Monday, June 13, 2011

Colonel Maurice Lam Shye Choon

One of the recipients of PGB Medal on 5-6-1963, was Colonel Maurice Lam Shye Choon, from Penang.

The Panglima Gagah Berani (sometimes referred to as the Pingat Gagah Berani or Pahlawan Gagah Berani) is a medal given by the government of Malaysia. The name translates to "General of Bravery and Valor". It can be conferred posthumously. The award was created on the 29th of July 1960. It was formally gazatted by an act of parliament on the 11th of August 1960. The medal takes the form of a five pointed silver star. Two kris lie under the Malaysian royal Crown on the star. The star is held by a ribbon with 45° stripes which slant right. The stripes alternative in red, white, blue and yellow. Living recipients receive an allowance of RM 300 a month. The next of kin of posthumous recipients receive RM 15,000. A person may receive this award more than once.

Captain Maurice Lam Shye Choon

Captain Maurice was from Jalan Kelawai in Penang, derived his early education at the Wellesley Primary School, Hutchings School and Penang Free School and ended his Secondary Education at Stephen’s College in Hong Kong. After which he was sent by his father, Lam Kin Sang, a lawyer in Penang, to further his studies to become a Dentist at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He stayed there for two years after which he quit university. He very much wanted a career in the Military. Whilst in Melbourne for the two years, he joined the “Citizen Military Forces”. He wrote to General Sir Gerald Templar, learning, that the General was looking for youngsters to become Officers to join the Malayan Armed Forces. He was overjoyed when he received the letter from the General himself.

The call of the nation made him sacrifice the University in Melbourne and a career as a Dentist. He returned to Kuala Lumpur to attend the selection tests and interview in Port Dickson. He was one of the few Chinese out of 24 selected to join Intake 3 of the Federation Military College (FMC) in Port Dickson. After a month he was sent to the Federation Armored Car Regiment, then to Royal Military Academy Sandhurst from March 55 to July 56 in England until he was commissioned.

1956-1961 2nd Federation Armored Car Regiment/2nd Reconnaissance Regiment

He returned as a 2Lt to join the 2nd Federation Armored Car Regiment, which was commanded by Major John Terry in Kluang, along with 3 other Officers, who were 2Lt Baharudin bin Diah, 2Lt Ghani bin Maludin and 2Lt Mokhtar bin Yunus. 2nd FACR was enlarged and renamed 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment in 1960, whose CO was Lt Col Keit Robinson. As an Officer in 2nd Recce, 2Lt Lam at that time was involved in patrol and escort duties all over the country during the First Emergency.

1961-1962 Malayan Special Force in Congo
Captain Maurice Lam was 2nd in Command of A Squadron, 2nd Reconnaissance Regiment in the Congo under Malayan Special Forces. The Squadron was commanded by Major Lakhbir Singh Gill, and the Regiment was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Roger Nixon. The Regiment was part of the Malayan Special Force, under the United Nations banner. They were tasked as peacekeepers from April 1961 until January 1962. It was the action in Congo, that he gained a PGB medal. For the event in Congo, please refer to website for detail.

4th Battalion Malaysian Ranger
He served with the Reconnaissance Regiment for 15 years before taking up the post of Second in Command of the 4th Battalion Malaysian Rangers.

“Psyops” in Mindef
He went for a Psychological Operations course in the United States of America after which he attended Staff College. He took up duties in “Psyops” in Mindef and in the Prime Minister’s Department. He was promoted to Lt Col and took command of 7th Rangers , whilst 7th Rangers was still on Operations in Kanowit, Sibu, Sarawak.

1977-1979 7th Battalion Royal Rangers (Mech)
Lt Col Maurice Lam Shye Choon PGB,was Commanding Officers 7th Battalion Royal Rangers (Mech), from 19th May 1977 - 15 Sep 1979

Ops Hentam Galas
a. Area : Batu Melintang, Kelantan
b. Start/End : 29th Jan 1979 - 21 Dec 1979
c. Involvement : Whole Bn plus attachments
d. CO : Lt Col Maurice Lam Shye Choon PGB
e. Success : 3 Enemy KIA

Lt Col Maurice Lam retired from service after serving for 33 years. He related that he had passion for the Military. He enjoyed every moment of his 33 year career. He considered himself fortunate, as he was sent for courses locally and overseas and given an opportunity to serve in various appointments. He married Liew Ying Choo and blessed with 3 children, all girls. He was fortunate that his children were educated fully whilst he was still in service. All his 3 children are professionals in Hong Kong. He also said that if he was born again, he would take the same line in his life, without any regrets.

Murice Lam ended his career as a full colonel and was attached to Mindef before retiring in the early 90s.

(extract from article 2Lt N.H. Siebel PGB and Captain Maurice Lam PGB in the Congo, by Major (Rtd) D.Swami)


1. 2Lt N.H. Siebel PGB and Captain Maurice Lam PGB in the Congo,

Friday, June 10, 2011

Glugor Seaplane Base/Marine Craft Unit(MCU)

Penang Pre War British Seaplane Base - Glugor

While research on the history of Japanese Occupation in Penang, it was revealed that there was a British Seaplane Base in Glugor, Penang Island before the WW2.
Early Gelugor was a rural area in the south of Georgetown, a farming area. But it was also the hub of military bases. There were army camps, marine base, and seaplane base. It was also the marine aviation hub, where commercial and military plane landed or floated there.

What is Seaplane?
A sea plane is a fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing (alighting) on water. Seaplanes that can also take off and land on airfields are a subclass called amphibian aircraft. Seaplanes and amphibians are usually divided into two categories based on their technological characteristics: floatplanes and flying boats; the latter are generally far larger and can carry far more. These aircraft were sometimes called hydroplanes

1.A floatplane has slender pontoons, or floats, mounted under the fuselage. Two floats are common, but other configurations are possible. Only the floats of a floatplane normally come into contact with water. The fuselage remains above water. Some small land aircraft can be modified to become float planes, and in general floatplanes are small aircraft. Floatplanes are limited by their inability to handle wave heights typically greater than 12 inches (0.31 m). These floats add to the empty weight of the airplane, and to the drag coefficient, resulting in reduced payload capacity, slower rate-of-climb, and slower cruise speed.

2.In a flying boat, the main source of buoyancy is the fuselage, which acts like a ship's hull in the water. Most flying boats have small floats mounted on their wings to keep them stable. Not all small seaplanes have been floatplanes, but most large seaplanes have been flying boats, their great weight supported by their hulls.

The first in history combat missions of a seaplane was probably those of a Greek "Astra Hydravion" between December 1912 and January 1913, during the Balkan Wars. In one of them, on January 24, 1913, the seaplane with two Greek pilots flew at 1200 meters over the Dardanelles from the European to the Asian coast, did a reconnaissance of the Turkish fleet, dropped 4 bombs and after 2 hours flight landed at sea near the island of Imbros. The plane was targeted by canons and rifles unsuccessfully

During World War II, most navies used seaplanes for reconnaissance, search and rescue, and anti-submarine warfare. Possibly the most commonly known was the Consolidated PBY Catalina which was flown by the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and Canada, among many others. Similar aircraft were used by Japan, Germany, Italy.

A seaplane tender (or seaplane carrier) is a ship that provides facilities for operating seaplanes. These ships were the first aircraft carriers and appeared just before the First World War. Seaplane tenders became obsolete at the end of the Second World War.

A seaplane base may be anything from a stretch of water where seaplanes were based to a full installation, either floating (powered or unpowered) or shore based, where seaplanes were serviced. In the UK these are presumed to be coastal.

Examples of Seaplane used in WW2

Arado 196(Germany)
Short Sunderland
Consolidated Catalina
# Kawanishi H8K "Emily"(Imperial Japanese Navy)
# Mitsubishi F1M(Imperial Japanese Navy)

When did Gelugor Seaplane Base start?

View Larger Map

I am more interested in the military seaplane base. After the war, it was clear that RAF operated the seaplane base. During the Japanese occupation, Japan Imperial Army/Navy took over the seaplane base. How about the base before the war? Is it operated by Royal Navy as Royal Naval Air Station or RNAS?. RNAS means "Royal Naval Air Station" and, in common with the Royal Air Force, is always followed by a geographical place in which the air station is located. (Historically RNAS is the "Royal Naval Air Service"). Royal Navy shore bases and naval air stations have traditionally been named in the same manner as seagoing ships. HMS means Her Majesty's Ship (or His Majesty's Ship if before February 1952). So it seems that it was not Royal Naval Air Service, and then it must be RAF Seaplane base.

In 1918, RAF Marine Branch inaugurated as the Marine Craft Section just eleven days after the Royal Air Force itself was founded, it initially provided back-up for the flying boats.

1928 - The Flight took off again at 09.00 in 50 sees, and left for Penang Victoria Point was passed at 11.00, and after circling Penang, the Flight landed in formation at 15.25, and secured to buoys which had been laid off the Harbour Master s Pier at Glugor, about three miles south of George Town, Penang(Source: AUGUST 9, 1928, Flight)

1930- Introduction of commercial aviation in Malaya when Imperial Airways started its "flying boat" operations at Penang's Glugor Marine Station.

1935- 29 Sep 1935 Opening of Penang civil aerodrome – a 950 yard macadamised strip and 800 yard grass strip (Bayan lepas, land aerodrome)

1937 - Marine Aerodrome: - Marine Aerodrome at Glugor, Penang was listed as completed marine aerodrome in 1937 Malayan Civil Aviation Report 1937 pg 3. (source: Malaya Civil Aviation Annual Report 1936-1938)

1940- Air Sea Rescue (ASR) Service: it developed a rescue service which during and after the second world war became the largest in the world. During the war years alone over 8,000 lives were saved by the crews of the high speed rescue launches who faced enemy action and all weathers to uphold their pledge of "The Sea Shall Not Have Them".. In UK, Directorate of Air Sea Rescue was formed. The Directorate took up it’s duties at HQ Coastal Command on 6th February 1941. Every RAF station had an Air Sea Rescue (ASR) Officer appointed who was responsible for all aspects of rescue on his unit.

Now, it consists of Royal Air Force Air Sea Rescue & Marine Craft Section. Separate RAF Marine Craft Unit (MCU)? Air Sea Rescue Unit (ASRU)?

“During WWII as the RAF used flying boats, such as Sunderlands and Cattalinas, the MCS would ferry technicians and aircrews out to the aircraft.”The Glugor seaplane base may be started from 1928, and end after WW2, 1945, and the base become a marine craft unit.

1941-1945 Japanese Occupation – IJN Seaplane Base

During the war, Japanese used Penang as naval base, the harbor was used as the base for submarines and torpedo boats, and the naval air force used the Glugor seaplane base. Many Japanese seaplanes left at Glugor base after the WW2. It was also reported that Arado 196 also based in Germany U Boat base in Penang. The Ar 196 was a shipboard reconnaissance aircraft built by the German firm Arado starting in 1936. The next year it was selected as the winner of a design contest, and became the standard aircraft of the Kriegsmarine throughout World War II.

1945-1948 Post War RAF Seaplane base

After the war, the RAF took over the base, was under RAF Glugor Seaplane base.
In the post war period the availability of large paved runways and the greatly expanded performance of land-based planes meant that both commercial and military use of seaplanes was much reduced.

1945- In 1945, with peace secured, the RAF ASR fleet was drastically reduced with many wartime craft being sold off. The remaining launches were stripped of their armament and re-designated. The HSL became RTTL (Rescue Target Towing Launches) and the ST (Seaplane Tenders) later becoming RSL (Range Safety Launches). The ASRUs were closed down although some were replaced by regular Marine Craft Units (eg 1110 MCU replacing 22 ASRU at Immingham) as the RAF still had a Search and Rescue remit, along with other duties such as Target Towing for aerial bombing, range clearance and safety work, moorings inspections, and weapon recovery.

1947 RAF Glugor, Marine Craft Unit(MCU)

1947 – Marine Craft Unit becomes a full fledged branch of the RAF. In 1948 the RAF element of the combined service formed into the RAF Marine Branch and with the increase in commercial flying, fulfilled the UK’s obligations to provide a search and rescue (SAR) service.

Marine Craft Unit – a unit formed to operate RAF marine craft. Identified by a number (e.g. 1123 MCU)

"Marine Craft Units - Postwar"
• 1123,RAF Glugor Penang (1945 to 1955?)
• 1124,Seletar,Singapore
• MCRS,Seletar,Singapore
• Paula Brani:-Detachment from Seletar
• Bruni,Borneo,---------"------------
• 1125 Glugor,Malaya.Glugor had the No 1125 prior to Gan.(22 Oct 1955 - 1 Mar 1970)
• 1125,Gan,The,Maldives

Glugor seaplane base became RAF Glugor, home to 1123 Marine Craft Unit. Was also used by the Short Sunderland flying boats of RAF 230 Squadron and RAF 240 Squadron.
RAF Marine Craft were used exstensively in the 2nd World War. Apart from ASR, launches were used for servicing the needs of flying boats such as the Short Sunderland and the Catalina amphibian. Flarepaths laid,aircraft refuelled, bombs loaded and beaching of aircraft were some of the many and varied tasks carried out by the Marine Craft sections. At the end of the war there was a re-organisation of the M/C and in 1947 it became a fully fledged branch of the RAF.

RAF Marine Craft Units provided tremendous service to flying boat (seaplane) crews wherever RAF flying boats were based. They also acted as ‘targets’ for searching maritime patrol aircraft and towed floating targets for aircrews to practice their bombing and gunnery skills. In addition they fulfilled a valuable search and rescue role.

1958- RAF unit wins trophy again PENANG. Mon. The Deputy director of the marine craft section of the Air Ministry in London, Group Captain E. W. T. Hardie. today commended the Glugor unit for its "great achievement" in winning the Far East efficiency trophy for the second year running. He presented the trophy to the unit’s commanding officer , Squadron Leader P Wevill. (source: The Straits Times, 29 April 1958, Page 7)

1958 – RAF handed the Butterworth base over to the RAAF on 1st July, 1958 . RAF administration moved to the Marine Craft Unit base at Glugor, the name RAF Glugor would have immediately been changed to RAF Penang

As helicopter became more advanced they took over many of the A.S.R.,duties. ,the H.S.L were modified to enable them to tow targets and they became,Rescue Target Towing Launches[R.T.T.L's]. The Seaplane Tenders, were modified to Range Safety Launches,[R.S.L's. ]. A larger version of Westland helicopter, the Whirlwind, entered RAF service in Malaya in 1954. Powered by a 600 horse power Pratt ... Helicopters have now almost entirely replaced the RA F's marine craft for air-sea rescue work. There were still Sunderlands operating in the UK until 1956 and Singapore until 1959. (note: The RAF M/C Branch was disbanded in 1986).

1959- In May 1959, the Sunderland Mk V was withdrawn from service in the Royal Air Force. It marked the end of the RAF flying boat era – presumably for all time. The main flying boat base, RAF Seletar, Singapore, home to the three flying boat squadrons of the Far East Flying Boat Wing, Nos. 88, 205 and 209 Squadrons.
On 20th May 1959, Sunderland ‘P’ ML797 Captained by Flt. Lt. J. Poyser, 205 Detachment Commander (Sunderland Aircraft at Seletar) with Flt. Lt. A. Ford DFM, (205 Detachment Seletar) as co pilot and W. Cdr. R. A. N. McReady OBE, 205 Squadron Commander (RAF Changi) made the final flight of an RAF Sunderland. Also on board for the final R.A.F. Sunderland flight was Air Chief Marshal The Earl of Bandon, C. in C. F.E.A.F. After an overnight stop and refueling at RAF Glugor, preparing to take off on the long leg over the Indian Ocean to China Bay.

1963- SNR TECH M. J. WARNER, serving with No 1125 Marine Craft Unit at RAF Glugor, Penang Island, Malaysia, has been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct for remaining at his post as a W/T operator for 24 hours on a rescue launch which was returning to Singapore from Borneo when it was accidently holed and in danger of sinking.( FLIGHT International, 21 November 1963)

1971- In November 1971, the Far East Air Force was disbanded. Britain handed over the Glugor base in the Penang Island on 23 October 1971 to Malaysia.

When the RAF Marine Craft branch closed in 1986, at that time RAF Glugor had been handed over to Malaysian government in 1971. There was no longer any RAF Base in Glugor, Penang. The base was used as Malaysian Marine Police base.

Old seaplane base/marine craft unit at Glugor today

The ASR/MCU sections were an important element within the RAF, 'The Sailors in the RAF'. Most of the buildings still exist today and are used by the Marine branch of the Malaysian Police. It had formerly been a seaplane base and the Control Tower and a couple of small hangars can still be seen. When the Penang Bridge was built in 1984, the area on the seaward side was reclaimed and a six lane highway now runs past it. Tescos is 100 yards north of it.

Suggested website:
1. RAF Butterworth & Penang Association,
2.Air Sea Rescue & Marine Craft Section Club,
3. RAF MarineCraft Homepage,

Koh Seang Tat had talk about burial ground in 1887

The century-old family cemetery of Penang’s first ‘Kapitan Cina’ Koh Lay Huan in Batu Lanchang has been dug up to make way for a property development project in a move that has alarmed heritage enthusiasts. The Kohs were famous among the local Chinese community and are a part of Penang’s history and heritage. Heritage enthusiasts learned that the MPPP had given approval to dig up the tombs without looking into the historical significance – and 78 tombs were said to have been removed on this site and neigbouring areas. The MPPP had reportedly received an application by a Koh Chong Poh to remove 33 graves from this site but only approved 23. (Koh later told the Sun that the tomb of Koh Lay Huan and his wife would not be disturbed and would instead be turned into a small memorial park.)

The plot is behind the Lintang Gangsa Apartment (next to the market) off Green Lane (lot number 1560, section 5, DTL. The housing project, reportedly undertaken by developer Kemuning Setia Sdn Bhd covers 11.5 acres of the 27-acre site, was approved by the MPPP in December 2009.

Koh family is not only early pioneer in Penang; the family is a significant family not only for Penang; but also Kedah, Singapore, Siam, Taiwan,and China. One of the family members, Gu Hong Ming (辜鴻銘, b 1857 – d 1928), was world famous scholars, not only in China but also the western world. If you included the relationship of Koh family with David Brown family, then the history also linked to Scotland, UK where Gu Hong Ming once live with Brown family. It will be of tourism value if properly developed....

Despite having attained the status of Heritage City, the heritage protection law in the state is still weak, and the state government is still concentrate their effort on the historical buildings and heritage in the city. The definition of heritage was not comprehensive to include all possibilities of heritage items. There was no list of heritage sites outside the city compiled by the state.

On approving of any building plan or removal of any tombstone/burial ground, I wonder did the approving official conduct a site visit and Heritage Impact Assessment Report produced; have the MPPP have an heritage assessment department who have knowledge of local culture and heritage law?. But even without the statutory law, did MPPP has the common sense to decide if the building or the burial ground is of heritage value?.... I was wondering something went wrong somewhere, as incidents similar to this had happen in Pykett Avenue sometime ago, did MPPP learn their lesson?.....

Did MPPP know Kapitan China Koh Lay Huan?

Koh Lay Huan, who was appointed by Francis Light as the the first Kapitan Cina of Penang in 1787. One of Koh’s sons even accompanied Stamford Raffles to Singapore in 1819. Please refer to

Did MPPP know Koh Seang Tatt?

The tomb of a philanthropist tycoon from the 1800s, Koh Seang Tatt, had been broken into at the Batu Lanchang Hokkien cemetery in Penang. The bones of both Koh and his wife had been removed. This is a sad story, and approval was given by MPPP, it seems that MPPP did not know who is Koh Seang Tatt....

The grave of Seang Tatt’s brother Koh Seang Teik, which has a road in Penang named after him, was also exhumed...

The tombstones damaged included those of prominent businessmen Koh Seang Tatt, Tan Gim Leong, Tan Gim Kheng and philantropist Lim Ko Seng.

Others graves and tombstones belonging to Penang Chinese Town Hall founder Tan Hup Chui and Penang’s first Kapitan Cina Koh Lay Huan remain intact.

Koh Seng Tat & Balik Pulau

Prior to 1880, Balik Pulau was under the jurisdiction of an adviser to the British colonial government, Koh Seang Tatt, a local magnate who took up law studies in England.

Apart from being the district magistrate, he was also given the authority to bring in labourers from China to open up the forested hilly areas at Air Puteh. Most of the cleared areas became Koh's property.

There were already Malay villagers in the various kampung, most of whom had migrated from Kedah and Perlis after the Siamese attack on Kedah in 1821.

Koh had administrative authority not only of Balik Pulau but also Air Itam and Tanjung Tokong.

There was no proper road in Balik Pulau then. Neither was there any horse carriage. Koh stayed in Air Itam and only visited Balik Pulau occasionally. He usually made the trip along the hilly path on a sedan chair carried by four coolies, escorted by two constables.

Balik Pulau was also called "Kongsi" because of the longhouse (in front of the Indian temple) built to accommodate 300 to 400 labourers from China. Among the areas cleared by these labourers were Air Putih which was planted with rubber.

A courthouse was built here but it later became the living quarters for estate workers after a new courthouse was built.

(source: extract from article of NST,

You know what was Koh Seng Tat's view on Chinese burial ground; when a conflict arise with the colonial administration to built a district magistrate's house on the elected area of Chinese burial ground at Balik Pulau? That was in 1887....

Conflict arose between British and Chinese in 1887, when British attempted to enact a burial ordinance that would have restricted the areas where the Chinese could established the burial grounds and would have forced them to disinter previous burial so that a district magistrate’s house could be built on a scenic elevation in Balik Pulau. Colliding here were Chinese geomantic notions that led them to site graveyards in elevated areas with a pleasant view and British notions of sanitation and appropriate land use. In the debate that followed , Kapitan Koh Lay Huan’s great grandson Koh Seang Tat(d 1833), one of Penang most prominent Strait Chinese, cited Roman Law to argue that Penang Chinese burial grounds should remain sacrosamct in perpetuity(Koh, 14, OCT 1887). (source: Rites of belonging: memory, modernity, and identity in a Malaysian Chinese community, by Jean Elizabeth DeBernardi, Stanford University Press, 2004)

The late Koh Seng Tat is telling MPPP, and Penang langs about his view not on Balik Pulau burial ground; but his won burial ground....

The solution of the mistake, relocation. Ten graves belonging to prominent personalities at the private Chinese cemetery in Batu Lanchang will be relocated to the United Hokkien Cemeteries (UHC) sited across the road.(source: The Star, March 18, 2011)

It is sad, Penang lang, MPPP do not know history....may be there is no more Penang lang in the city(or in MPPP?)that know the history of the state?....

I wonder, Penang lang, a declining living heritage now, person still around, who was born in Penang; the original Penang lang of many generations....that still cherish the history of Penang....the strait born ....the Peranakan...will one day face the same fate as Koh's family burial ground.....

There are many heritage buildings and burial grounds still waiting for their days....and no action have taken....just waiting for the nature to take its place...

Shi Chung Goh Chan Lau; Captain Francis Light Tomb; Mission House; Khaw Boo Aun's residence at Bukit Tambun(許武安故居)....there are still many....buildings or burial grounds....

Tears for Penang....tears for Penang lang, a living heritage...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Who is the founder of Penang?

Who actually found Penang?

There was dispute on who actually found Penang, many agreed that historically it was not Captain Francis Light. Who can be classified as Founder of Penang?
Founder, is a person who founds or establishes some institution. Here, the institution is Penang, a political entity of Penang. The founder of Penang, must be the one who established a political institution of Penang, which include a government set up. It cannot be the one who make the Penang island, it was an act of God or geological formation. It cannot be the one who first saw the island, then the founder will be the traders or pirates who passed through the Strait of Malacca. Can it be the one who first put his foot on the earth of the island? He must be the one who landed at the island to obtain water and went for hunting for food in the island for the first time. Recently some said the one who start a village or settlement in the island found Penang, obviously they are not the founder of Penang politically, they may be the first settler in Penang, may be the founder of their village in Penang. They may be Sumatran or Chinese, or even Indian. They were fishermen or farmers; first begin the productive use of resources in Penang. They may be political escapee from their home country, searching for a place to settle, with the intention to return to their home land one day. There was no identification of nation, or any political entity, just a temporary habitat for the settlers. But historically Penang island was under kingdom of Kedah , which was controlled by Siam when Captain Francis Light arrived. Penang was part of Old Kedah, and part of Siam. It may have other names, and not the name of Penang. Whoever settled in the island before Captain Francis Light were the subjects of Old Kedah, the subject of Siam, there was no separate political independent institution.

To a religious person, God is the founder of Penang. The first person who saw the island may be the founder; or the first person who landed in the island; or the first village chief of the island. Whatever the definition of the founder, it is just a narrow definition on specific understanding. But that was not the new modern political institution of Penang. Who found the new modern British Penang?.......

Then who found Penang?
The first mention of Penang by British record was in 1591, by Captain Lancaster, later Sir James Lancaster. In June, Captain Lancaster found a harbor , off Pulau Rimau, to the south of Penang island, the ships anchorage there until August 1591. Captain must had known the island of Penang. But he was not the founder of Penang.
The founder of Penang, must be the one who had politically gained Penang from Old Kedah(its former owner), and systematically planned to develop Penang as a political entity. It may not be a nation; it may be a colony of a country, but a political entity, a political institution. It has a name for the political institution. To Captain Francis Light, who had obtained the island from Kedah, legally (even he may have cheated the sultan on the pretend to protect the Kedah kingdom from Siam), yet it was a legal transfer with treaty, a historical documentary evidence. The document was signed and dated, with a clear intent.

If we checked the history of the island, there was no clear historical written document to reveal any separate political institution, other than it was part of Kedah, and part of Siam. Penang , or at the time Prince of Wales Island was established as British colony of United Kingdom, as separate and independent from Kedah, from Siam. A British Penang, no longer a Kedah’s Penang. The later historical and political events also confirmed the establishment of an independent Prince of Wales Island, later become Penang. The first political institution separate and independent from Kedah , was Prince of Wales Island, a new political institution.

Moreover, the founder of Penang, the name can only be given by the people of Penang, at the historical time....not now....

Captain Francis Light, the founder

Penang was then a new political institution, the first governor of the said new institution was Captain Francis Light. In view of the historical fact as the first, he was known as the “Founder of Penang”.

Captain Francis Light was then the Founder of Penang since 1786, whatever your definition of the word “ Founder”, or whoever you named the founder, Captain Francis Light is the official founder, and the only founder for British Prince of Wales Island of British Indian Company, Penang Island , Penang, Strait Settlement Penang, Japanese occupation Penang, British Malayan Penang, Federation Malayan Penang, Malaysian Penang………and the only official one……..

It was the people at the time; the strait born, the Chinese Peranakan(or Baba Nyonya), the Jawi Peranakan, early Indian workers, early traders, early fishermen, early farmers, and other residents of the British Penang.....who named Captain Francis Light as founder of Penang.

No one can appoint the new founder.....not even the Chief Minister of Penang, who was not even born when Penang(British Penang) was found, historically.