市 (Qiáozhì Shì) in Chinese.

George Town was voted as one of the best CITIES in Asia by Asiaweek, ranked 6th in 1998 and 9th in 2000. More recently in 2007, it was ranked as the 10th most liveable CITY in Asia.

Today, the inner city of George Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

"Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca (Malaysia) have developed over 500 years of trading and cultural exchanges between East and West in the Straits of Malacca. The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible... Featuring residential and commercial buildings, George Town represents the British era from the end of the 18th century. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia." (UNESCO, "Melaka and George Town, historic cities of the Straits of Malacca",, July 2008)

Legal Status of George Town
The Municipal Council of George Town was established in 1857, the first local authority in Malaya outside Singapore. In 1956, George Town became the first municipality in the Federation of Malaya to have a fully-elected council, and on 1 January 1957, the municipality became a city by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the first (and until 1972, the only) city in the Federation.

In 1965, the federal Government suspended local elections as a result of the Indonesian Confrontation, and in 1966 the functions of the City Council were transferred to the Chief Minister of Penang. In 1974, a Local Government Management Board (Lembaga Pengurus Kerajaan Tempatan) was established for the whole of Penang Island, which became the Municipal Council of Penang Island (Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang or MPPP) in 1976.

As a result of the administrative reorganisations since 1966, George Town no longer exists as a legal entity, let alone as a city under the Local Government Act 1976, although it is still commonly referred to as a city.

(source: wikipedia)

History of George Town
George Town was founded in 1786 by Captain Francis Light, a trader for the British East India Company, as base for the company in the Malay States. He obtained the island of Penang from the Sultan of Kedah and built Fort Cornwallis on the north-eastern corner of the island. The fort became the nexus of a growing trading post and the island's population reached 12,000 by 1804.

The town was built on swampy land that had to be cleared of vegetation, levelled and filled. The original commercial town was laid out between Light Street, Beach Street (then running close to the seashore), Malabar Street (subsequently called Chulia Street) and Pitt Street (now called Masjid Kapitan Keling Street). Historically it is called Francis Light Grid or Original Grid.

The warehouses and godowns extended from Beach Street to the sea. By the 1880s, there were ghauts leading from Beach Street to the wharf and jetties as Beach Street receded inland due to land reclamation. A new waterfront was created at Weld Quay, where commercial buildings sprang up.

The historic commercial centre was segmented into the banking and trading areas related to port activities which included shipping companies, the import and export trade, and the wholesalers who dominate the southern section of Beach Street until now. It has been listed as a World Heritage site since July 2008

Penang lost George Town unknowingly:Penang has no state capital?

No wonder there is little mention of George Town; George Town no longer exists as a legal entity. The city status no longer there, and Penang people were being cheated for so long that the state has no state capital, no city, no city council?, .....

Where is the state capital of Penang state? our history and official source told us, it is George Town. But now we realized there is no state capital, as George Town legally no longer exist since 1966. It was gone in history, unknowingly by Penang people.

Then, where is the state capital? the island? MPPP? or just the KOMTAR tower?....

Legally it must be within the border of MPPP, as they are the most powerful administrative unit after the state,in Penang island, and control the area include the old (or historical) George Town. It must be MPPP. My wonder the political parties are fighting so hard for the MPPP councilors, they are the " de factor city father". No wonder the previous state government was so happy about the MPPP, when even was told that there was no city status for Penang, as George Town no longer exist legally.

No wonder officially , it is always mentioned Penang(state or island or MPPP?); we have lost George Town, a heritage city long time ago?......

Tell me why?......why George Town was lost.......where is the city now?

We can now hope that the Federal government will approve city status for Penang island, and at least we lost Georgetown city status, we have new Penang island city status. The father of George Town city was Capt Francis Light, a colonist; the father of Penang city is going to be Lim Guan Eng, a Malaysian. Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, do not blame us as you have lost the chance to put your name in history, since the previous state government do not border on city status.

The city day for Penang Island? it should be on 1-1-1957 lah; the day George Town become a city by a royal charter granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, George Town becoming the first city in the Federation,in Malaysia..... . At least historically we can still salvage a little Penang face, bing boh Penang lang bo bing, pye sei.....(otherwise it will be shameful for Penang people). City day must be a historical day to remember George Town city day.

A sad chapter for Penang.......for George Town and for the old Penanglang(Penang people)....Pi-nang-lang chin-nya bo-bing(Penang people have lost face)......

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