What is happening in Penang?


guan eng and nazri

While there has been much ado about a subject close to the hearts of Penangites (i.e. whether foreign cooks should be allowed to cook at hawker stalls licensed to locals), it has diverted attention away from the big issue of multibillion ringgit contracts.

Nazri has come out in favour of local cooks for Penang hawker cuisine.

But I am more interested in the multibillion projects lined up for Penang.

Topping the list is the RM6.3bn tunnel-highways project awarded to Zenith Consortium, which is led by mystery man Zarul Ahmad Mohd Zulkifli under a controversial land swap deal.

I am more interested in what Nazri’s thinks of the the tunnel and its award to Zenith Consortium, led by Zarul, under a lucrative 30-year concession than by what he thinks of Penang hawker food.

I am also interested to know why Penang Umno seems supportive of the tunnel after GE13 when other BN component parties seemed critical of the tunnel project before GE13. In fact, I nearly fell off my chair when I read about Penang Umno actually singing the praises of the tunnel!

The tunnel is part of the larger RM27bn worth of projects under the Penang Transport Masterplan made up of RM10bn for public transport and RM17bn for highways. Now, if the Penang government is serious about public transport, why is it thinking of spending more on highways than on public transport? Shouldn’t the figures be the other way round i.e. RM10bn (or much less) for highways and RM17bn for public transport?

Instead of another road link (the tunnel) across the channel, why not expand the ferry service to different points and build a cross-channel rail link? And what about the public transport plans for the mainland?

It also seems to me that property developers with federal links or businessmen well connected to BN politicians are now active in Penang in a big way.

For instance, E & O, which is embarking on the mammoth and controversial Sri Tanjung Pinang Phase 2 land reclamation, is 22 per cent owned by Sime Darby, a federal GLC. (The developer of STP2 is also 22 per cent owned by the Penang state government.)

A well connected developer is now involved in the Bayan Mutiara property development deal.

Another politically well connected firm at the federal level, Gamuda, has been mentioned among the names of possible companies lined up for the proposed LRT project from the airport to Komtar, with possible compensation in the form of lucrative and massive land reclamation. We are talking a few thousands acres of land reclamation with GDV worth billions of ringgit.

So it is all about Big Business snapping up mega contracts while the Penang public has to live with the consequences, good or bad.

But the public debate is about who should cook our hawker food!

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Banana R

You guys so hypocritical and bias towards PR.

You guys want original, right? Then the Hainanese from China is the sole answer for the real authentic hainan chicken rice. No other option. That is also applicable to pizza, pasta, etc.


I don’t think it is the head gear that is being rejected, but rather it is because the songkot represents a head gear normally won by a muslim. Why should a non muslim be compelled to look like a muslim.
Is this how the muslims are seen to be the majority in Malaysia, why can’t a neutral head gear be won ?
I would not , under any circumstances, be seen or pretend to be one especially a pugnacious one … Please remember more than 40% of Malaysians are not muslims !


Any damage done by no-heritage-whatsoever foreign cooks to Penang street food is irreversible. Do not kill the goose for the eggs!

Michael Chee

This is a serious matter but Anil take it as a trivial matter?


Do not be so dependent on foreign labour!


“Kuih Teow – Bakso Tng” will soon be the newly evolved hawker food now that we have many immigrant workers/cooks ?


Soon, residents Penang Lang & Penang Kia will be replaced by foreigners HongKee Kia & SingKa Kia!
Food for thought for LGE along the line of originality of all things.


Sad to see some Penang hawkers are employing foreign cooks and do not treasure their heritage. Hopefully the majority could safeguard their trade and heritage with pride. Anil can do public service here to encourage them that way.


… It is becoming increasingly clear that Pakatan is splitting hairs over Khalid’s every move while ignoring Guan Eng’s (dubious) tunnel project.



Smart guy, ok I don`t want to be bodoh, now I have decided to go along with you to fight the corrupt, cheater and bad guys to ensure justice and fairness for the people and ensure that our country is free of all the injustice. Ok now lets start,….. wait….wait…. Alamak my goodness. Who is embracing the … bad guys.

Banana R

Hainan Chicken Rice must cook by China’s national from Hainan Province. What a stupid idea is that LGE?


The Hainanese chicken rice cooked on Hainan Island tastes completely different from the way it is prepared in Penang. No foreign worker, even from Hainan, can match the Penang preparation which is tastier! Penang has the best Hainanese chicken rice in Malaysia, on par with the best of Singapore! We should be proud of Penang’s fantastic hawker fare and encourage and train our own people to cook our hawker dishes. There is good money to be made from hawking but the dish must be delicious and one must be prepared to work hard.

Don Anamalai

Bsnana R has poor knowledge on Penang hawker fare.
Hainanese Chicken Rice in Malaysia have been redefined and upgraded with better and unique taste from that from Hainan, by the Chinese immigrants to Malaya.


We’ll explained to the banana guy.


Now what is happening to our beloved island.enough is enough. we are going from bad to worse.

Don Anamalai

Umno folks are more concerned about the ‘Penang Nudist Sports Games 2014 in Teluk Bahang’?http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/270628


Not just UMNO but decent folks are most concern of such lack of morality especially in our Penang Island


Teluk Kampit a Naturalist heaven could be a good alternative closer to home for some Penangites instead of venturing out to Belum Forest ?


I am told by Thai friends that the place looked more like Leela Beach on Koh Phangan island in Surat Thani Province, Thailand. The boat was flying Thailand maritime flag which is compulsory if the boat was in Thailand waters. A Thai Airways bag was also spotted in one scene and a weirdo couple were doing a Thai traditional dance at the water’s edge – but badly and actually mocking Thai culture! I am told 2 of the men looked like southern Thais. Justin, purportedly a Singaporean, wrote about “mihun goreng” and “keropok lekor”. In Penang and Singapore we say… Read more »


Your love of banana and apong in the open business has nothing to do with Belum.
Be more civilised lah!


Discovery Channel has the very open challenge in Malaysia Jungle in its program called Naked & Afraid. Wonder how the Msia authority can approve such liberal approach to entertain the audience ?

Astro unlikely to acquire such program as the milder “Survivor” series has long being out from telecast.

Not sure which forest the filming took place ? No sight of locals in the show which you can download via internet (modest human parts blurred out so no offence to less liberal audience in USA).

Penanglang (aka MR T) can try to watch this program for initimating experience in forest.


Been saying it for ages that all parties are in collusion. So obvious. Business interests unite all. DAP, starved of federal funds, needs to find a solution to the traffic woes so are forced to deal with the devil. Are they corrupt? I’m not so sure, but do they need these projects to give them income to operate? Perhaps. The devil on the other hand, is spurred on by greed so will be willing to deal. So they’re all happy. End result…..no real choice for Penangites. Is the rakyat happy? Who knows. I think we’d all be happier if we… Read more »


Yes Italian pizza and spaghetti must have Italian doing it. Western delights must have European doing it. Burger stall by the local are not appropriate. The list go on. What difference does it make whether its the foreigner or local cooking the local dishes as long as it is good and with the right falvour. If the foreigner cook a local hawker food with an alien taste, don`t worry that stall won`t be there for long.


If you have been going to the tourist zones like the Gurney Drive Food Court and the end of Penang Road, you will encounter supposed Penang hawker fare prepared by China nationals, Myanmars, and Bangladeshis. The food is terrible and expensive but the tourists do not know. The tourists eat there once or twice and leave, whether with good opinion of the hawker food or not, we do not know. Many of these foreigners manning the stalls are not true employed foreign workers but are tenants who have rented the stalls from the licence holders. These foreign hawkers have day… Read more »


… Like I said, If the foreigner cook a local hawker food with an alien taste, don`t worry that stall won`t be there for long. I remember having hokkien mee in Macalister Road quite a few years back. Don`t know what the taste is like !!!. Well that stall lasted most probably only 2 months and close shop.


Unfortunately, your theory does not hold true in the tourist spots like the Gurney Drive Food Court, Red Garden Food Paradise (Leith St), Northam Beach Cafe (Northam Rd), the beach food courts, etc, where most of the people preparing the hawker food are foreigners and the food taste strange on the whole. Tourists do not know any better and think this is the best Penang can offer! These places will never close down even though the food is bad, thanks to the tourists. There is no incentive to improve as there will always be ignorant tourists who will continue to… Read more »


Having stirred controversy by refusing to wear the Malay head gear, the songkok, in 2006, DAP leaders are at it again, this time over an elected representative’s decision to don a Malay traditional costume. – See more at: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/270599#sthash.IpVLV39I.dpuf


Previously DAP berated MCA, MIC & Gerakan for co-operating with UMNO and calling them names and whatsover. Now we have seen it loud and clear their (action) with big money and projects. Worse DAP have been labeling MCA, Gerakan and MIC like this before which they have never done but just co-operate with UMNO within the BN coalition. DAP is acting even worse just to get Malay support which is why I have always said that their objection of hudud and an islamic state are all lies and deceit. Songkok debate as DAP rep dons Malay costume. http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/270599


Wagging the dog? Seems like it.

Phua Kai Lit

My comments: 1. LGE uncritically copying Singapore’s PAP model of “economic development”? Land reclamation even as sea levels are rising because of “global warming”. Development of luxury condos. 2. I’m puzzled by why Singapore wants to attract wealthy foreigners to bring in their money and live there. Unless the foreigners act as entrepreneurs and create new jobs or new industries, it is a just a new form of mercantilism i.e. inflow and accumulation of money, with resulting inflation in demand for and cost of high end healthcare, housing, private education, cars. But maybe it is because the bureaucrats want to… Read more »

Don Anamalai


I can understand your frustration on such matter.
You have raised valid points here.
How do you intend to escalate your concern to the Penang government?

Is it possible for you to use your BN connection to escalate the voice of Penang rakyat?


Is Gerakan sleeping?


It’s all about Bin-Chui. Politicians also want Bin-Chui, so state development has to reflect Bin-Chui. BUT the Bin-Chui Factor doesn’t fulfil the urgent needs of average denizens who don’t care a damn about Gini. Who in their balanced state of mind would vote for Bin-Chui? (Except the swap-dealing developers). From Camry to MercS300Lansi, don’t you see it? Note: 1) Only Penang hawkers to cook & serve Penang food, a state food tourism initiative for Penang Originals (to save tourism assets & thus save state tourism management face). 2) Penang Lang to afford affordable homes in Penang? ‘chi kei ku chi… Read more »


Isn’t it time that DAP has someone from Penang as CM instead of someone from Malacca ? At the end of the day this CM will return to Malacca when things get too ‘hot’ or him, there isn’t any question that DAP cannot find someone from Penang to be the CM and that you need to have someone from Malacca to come to Penang to tell you what you can and must do.


This is the most silly comment !!! Give up !!!


All the local born CMs in the past messed up the administration in the state and Penangites were leaving the state in droves due to the poor employment opportunities, poor infrastructure and general feeling of hopelessness under BN rule. At least this “import” has done a better job than all of them out together!

A kata!

That is a form of racism in it. … Now only local (pick one Chinese, Malay, Sikh, Indian, Kadazan, etc) can prepare the foods.


LGE has an ally in PAS. Now he has one in Perkasa. Perkasa backs Guan Eng on Penang cooks. Don`t worry hudud and an islamic state is on the way in Penang.
First step sleep with PAS. LGE second step is enactment 35 that prohibit non muslim from using Allah and 35 others words. Third step sleep with Perkasa. The final step will be to embrace UMNO & Najib with big project and money. Wow now we have seen the true face of LGE DAP.


Yes beware all the smart as, Penang UMNO Chief Minister in the making


Not only are we seeing another Khalid or UMNO CM in Penang, we are also seeing how PAS is dictating their terms in Pakatan Selangor and Penang. DAP is fast kowtowing to UMNO for big money and multimillion project, they are also kowtowing to PAS to get Malay votes at all cost at the expense of having hudud and an islamic state. Beware the CAT. Penang’s move to paint apartments in PAS colours. If the Penang state government has its way four of the 26 apartment blocks in Taman Tun Sardon, George Town , will be painted in PAS colours… Read more »


Nazri and LGE both were present to launch the george town festival which is now a co-operation between the state and federal govts. I do not see an issue with that. We have got to be more mature even in politics. They may be opponents in the elections but now that it is over, it is time to work together. They may disagree on most things, but it is good for them to work on things that they can agree on like promoting tourism in Pg. As for the PAS issue, they are not completely wrong in the Selangor MB… Read more »


And I am hoping for a snap election that will once again let the people decide


PAS Hadi please beware, Second Khalid in the making

G Dorai

Recent happenings in Penang overlooked in this blog ?

Blok 5 mak Mandin 1 received state-funded renovation costing RM695,691.92; with up to RM90K paint job approved for some low cost flats.

Oldest flats in Penang at Taman Tun Sardon (26 blocks) will receive RM1million under Tabung Peruntukan Pembangunan for new paint jobs.

Taman Carsia 800 sqft @RM72K, 900 sqft @RM168K & 1000sqft @RM220K; if you have not booked at Komtar better go sign up instead of being swayed to buy expensive re-sale units from agents.


Why would Chew Mei Fun make noise about Taman Tun Sardon being painted Green ? She must be green with envy ?
When the town is painted in Blue Ocean (eg 505 flags all over Penang in what 1colour ?); would the people make the fuss out of it ?


Good feedback since Anil is urging local authority to repaint old flats in Penang.