Highrise towers galore at ‘Penang WorldCity’ mega project


The ongoing mega project known as ‘Penang WorldCity’, sprawled over 100 acres in Bayan Mutiara is set to turn the area into a jungle of highrise towers. One shudders to think to think of the impact on traffic and the resulting congestion along the Jelutong Expressway in the years to come.

Count the number of towers in this artist’s impression.

This project is a joint venture between Tropicana Corporation Berhad (previously Dijaya Corporation Bhd) and Ivory Properties Group Bhd. Check out the project website here.

This was the 103-acre plot in Bayan Mutiara that the state government sold for RM1.1bn (about RM240psf) to Ivory Properties, which soon after entered into a joint-venture with Dijaya Corporation Bhd. At that time, the gross development value of the project was estimated to be RM10bn.

The substantial shareholder and vice-chairman of Tropicana is Danny Tan Chee Sing (younger brother of Vincent Tan), listed by Forbes as the 23rd richest Malaysian with a net worth of US$520m.

According to the firm’s 2012 Annual Report, Danny’s son Dickson is the managing director. Dickson’s brother Dillon is an Executive Director and his sister, Diana, is a non-independent non-executive director. The chairman of Tropicana is Rohana Mahmood, reported by The Star in 2008 to be in ‘Najib’s milieu’.

Do you think the Jelutong Expressway can cope with this mega project and IJM’s Light project, the Queensbay Mall traffic, on top of the traffic from the first and second Penang bridges and the rush hour traffic to and from Bayan Lepas FTZ?

READ MORE:  What is the maximum density allowed in Penang now?
penang world city location map
Recipe for congestion: Sandwiched between the first and second Penang bridges

Then, there’s the state government’s planned highway projects from Air Itam and from Gurney Drive/Pangkor Road, both ending up at the Jelutong Expressway.

Good luck, Jelutong Expressway!

The other question applies to other land reclamation projects as well: one lawyer tells me there is an argument that any reclaimed land should be classified as leasehold land.

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  1. Pulau Jerejak will be the next frontier (that might) be conquered by Ivory that is aggressively putting more homes in every corner of Penang.

  2. At least Ivory does not include LRT on the master plan of WorldCity.
    Perhaps it assume that the residents there are rich to drive and need no public transportation, or is it to make the place more exclusive for the rich?

    • The bright side is the WorldCity project to increase the value of the properties nearby, with or without the LRT.

      Perhaps Anil can lobby for Tram service there?

  3. Anil

    You can be the conscience of the people.

    In dealing with the big corporations , I draw

    your attention to the challenges that the people

    of Penang will face vis a vis corporate corruption

    [another face of the Wolf of Wall Stree appearing]

    The article reproduce from Ko Song will be helpful-

    It looks grand when editors of our

    local newspaper talk about electoral

    delienation [wong cw] , or liberal

    rights [june wong aka wong ping gan].

    That is not even important or merits

    a discussion. Look I spend some time

    at Maastricht and am impressed with the

    national emphasis thereat, whether in their

    newspaper , mass media or university.

    It is always about what Holland is good at.

    Holland is No 1


    1.cut flowers industry

    2.irrigation and agriculture technology

    3.aspartame -the artificial sweetener industry

    produced by the once gigantic Dutch Coal Mines.

    Holland is also worlds ‘s Top 10

    1. Shell oil

    2. Phillips Electronics based at Eindhoven [not v far fr Maastricht]

    3. Good universities [ Delph (which RVB -now Maastricht was part of), Rotterdam

    Den Haag . They may not be listed in Times but they do not accept foreign students

    in their agriculture faculties!

    4. Big in Fund management- probabably have pension funds bigger than our

    national economy!

    Now, what is Malaysia No 1 in or used to be No 1 in:

    1. Tin [destroyed by Mahathir’s regime]

    2. Rubber [ not sure now]

    3. oil palm [ probably overtaken by Indonesia]

    4.Fake goods industry [just today I heard in the news some factory is raided]

    5, Human Trafickking Industry

    6. Sundal business -Flesh trade [agents for prostitution]

    7. Gambling and gaming industry per head.

    8. Corruption on a corporate scale, companies stealing

    from the people.

    During Mahathir’s regime, licences were issued for Da Ma Cai,

    Sports Toto [extended business] , Magnum [expanded business]

    Note:During my childhood days the only gambling was restricted to

    a 2 day a week “Tiga ekor’ with top prize of RM 500, and a monthly

    social welfare lottery ticket.

    Nowadays , gambling windows can be 7- day a week under a

    pretext of CNY, Happy happy or special draws….

    How does corruption on a corporate scale takes place?…

    Privatisation without benefits to the gomen is purelya piratisation.

    Look at how many piratisation that has taken place?

    PKFZ, Indah Water[ now re-nationalised]. Unaudited account of prize monies over collection

    on gaming is another big corporate (question mark). Regular punters

    on the number ekor alerted me to this issue. The prizes were minute compared

    to the collection by Sports Toto, Da Ma cai and Genting 4D. There has

    never been a declared policy on this issue. Why?

    The editors of Star are all write glowingly

    on mundane day to day issues relating to

    corporate issues and avoid writing

    bad about corporate tricks and shenanigans. Instead June Wong Ping Gan and

    high faluting Wongy talk about electoral delienation , catholic updates

    and made up catholic rights. An honest and credible analysis on catholicism

    is comprehensively presented by Ian Buchanan in ‘Anak Si Hamid’ blog!

    The BS written by those 2 Wong-ies are dustbin material!

    • it appears to me that those who are involved in “VICES” can easily afford Penang WorldCity; as easy come money easy spend ?

      • |

        Vincent Tan owned bought the cardiff city fc. Apparently
        the previous coach bought dud players for hundreds of
        million ringgit . During this january transfer window he
        had to spend another rm 100 million or so on player
        hoping that the cfc could still be in the BPL in the next

        How could VT afford to waste a few hundred million
        rinngit unless the profit margin of the gaming industry
        is not in the high 70-90 percent of collection. My gut feeling
        is the margin is over 90 percent of the collection. The PL account
        (may) hide the gross margin with all the running costs of (of other things)…

      • Hanana Bt Abdulla

        Cardiff & QPR swap next BPL; with Vince gave way to Tony the Premiership league.

        May be Berjaya Toto yet to establish legal football betting so Vince need another 2 years to work out the plan so let AirASia boss back in limelight season 2014-15.

        In Malaysia, cannot hav 2 tychoons on same turf (premier league) sure ego clash !

  4. Rosy, What now happen to Komtar now. The many groans were right. Komtar has become a white elephant or a place filled with the undesirables.

    • At least it is not infested with gangsters from Middle East, that are now operating in Bkt Bintang in KL as reported on The Star today.

      • Amy, Keep Calm, Don’t Worry.
        Penang WorldCity will soon be the haven playground of gangsters with loads of money & political strings.
        Have you seen the Japanese Yakuza dressed in suits?
        Or have you heard of prominent businessmen who were formerly gangsters in Penang?
        Komtar is a ‘kindy’ to these gang men.

  5. Hope that Danny Tan and all those BN cronies are able to put pressure on SPAD to improve on the transport system in order to improve the marketability of their project; otherwise they may stand to lose billions if the project were deemed to be unattractive due to traffic congestion.

  6. most penangities will complain but by the time the project is over everything will be sold off. Bought by upper class, not all people

    • Bought by local and overseas rich and famous and not Penangite who will be driven off their beautiful island that they have cherished their whole life

  7. Stop whining guys. This is the 21st. Century. Urban development is no longer linear but vertical. If Hong Kong and Singapore can do it, why not Penang? Remember what many were groaning when KOMTAR was being built?

    • I think we need to also compare the public transport systems of these cities, before we decide if highrise towers are appropriate.

      • Rosy probably has own private transport and not able to relate to the traffic woes (waiting for efficient bus system) faced by the public ?

        Definitely without well planned public transport system, the roads odf Penang island will be choking !

  8. like the headline states….sun, sea and sewage….yet another piece of c… that will wash ashore on penang’s beach soon

  9. Appear to many that Penang Gomen is encouraging high rise buildings to spur economic developments; while appear to be helpless in their pursuit with SPAD/Ministry of Transport to establish more effective public transport options ?

    Could the strategies dealing with Developers can be deployed against Federal Gomen agencies to improve the Public Transport system ???

  10. Ivory Properties promised LRT for Time Square but nothing happened.
    So do not be deceived by the glossy brochure of WorldCity as it can boast any modern infrastruture that it could not deliver.

    I believe the parking cost in Penang will be exhorbitant in tiem to come like Hong Kong. Anyone can own a car (made cheap by BN in 5 years time in its GE14 gimmick?) but has to pay dearly for parking because of limited parking space.

    • I have yet to see any contribution from Ivory in the aspect of corporate social responsibility. It will be a culprit contributing to traffic jam in later years.

  11. Anil: so what’s new in Penang? This project is not the last one on the SE coast of the island. Another high rise SOHO and mixed residential project will be developed soon on yet-to-be-reclaimed land between Gold Coast and the Queensbay promenade. This project consists of over 1800 units in high rise towers. Residents there have been issued notices for written objections to MPPP. Ultimately, there will not be any public coastline from E-Gate up to Queensbay Mall.

  12. I see prosperity and job opportunities. Also the day we all have bangalows are over.

    Yes yes…good public transport too. Even a high school student can tell us that.

    • E.coli will ultimately help drive the condo prices along the Batu Feringghi belt to more reasonable pricing once the fear of communicable diseases strike fear among the residents there ???

  13. Anil

    Do you think such proliferation of high rise high density residential projects will alter the population mix and profile of Penang island residents in years to come?

    • Well, Tim, I think we will see more and more areas for the wealthy, either through gated security or simply because the lower-income group would feel out of place in those areas as goods and services (e.g. private health care aimed at medical tourism) would be priced beyond their reach.

    • Anil, we have what we have and these developments dont change that fact. Why would not wealth serve to motivate us who are poor?

      The poor would not be able to afford private healthcare even without rich neighbour’s around. Or will they?

      • The larger question is why do people need private health care at all? What has gone wrong with our public health care system? Why has it been neglected and underfunded?

  14. How can you be a “world city” without adequate public transport? What about the rest of our infrastructure? Power, water, and of course…….sewage (which residents of Batu Ferringhi know all too well). Maybe “3rd World City” is a more appropriate name?

    Sad that these plans don’t ever coincide with forward thinking for once.

  15. What galore? When it gets to be like this..


    Then you may have something to complain about..

    The fact of the matter is that it was ALWAYS going to be this way no matter which govt. With UMNO/BN it would have been even worst.. Have you not read the 64 storey they are building in JB – JB where there is still palm oil, rice paddies AND highways everywhere plenty of options for public transport if they were half as good.

    • Hong Kong is high density, true, but look at their public transport options/network/infrastructure compared to Penang’s.

      • What has happened to the LRT that appeared on the masterplan of Penang Time Square when it was first launched?

      • Administratively, Penang is closer to Tsimshatsui or Causeway Bay than HK – BEFORE there was MTR. Penang is a paradise by comparison compared to those places at that time including public transport wise.

      • Big Joe : Before Penang was a paradise and HK was a rundown town. Now its the reverse. Penang is becoming more and more rundown

  16. Do you think the Jelutong Expressway can cope with this mega project and IJM’s Light project, the Queensbay Mall traffic, on top of the traffic from the first and second Penang bridges and the rush hour traffic to and from Bayan Lepas FTZ?


    • If you are some richie & famous & cosmopolitan frenzied, there’s no regret.
      (Note: not all richie & famous are like that but some do really care for sustainable development).

      How come? Can easily relocate when the cosmopolitan island finally, inevitably turns unsavoury & unsustainable to live & die in ghettos.

      Until then,
      No well-managed public transport? No problem, got MercS300Lansi can cruise around on more one-way streets in the planning.

      Prosperity? Yes. Depends on your ‘career mobility’ & skill set & networking with the rich & famous. Not yet rich but still rat-racing for somebody’s dreams? Just forgo expensive heavenly street hawker food & bin chui hitech accessories for as long as one is still working towards being rich or wealthy in order to stay in Cosmopolitan Penang Island.

      Traffic jam along Jelutong Expressway? Go money, just get flying cars! Komtar Tower will most probably have the first flying car landing pad installed with Rm…K discount (who will use it your guess is as good as mine).

      3rd world city infrastructure? Who really cares. Power, water & cool fresh air will be the private domain of the richie who can easily afford off-grid, off-TNB (private) solar panel electricity, in situ rain-water collection & ozone free +ve-charged fresh air all in the comfort of their million ringgit homes.

      Sewage breakdown? Just get a recycling, combusting machine to process sewage waste.

      Security from the desperate poor? Got gated homes mah. Also can employ ‘ang moh’ tourists (like what happens in Sabah’s tourist island resorts) who look like Arnold Schwarzenegger as deadly-looking security guards.

      Out of reach private health care. This is a no brainer question for the richie & famous but a life & death nightmare for the poor & middle-class. Sooner the public GH is nothing more than a human processing centre for disease control & life or death decision on the spot management. No money may means off the overworked life support system.

      Fusion Kopi-O Kau Kau? Kopitiam towkays couldn’t be bothered but gleely cater to the cosmo-refined taste of the rich & famous & prosper from the bin chui cosmopolitan cafe pricing. PaPa + Mama Rich Kopitiams will soon be synonymous with this Kopi-O cosmo-lifestyle. Just take a look at Nikon Df, a digital fusion (Df) of technology & nostalgia at a high price tag.

      Cosmopolitan Penang Island means more than Penang World City & more to come.

      • RM40 billion Melacca Gateway project to rival Penang WorldCity ?

        read : http://www.thesundaily.my/news/951031

        Consists of
        1) Pulau Melaka (16 hectar)
        2) Sunrise Beach Luxury Waterfront Villas
        3) Gateway Historical Broadwalk
        aimed at creating 15K jobs and 2.5 million tourists.

        Will this impact Ivory-Tropicana investment ? Bear in mind this Satu Lagi Project from BN that could divert investment fund away from Penang ?

      • High rise high dense concrete project is a common sight in cities in Malaysia, not just in Penang. Melaka has it Melaka Gateway. Johor Bahru has its Tropicana and Country Garden (by China developer) at Danga Bay, The Astaka Twin Tower, Setia 88 twin tower, Suasana twin tower at its city centre.

        Those who resent high rise urban living should consider retreating to small towns.

      • The massive Melaka Gateway project will change the landscape of the historic city, but the people there do not make noise. Maybe they welcome development for more tourist dollars unlike Penangites?


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