Update: In the 1940s, boats used to carry cargo all the way from the sea-front all the way along Prangin Canal, which was once a river, passing by Capitol Cinema (demolished to make way for Komtar) until the junction of Transfer Road.
Back in the 19th century, George Town only reached up to Prangin Canal, and that’s why the old market area near the canal was called Sia Boey (end of the town). More history of Prangin Canal on the Travel Tips website.
31 March 2011:
Now that there are plans to revitalise the Prangin Canal area in Penang, those responsible should proceed very carefully with what they do, bearing in mind that the surrounding area is swampy ground.
If the history of the construction of the canal is researched using both the physical evidence today and historical data, then we would better understand the swampy ground in the area, and the nature and purpose of the canal. Prangin Canal is part of an intricate drainage system designed in the 1860s to 1890s. It must be fully understood before it is fiddled with.
Don’t forget what a nightmare it was for Prangin Mall and 300 surrounding houses during the construction of the complex.
To keep the canal clean, we would need to ensure that drain water is treated before it is discharged into the waterway.
George Town Local Plan: Still waiting
Meanwhile, from what I hear, the team writing the Special Area Plan for the heritage zone is more or less the same team engaged to write the George Town Local Plan 15 years ago.
We are still waiting for the green light for the George Town Local Plan – but it would now need to be revised as it would be out of date.
In January, the MPPP also announced that a special heritage task force would be set up to monitor the heritage zone. It would be good to know what has happened to it and who is supposed to be in this task force.