44-acre theme park near Teluk Bahang Dam


There is no let-up in the development frenzy in Penang. The MPPP has approved a 44-acre RM120m theme park near the Teluk Bahang Dam.

The Escape theme park in Teluk Bahang

The 17-acre first phase covers an adventure park and water park and will be completed in 2013. All in, there will be three phases over six years.

More details on the Escape Penang website.

The land, which belongs to the PBA, was leased (60 years?) to the the theme park operator. Word has it that not everyone within the PBA agreed with the decision.

I am not quite sure how the roads are going to cope with that and how the traffic impact assessment proposes to handle the extra volume of traffic on the narrow road to Teluk Bahang which also services all the beach hotels.

Another thought to ponder over … a water theme park on a beautiful tropical island with lush forest-covered hills? What has happened to our once blue seas and pristine forests? People used to flock to Penang to plunge into the clean waters of Tanjung Bunga and Teluk Bahang. Even Gurney Drive had clear water once. Tell me, what has happened to the seas and why? Is this the price of so-called development? What kind of development is that? Development for whom?

And another six hotels are coming up in George Town (The Star). While the hotels will no doubt be profitable, they will inevitably result in more congestion. Who pays for the supporting infrastructure needed to alleviate this additional congestion?

Please help to support this blog if you can.

Read the commenting guidlelines for this blog.
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Erin wong

Can we play water at Escape ?


this one can not that one cannot, then what do you want Penang gov to do!!!! you said leave Penang alone as virgin land so that the tourists can enjoy the serenity and tranquility of the environment…..hey, you want to turn this place into tourists spot…..then mind you, you need to cater for different types of tourists. I would prefer Casinos to be at Pulau Jerjak like Sentosa….more tourist attractions…. Tell me besides working in Penang, and goto Gurney over weekend, what else you can do…..watch movie in the cinema, take your kids to roaming the Plaza Gurnet the most.… Read more »


I’m with Anil on this one, being a true penangite, i would like to see Penang maintain its identity based on natural and heritage attraction instead of this joke theme park which is going to be built. Why do we need to develop that area? I am more proud when people come to penang and appreciate its wonderful natural attraction,having great food, exploring the heritage trails in georgetown. This water park could be build elsewhere in Seberang Perai where the roads can be wider and more land can be developed. The needs to imitate Singapore and Hong Kong with man… Read more »


Most expensive Asset for human is the natural environment…the richest tourist will always look for most secluded, serene and natural environment which include remote islands of carribbeans, pacific island and also our own sarawak and sabah..!!!

The LGE goons here are not stupid as their statements and they are performing their task in hand at best to boost LGE public relations by any means…

It does not a genius to understand wht the LGE is doing to penang..which land value which is at premium… He is screwing Penang and Penangnites..!


one of the reasons i love visiting Penang is because it is not some crass tourist town like so many other places around Asia
people come to Penang for the history, nature, food and the (once upon a time) beautiful beaches
to see this part of the island turned into some cheap thrills theme park is just wrong

Ong Eu Soon

A place where it is gazetted as permanent graveyard near Lebuhraya Thean Teik was approved for residential development. Worst, there was a court case on the land before with the plaintiff won the case against another developer. Now this case seem likely to go to court again. LGe is totally disregard for laws and regulations. …. If Gerakan is smart it should investigate this case …

Charles F Moreira

I used to imagine that a Pakatan government would do away with the many wrongs of a BN government but this proves me wrong. Unfortunately, it appears that there are many posters here who are caught up with the glitz and glamour of concrete jungle Singapore but ignore the fact that many Singaporeans escape their island to enjoy a more natural environment elsewhere. I have been to Disneyland when I was seven years old and loved it but when I returned again aged 42, I hated it. I lived in Penang from 1969 to 1970 and liked it but soon,… Read more »


Many are mesmerized by the fleeting glitz and bling-bling commercialization of every facets of first world living including funeral! Things of lasting impact and self-improvement values are often throw away into the nearest sewage holes … Even Nature is not spared, not matter how limited and threatened of its existence. Our voracious appetite for self satisfaction of narcissistic importance and materialistic egomaniacs serve as high order mantra of modernisation and ‘progress’. We seem to never learn from recent tsunami of Sendai, Japan. Why it happened? To us, life is enjoying the best now, coveting the superficial and demanding convenience and… Read more »


Correct me if I’m wrong, the Penang Structure Plan has indicated areas around the dam as Hutan Simpan Teluk Bahang where Teluk Bahang itself is categorised into “Bandar Perlancongan Eko” for tourism potential (DSU9 L3) and “Kawasan Sensitif Alam Sekitar” (DSU10 L1). If the exact location of the theme park development is enroached into the sensitive areas, we should do our part to stop it as it clearly violates the Structure Plan. Seems like our current state government is abusing the loophole of the absence of a valid Penang Local Plan. Only if we have the same spirit which existed… Read more »


Theme parks around the world have one thing in common – crowds, noise, air pollution, traffic and thrash wastes. The proposed and approved theme park in Teluk Bahang is going to be no different. There will be many traffic coming from either direction – from Batu Ferringhi or from Sungai Pinang. Imagine the width and carrying capacity of the narrow roads leading to the park, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays will be honking madness and may even affect the beach hotel industry known for its quiet and serene ambience. And the green vegetation will turn pale green from the increased CO2… Read more »

Gan Eng Hui

Building a theme park or recreation park or even casinos are good ideas. Just take a look at the crowds in Singapore, HK and Macau, and the revenues they are generating to the Government. The problems in Malaysia is as follows: 1. Poor maintainence culture. All these parks need to be properly maintained. It has to be clean functional. In order to do this, it needs money, and it has to come from the entrance fees. In order to have enough entrance fees collected for maintainence, the park has to be attractive and well maintained. So it is a cycle,… Read more »


This brings a very pertinent ‘sustainable’ question vis-avis the Proton Project of Problems By The Tons. We know that we paid hefty prices to own Proton cars (no thanks to sales tax of Barang Naiki Syndrome), but sell them at Pasar Malam price tags with add-ons to penetrate foreign markets. By doing so for umpteen years, we foolishly supported an uncompetitive and badly managed Proton for its mere survival. This may happen in the case of this theme park. Are we Penangites ready to ‘foolishly’ bear the brunt of ecological disasters in the name of attracting ‘easily-bored’ tourists to come… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

The amount of water reaching the river, reservoir, or lake from its catchment area depends on the size of the area, the amount of precipitation, and the loss through evaporation (determined by temperature, winds, and other factors and varying with the season) and through absorption by the earth or by vegetation; absorption is greater when the soil or rock is permeable than when it is impermeable. A permeable layer over an impermeable layer may act as a natural reservoir, supplying the river or lake in very dry seasons. The catchment area is one of the primary considerations in the planning… Read more »


Ong Eu Soon

OMG! Penangites worst nightmare just begin !

Ong Eu Soon

Once we allow LGe to set a very bad and dangerous example on encroachment of development into water catchment areas, soon he will extend his greedy touch on the eco treasure of the island,i.e. the Penang National Park. Don’t forget that part of the area forms the catchment of Teluk Bahang dam. If you can’t tolerate the Penang Hill development, how can you tolerate this encroachment? The worst thing is after the defeat of LGe, any ruling party will use LGe’s stupidity as example for making more encroachment into our other water catchments. This is the worst betrayal by LGe… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

This problem is about the encroachment of development into protected water catchments not so much about traffic. Please get your priority right. Water is the gift from heaven, may be seem not so expensive to you. We need to make sure our future generations continue to inherit this precious gift of nature FOREVER!
When I need you to talk about traffic you refuse, now I need you to talk about water you talk about traffic. OMG what’s wrong with you?

Ong Eu Soon

Is there no law to protect water catchments? Is LGe, after circumvent the National Land Code to grant freehold status to reclaimed land under no special circumstance, want to try his luck on the Land Conservation Act 1960 (Revised 1989), the Land Acquisition Act 1960 , and the EIA Order 1987? Those laws have been largely ineffective because of poor enforcement, but LGe should seriously think whether he has the opportunity to get away as PR CM.
LGe is forcing the non-partisan activists to ask UMNO for help to stop him from continuing his madness.

God Save Penang

Well said Ong Eu Soon! More NGOs to the Attack! International ones please! Help Save Penang!


God save Penang?? I think God should save Malaysia is more accurate !!!

Ong Eu Soon

After the failed attempt to build a theme park at Penang Hill in 1991, LGe seem like never learn from the controversy. The telok Pahang Dam is one of the water reservoir catchment areas for the island. While LGe vehemently denied that he will allow Berjaya to revive the failed attempt to develop Penang Hill, on another hand he is allowing development to encroach into another protected water catchment area. This political suicide attempt will threaten to destroy the sensitive water catchment areas. This once again prove beyond doubt about LGe’s obsession for development. How can LGe being so insensitive?… Read more »


This nature-themed park, a first for Penang is located in eco-sensitive forested vicinity and quite near to the sea of Teluk Bahang. The pertinent question is: how is the management going to control or minimize waste and pollution in the form of man-made noise, waste water drainage, night light pollution (forest eco-system is very sensitive to unnatural lights not in sync with nature’s cycle), reduction of original floras and faunas for land use, wasted fast food disposal (which can attract faunas affecting their natural habits of finding food), carbon footprints from increased vehicle traffic and possible illegal land encroachment by… Read more »

Gerakan K

Haha, Anil takut balas komen kerana sudah terima banyak ‘thumb down’ pada artikel yang lepas.

Keadaan sebenar sudah muncul setelah pelbagai janji yang ditawarkan sebelum pilihanraya yang lepas. Cuba 5 tahun dan mati 5 tahun.

Ini lah harga ‘jom ubah’ yang dijanjikan. Ini baru setakat negeri, saya tidak boleh membayangkan ‘jom ubah’ pada peringkat negara. Apa yang akan berlaku ??? Mungkin hudud ??? Mungkin bangunan 200 tingkat ??? Mungkin apa lagi ???

Ini lah hari-hari yang sedih pada kebanyakan warga Pulau Pinang.

p/s: Anil, mansuh kan sistem ‘thumb down’ kerana ia menyekat kebebasan memberi komen.

Penang Boy

Building a theme park is a good idea for encouraging more tourist to the island, as well as provide a form of entertainment to the people. I personally support this development as it will brighten the other side of the island. It’s a ECO Water theme park after all, trying to promote the nature of Penang to the people since not many people are aware of the nature side of Penang e.g. Penang National Park. People still can enjoy the sea, at the same time enjoying the theme park, just like how Singapore’s Sentosa island is doing with the sandy… Read more »


Yes, i do support as indeed, it will brighten up the other side of Penang and it is more engaging towards the nature than shoppings in the malls, and bring more traffic congestion…

Jonny T

No I do not.

Road access is poor… only a 2 lane winding road from tj bungah to telok bahang. batu feringghi and telok bahang will be jammed, and tourists will be fustrated and not come anymore. in the end, tourism in penang will suffer, especially in batu feringghi.

build it on the mainland instead where access is better.


Surely development on a a small island like Penang has its limits. People come to the island because of its “sleepy” nature and not for its racy and fast pace lifestyle. Concrete jungles and artificial theme parks are just so fake…..I think more people are attracted to authentic experiences…and not those touristy stuff…

Unfortunately many do not share my point of view or maybe unaware that there is economic value too in being a “slow paced, sleepy” place…as they say all that glitters is not gold…


Sptay, if what you said is true, then, why is Disney Land so successful as it is all fake ?

Only the oldies appreciate a sleepy town. Trengganu is a good one, see how many people appreciate places like Trengganu,Kelantan and Alor Star?

These are sleepy towns, peaceful indeed.

i think we have to be realistic.

I think Malasia’s problem is, lack of planning !!! Why?

Ong Eu Soon

The main point of the problem is the encroachment of development into protected water catchments. Is Disneyland built on a protected water catchment area? Go build the theme park some where else not on a protected water catchment area.
LGe never really seen the wrath of local NGOs which have been too nice to him. With this announcement, the honeymoon is over. I will take a back seat and let Aliran and Penang Forum to mount the attack on LGe.


The same can be said of Yellowstone National Park, Grand Canyon, and the many more parks in Kenya and South Africa and our own Kinabalu NP and Sipadan.

I am not denying that. Disneyland theme parks are unpopular, what I am saying that we should focus on the slow paced nature of our lifestyle together with our not too developed environment as our main selling point.

I understand too, that not to many people share my point of view, to many “More is better” but for me “less maybe best”.


Sptay, you are right in saying Penang offers the slow lifestyle alternative to glitzy and hurried type of wildebeest tourism aka the Little Red Dot. There is a saying: “Less is more”.
By concentrating on quality and differentiation of our uniqueness (called the brand positioning) which draws international tourists for decades, we can use scarce resources more productively and innovatively on other areas of life and development in slow paced Penang.

Robert Teh

I think this project was announced over a year ago and not something that springs up overnight. Anil, I think you are somewhat apprehensive of fast development taking place in Penang, especially on the island. But I tend to look at it from the point of view of transforming a ‘sleepy’ and ‘dull’ Penang into a vibrant modern world city. Many might not agree with me but I want to say I support the current State Govt’s drive towards such transformation and I hope to live long enough to see these planned developments becoming a reality. I know your perennial… Read more »


Anil, i think we cant stop developments la… You see HongKong is also very well developed and one of the holiday destinations in the world. I tend to agree with Teh and Ian (in the other post). I like sPICE, cant wait for it to be completed !!! The residents in Bayan Baru and that part of Penang are so excited about the project !!! 20 years ago, my friend visited Penang and she commented, “Why is Penang so lau beh?” Remember Lee Kuan Yew said Penang is 20 years behind time? By the way, Beach Street looks so fresh… Read more »


I am totally agreeable with Robert Teh& Kee. Please look at the bigger picture, Anil. At least our youths will have a healthy avenue to spend their time when away from their books and work! What is wrong with having a water theme park on an island. Not everyone likes the sea. Important thing is the development must be carried out with full transparency and no damage to the eco system in the area.


Good to have a theme park in penang.

Otherwise many have to go to Genting to waste their money on casinos.


Kee, I think your remarks is rather hypocritical. You see, when the previous government wanted to push for development such as the PGCC project (a project which is larger than even the KLCC), funded by private sector none the least, the people and especially DAP & Pakatan were very vocal against it. Also, remember the outer ring road and Penang hill? They claimed that, it is destroying the nature and environment of Penang. Clearly they were against development and progress for Penang then. And now suddenly revealed a theme park right next to the national forest itself (before that was… Read more »