It was quite a different world back then. Have all the changes made been for the better?

In case you can’t view the slideshow, here is the link to the source.

Share with us what we have gained and lost in the process of ‘development’. [There is good development and there is bad development (which does not benefit the people.]

What has been the impact on our overall quality of life?

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44 COMMENTS

  1. I FIRST LANDED IN PENANG FROM INDIA IN 1951 – AND WALKED
    THROUGH THE PENANG ROAD WHERE THERE WERE TRAMS; TO ME
    THEN PENANG WAS HEAVENLY; I WAS ONLY 20 YRS OLD;
    I STAYED ONLY 1 NIGHT IN TAMIL STREET IN ONE OF THE SHOP LOTS. I DRANK WATER FROM THE TAP, IT WAS SO TASTY. EVEN TODAY I HAVE NOT TASTED WATER SO SWEET.

    I LIVE IN KL FROM 1951 – 2017 – I HAVE BEEN TRAVELLING TO
    PENANG MOST OF THE WEEKENDS FROM TELUK INTAN TO PNG.
    NOW FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS I DO NOT DRIVE CAR DUE TO
    OLD AGE; THE ROADS NAVE CHANGED.

    MY FIRST AND LAST MEETING WITH MR BALAKRISHNAN WAS IN 1993. I HAD A FRUITFUL DISCUSSION WITH HIM ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS DEVELOPMENT.

    IT IS UNFORTUNATE, I HAVE NOT MET YOU BUT
    WE HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT – YOU ARE DOING AVERY
    GOOD JOB I HOPE TO SEE YOU IN ONE OF THESE DAYS.

    WITH LOVE

    • Thanks, Hamid, for the kind wishes. I hope to see you one day soon.

      Btw, I think you mean Ramakrishnan.

  2. Look foward to new Penang but can feel nolatagic about Old Penang.
    But old Penang under BN is not what we treasure.

  3. Cannot complain if you want progress.
    Penang hardly progress under previous government.
    Diverse cultures are now promoted compared to last time.

    • Penang has more cultural assets (temples, festivities, food & beverage, Nyonya homes, etc) of the Chinese & Indians compared to Malay. So, it is natural & right-thinking to portray Penang as such.

      But under BN’s stooge Gerakan, the emphasis was Malay culture upfront in anything such as tourism marketing. I faced such unnatural portrayal requisite in my advertising career handling hotels & PDC’s ad campaigns.

      But one brave Malay dared to defy such unnatural portrayal in Shangri-La’s marketing Kit. Thanks to Malaysia’s 1st PM Tunku Abdul Rahman who brought up such right-thinking (unbiased) Malays in his family.

      And a ‘brief’ moment of one brave Chinese i.e. Madam Kee for her foresight & vision of Penang tourism, which campaign Visit Penang Year 1999 with strong Nyonya Baba elements (so impressed upon & loved by foreigners) lasted but for one ‘brief’ moment of a year. Talking about effective, consistent & lasting brand building but only for one ‘brief’ moment of a year is not the way to go, Madam.

      Present Penang state gomen is also brave to change the skewed & mundane cultural tourism status-quo of the past stooge Gerakan. We now get to see more lively presentation & sharing of unique multi-cultural Penang. Many thanks to LGE & Team.

      Only thing I have concern is the gentrification of old world charm Polo Pinang led by commercial interests.

      • Tourism Malaysia has dropped it’s ‘Truly Asia’ campaign as Malaysia is becoming Arabised?

      • Now can see Chinese words in official signage around George Town. In Johor you see Jawi words.

      • CAT Gomen has more common sense than BeeEnd stringed Gerakan in managing assets (including talents) & cultural wealth. See what exponential growth & recognition Penang earns thro the years in terms of tourism, in bound tourists & authentic showcase of Pulo Pinang to the world. Of course without the racist-apologetic self-defeat of BeeEnd policies shoe-shined by Gelak-Gerakan.
        In a real world of globalisation, shoe-shining is a no common sense career to begin with.

  4. 20 years after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, the ringgit is now at its worst state compared to other Asian currencies and not stronger as reported recently.

    The ringgit was at its lowest against Singapore, Thailand, Philipines and South Korea compared to before Najib Razak was appointed finance minister in 2007.

    Other than Indonesia and Vietnam, the ringgit is worse off against the Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and South Korean currencies. Since 2008, the ringgit has dropped 27.7% while other currencies went up 6.8%.

    https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/6574/

    • Ringgit devalued, money games hurt many.
      Many affected hawkers try hard to recover money lost, and the consumers suffer as hawkers now raising food prices, some say to realign pricing per franchised food.
      Good to hear the views from Margie, Gwen, Jennifer whether depreciated ringgit brings more joy as expatriates now have stronger foreign currencies?

  5. Penang Forum is rather silent these days? Any update from Anil? May be the members ate taking vacation to learn best practices to implement on island?

      • Penang Forumer are privileged folks able to take holiday breaks. We hope next time long holidays they can “moved” themselves down a bit to understand the true plight of the less endowed society in need of shelter, food and warmth. Doing so, they can better come forward with less Penang Tatler ideas so distant and irrelevant to people in distre$$.

      • Hardly privileged. Most of them have jobs or other commitments, with Penang Forum being purely voluntary service that they do during their spare time. They are working on a whole range of issues. If you don’t see them in the press all the time, it doesn’t mean they aren’t working.

  6. Vision of modern Penang as mentioned by LGE to Bloomberg TV :

    He did mention to make Penang comfortable to foreign investors, and likely he is pursuing part of the strategies with Singapore Temasek collaboration.

    Noted he has plans to make Penang International (in Anil’s readers context Cosmopolitan) & Intelligent.

    • Yes, bring in more jobs so that we do not have to go Singapore to find jobs.
      Manufacturing is sunset in Penang island and we must be able to speak and communicate in proper English to improve our service industry to bring in more tourists.

      • Cheers Kopi-O kau kau, Suresh!

        The paradigm shift is already starting to happening:
        Penang is an ideal place not only to live but to work and play. We want to transform Penang into an International City and intelligent city that reaches world-class standards so that we can scale the heights of a high-income economy. Only an international city can we enjoy the benefits of agglomeration – the networking avenues and skills specialization only available in cities.
        http://www.penangcatcentre.my/whats-up-details.aspx

        Note: Bear this in mind when you cast your vote in coming GE14 for a better future in Penang without the BN stooges.

  7. Putting vintage Penang aside just for while while we’re dissecting national issues critical to Malaysians :

    • Ravi123 put to shame the MIC mouse still high on Umno dedak confirm received 1MDB ‘donation’ from MO1 but nothing is there to improve the welfare of Indian community.

      Calvinsankaran please keep your mouth shut!

      • (Is) Calvinsankaran … thinking of becoming Indian Muslim to get freebies as Bumiputera under MO1’s new blueprint for Indians in exchange for votes?

  8. One heavenly street food cuisine I would like to introduce:
    Singapore Bee Hoon @ Jalan Data Keramat.
    Bee Hoon fried in mutton shreds, vege & eggs flavoured with onions & spices.

    Run by 2nd & 3rd generations of Mamak, this cuisine is still affordable @ Rm3.00 per packet or plate.
    A stone throw from Patchee Roti (near Penang Stadium), the roadside evening stall (in front of an Indian Vegetarian Restaurant) serves the best Singapore Bee Hoon in the northern region, maybe the whole of Malaysia.
    The owner told me once he had an order of 50 packets from a KL guy.
    Most of his business come from takeaways. But I prefer to savour his heavenly dish hot & full of aroma @ the vegetarian restaurant with order of Rm4.00 plate + one cuppa of hot Kopi.
    Anil, you must try this cuisine.

    • Smart Penangites can venture into cosmopolitan class old folks home but with vintage Penang set-up, and old folks can be guaranteed good nutritious authentic street food.
      Start crack your heads to make good investment returns not money game MLM schemes to afford costly Penang soon.

  9. vintage Penang is over the hill now, let’s put effort to greenify the island.

    Anil can share his inputs on how to make the island green with envy by others ?

    • Every one knows how to complain and cry like babes. Ask them for solution and suggestion they are like babes. What do they know about trees? They do not realise trees are living plants and they do have disease and may not last long. What happen if branches get rotten, fell and injure someone and make him bedridden, they will complain against tokong for not taking any action. They are just gold fingers at pointing.

  10. Thanks a lot for sharing this precious gem of a link Anil Netto. I have been trying to build up my own collection of same over the years & now you have shared a treasure trove of these pics of “Old Penang”!

  11. The corner shoplots between Komtar and Gama had been closed for development. It was once vintage nasi kandar area. Likely a new cosmo set-up to serve customers from many new stylo-mylo hotels there.

    Tunglang can recall his childhood days there a stone throw away from Madras Lane.

    • Those corner shoplots used to be (from left to right) an Indian newspaper cum mini convenient store, a Cantonese kopitiam & nasi kandar restaurant opened to a side back lane which led to The Wembley theatre & Choon Ma Hooi (mini bazaar).
      Evening time was great leisure for Cheng, Cheng, Cheng, Cheng medicine men kung fu display at the open space separating Gladstone Road & Magazine Road. The stretch of Magazine Road from the roundabout till the backlane opposite formerly Shangri-La Hotel was a food haven waterhole of anything street food 60s-style authetica.

      As an adventurous 6 year old kid, it was safe for me to play & run about from Macalister Road Kraven A Cafe, across Dato Keramat Road to the open grassland with 3 huge cinema billboards (now Gama) & ending up at the Magazine Road backlane for a bowl of hot-hot Heng Jin + Eu Char Koay (my oh my heavenly ‘bak-sat’ taste of supper milky delight).

      That’s how I explored & tasted the great ‘urban outdoors’ of Goh Pha Teng (vicinity of Magazine Circus) which given me a chance of 9-lives (of a cat) I would love to relive the old world charm of my childhood playground.

  12. The alleys between old heritage houses to undergo revamp eg to light up the road with coffee joints. Have not heard Anil’s view on that?
    Also many look forward to new Boston cafe next to Octopus overhead pedestrian walk near Komtar.

  13. Concretise of the island without the plan to enhance the depleting green scene in the townships (don’t ever ask the public to take tram to hill to see the greenery) surely diminish the attraction of Penang tourism compared to many booming towns in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos etc. Greenery should be clearly visible while on the roads not up the hills.

    The Green committee of CATS can lawatan sambil belajar ( working trip) to SingKarPoh, many of the experts there are Msia born , to gain the practical know how to make Pulo Mutiara a true green pearl !

  14. Election on the way. Those who has preservation or revival of vintage Penang manifesto can draw support from locals penanglangs yearning for yesterdays lost in transition to over board Cosmo-condo-mall concept of today.

    http://m.thesundaily.my/node/456955

    Announcement of spiral bicycle path at Bayan Lepas may balance the scene of too much motor vehicles oozing carbon to the air detrimental to health?

  15. Young generation has little interest in inheriting old trades, thus heritage trade is vanishing, for old shop houses to make way for hip cafe joints. They prefer to be Uber/Grab drivers, not trishaw men.

    • Char keow teow and cendo sellers are all in the 50s. Pg forum and tunglang should complain to tokong and compel young ones to take school of hard knocks instead of Bitcoins, etrades, Alibaba etc. Otherwise in 10 years, we will be eating just roti Prata and nasi kandar as local Chinese food will disappear.

      • young ones did not take school of hard knocks as they are lured towards easy money in JJPTR, Richway, CYL, MCoin, Barrel2U etc?

    • Old arguments regurgled again & again into more spins.
      Go see those real 2nd generation street hawker food businesses run by younger folks who know what great brand value in food tourism in Penang. Instead of imagining Cosmo-kids selfieing & preferring fast money, you will see the hard truth – X, Y, Millenial generations are not what imagined stuff of yours. Some are more enterprising with what their parents have created globally recognised Penang street food brands, an envy of SingLanders & other Asian competitors.

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