Asian Women Leadership University in Balik Pulau


A new liberal arts institution is in the pipeline at Balik Pulau covering 40ha of land.

According to the Chief Minister, the federal and state governments are collaborating to facilitate the project, which is backed by Smith College, a private independent women’s liberal arts college in Massachusetts, United States.

TheSun reports:

Balik Pulau land for federal project
Posted on 5 July 2012

Aaron Ngui
[email protected]

GEORGE TOWN (July 5, 2012): The state government today revealed that the plan for a liberal arts institution in the up and coming Balik Pulau township was a federal government project.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Asian Women Leadership University (AWLU) was an Entry Point Project (ETP) under the EducationNational Key Economic Areas (NKEA).

He made the revelation following protests by land owners over the acquisition of their land in Bukit Genting on Wednesday as well as criticism that the state was taking away their land.

Citing a letter dated June 12, 2012, from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Lim said the AWLU project was one of 21 new ETPs to transform Malaysia into a high income country.

He quoted the letter saying that the project was expected to bring in RM492 million worth of investments as well as creating 190 new high value jobs.

He said the state government has been requested to assist in transferring 40.46ha of land to the AWLU Malaysian Foundation.

“We believe the project will contribute in a significant way to transforming tertiary education in Malaysia as well as realise the plans for Malaysia as an education hub offering varied educational choices in the region,” he read from the letter.

Lim also moved to soothe fears over compensation saying that the state will abide by the valuations set by the Malaysian Valuation and Property Services Department under the Finance Ministry.

He said land owners unhappy with the compensation offer could also take to the matter to court.

“The state sympathises with the land owners and we will try our best to help them out,” he said while expressing that it was a hard decision to make but was made in the interests of education.

In addition, Lim said there had been an amicable dialogue with about 40 land owners on Tuesday and they understood that the land was to be used for a public project and not for private gain.

“Hopefully this matter will not be turned into a racial issue or be politicised as it is a collaboration between the state and the federal government,” he said.

It is envisaged that the annual tuition fee (for a four-year degree programme leading to a BA degree) will be US$15,000-US$20,000 per year. Scholarships will be provided for deserving students.

See the proposal here (.pdf file).

Photos of the site here.

If the federal government and state government can work together on this, surely they can also work together on public transport, no?

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AWLU seems an elite, expensive university….. . And getting free 40 ha of land? And providing only 190 new high value jobs?

Penang Island is already home to a few institutions such as USM in Minden, Gerakan’s or whatever Open University Malaysia near Georgetown, MARA International Baccalaureate (IB) College, etc.

And here is the crux: The growing numbers of original residents and students require a good public transport system as well as affordable accommodation.

Angry and Fed Up

Why couldn’t the goverment choose another site such as Teluk Bahang? I’d like to know why they chose Balik Pulau instead?


Precisely, Penang is so big. Even Balik Pulau has got a lot of land. And developers are buying up ‘agriculture’ land by thousands of acres and the converting it to development land. The state should buy one of these and give it to AWLU to open a university. There are many willing sellers in BP provided the price is right. To be fair to the state gov, they have indeed tried offering other pieces of land to AWLU. It is said in LGE’s press conference. He said he tried to offer many other pieces of land. I don’t think it… Read more »


Angry & Fed Up
Think positve, positive follows.

Get angry not good for mental & physical health.

Fed Up then Sit Down to cool off … Cheers 🙂


This is the site where Utusan (& Umno) has claimed that the state government has displaced the malay settlement to make way for the university?

Angry and Fed Up

I’m quite suspicious about the motives thie DAP led government has about modernizing Penang. It seems like they refuse to do anything constructive in handling the hill-development projects issue and tackling the beach problems. Their solution is blame the previous government and then “lepas tangan”. A lot of Penangites and foreigners too fail to understand the need of building gazebos on the beach for massage operators in Batu Ferringhi when we have so many empty shop lots that they can rent out. The beaches in BF are an eyesore because of this… Now they want to build an AWLU on… Read more »

Sze Tho

As usual, whinners like you know only to criticise but take no effort to understand the issues . Blabbering on about this and that when the facts have been explained in detailed before. The issue of projects pre approved by the BN gov and legally binding has been revealed. The present gov has imposed stricter guidelines on further projects. So what lepas tangan are you blabbing about? An empty piece of land for the Uni? Where , pray tell? Is it suitable? More empty talk. And are you so sure the owners of these other locations will not object? The… Read more »

Angry and Fed Up

Sze Tho

Someone’s in a foul mood. Too much coffee?

Sze Tho

Look who’s talking, Angry & Fed Up.

More of annoyance , brought about by reading your post. Coffee would actually help.


With a name like that, ‘Angry and Fed Up’ will only attract negative energy (qi) as expalined in the Laws of Attraction.

Ong Goo Kang

Angry & fed-up because you do not get teh ali-baba commission?

Angry and Fed Up

See..this is exactly the problem with trying to engage in intellectual discussions on line. Someone says something different, you guys hentam balik umno style. Apa la Why not just lay down the facts maturely? Why the need to be condenscending and immature? If Sze Tho knows so much about the details then by all means, lay them down here so everyone can know what the deal is. Facts – word for word. Ong..I get why you feel the need to defend Pakatan. I’m happy with the progress they are making but they have left a few very important issues in… Read more »


B’cos possibly (some) of them eager bottom-boot lickers don’t live in Penang, don’t experience the damn unsustainable development going on in Penang, don’t feel the pinch of unaffordable living in Penang, don’t experience the fear of the hills of possible landslide everytime it rains cats & dogs.
Sooooo easy to comment & surmise ali-baba kang tau or lack of it against others speaking of CAT-clean Pakatan Penang!
Who has no human-rights to feel ANGRY & FED UP when things go wrong?


i bet your ori-maestros like current phase of cosmopolitan Penang otherwise they have to uproot thier families to move to Singaland !


The real Ori-Maestros prefer to hawk in the streets for strategic, customer access & economic reasons. With Cosmopolitan ala SingLand, expect NO STREET HAWKING enforcement. This I can bet you the real Ori-Maestros won’t like it. The wannabes, I don’t care to know. Don’t believe, just go to New Lane & ask any one of them. (This I based on life experience living in Macalister Road as a hawker family).

Sze Tho

Well, as we all know by now there are plenty of armchair critics out there. People who condemn and criticise , but do so with scant regard for facts. A regular one I know, wrote at length about the “evils” of the modern banking system and the use of modern facilities like credit cards. He even made some rather silly assertions along the way, claiming to have been trapped and caught by such “schemes”. People like him take no responsibilities for their own failings. Like a child, he blames his ills on others and spends his days ranting on about… Read more »


tunglang getting disgruntled because barang naik has hit his pocket?

Relax-lah, housing is still affordable in Prai. No need to vent your frustration all teh way to Belum!

Sze Tho

A&FU, Facts you say? Well let’s start with the hill slope development issue. It has been debated at length on another post. It has also been clarified by the MPPP president as to the historical background of the approvals. You want something done? Yes, many of us would too, but it needs to be a sensible solution instead of a knee jerk “reject and revoke”. You seem to take offence at critiscm levelled at you. Doesn’t that come with the territory? You dish out comments without hesitation and yet you feel others should be tip toeing around your feeling? As… Read more »


Express what you have to. And only reply to intellectual discourse, not to headmistress questioning with no sense of balanced hearing but only Good News Pakatan Shouting, day & night, year after year. Angry & Fed Up. You are normal. As a Penangite like me, we know what is happening on ground zero. No bluffing. No twisting of arguments unlike a serpent with a MyHero logo on the chest. My advice: get a digital camera & share your visual perception with us. And save your saliva for more Penang Street Hawker Food. Go to CoastMudPolitan article – this is no… Read more »


Thanks for the info Anil. It seems that the tuition fees of USD 15k -20k is very steep. Assuming that the course offered is 4 years. That would be at least USD 60k (about RM 180k). I doubt many poor people will be able to afford this. I feel that the fees offered by UTAR (many times less than this) should be used as a benchmark for affordable education. Its website says that 25% will be given scholarships. I believe one of AWLU’s goals is to provide education for disadvantaged groups. Considering they will be given free land (40 hectares)… Read more »