Komtar phase 5: Where’s Local Plan?


In a third round of demolitions, more than 10 old buildings near Komtar were demolished over the last week – even before we have seen the George Town Local Plan and before the Special Area Plan for the George Town Unesco heritage zone can be put on public display.

Photo credit: Kwong Wah

The Penang Development Corporation is undertaking an urban renewal project involving the Komtar Phase 5 area which also includes the Prangin Canal, what’s left of it.

The old buildings in the Magazine Road-Tek Soon Street area should have come under the Local Plan for George Town, which has been promised since 1997. Where is that Local Plan? If the Plan was available, the public would have got to see what is going on before it happens. Unfortunately demolition and clearing took place over the last week (see Kwong Wah report here), and no plan had been exhibited to the general public before work began.

Komtar Phase 5 had been previously delayed due to concerns expressed in heritage circles. As it is a major project just next to the George Town World Heritage site, its impact should have been carefully assessed. Before any work to the area is undertaken, it is important that it is better understood, and that involves researching the archives. Finding out how the canal was built and why it was built the way it was means that it will be better restored or upgraded.

As things stand, few Penangites are even aware of what Phase 5 involves, although we may have stumbled across terms such as “transportation hub” or “urban park” in earlier press reports. But it is all so vague to the public. Why not display the Phase 5 plan in an accessible area for public feedback? That should have been done before any work began.

The two markets, Chowrasta and Campbell, are a separate project. The concern is that urban renewal of the Unesco site is part of the George Town heritage zone Special Area Plan, which is due to be exhibited to the public soon. Will the market projects be part of that exhibition, so that the full democratic process of public inclusion can take place?

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Ong Eu Soon

Once again it demonstrated that LGE totally lack of policy direction. On one hand, he want Komtar phase 5 project.On the other hand, he want the Georgetown heritage status. Both can’t exist without contradicting each other. LGE is in no way to strike a balance. Ultimately, he (may) choose development over heritage conservation. For Penang to lost the heritage status is just a matter of time. All his ex-Gerakan buddies want is the delisting of Georgetown from the World Heritage Listing. None of them bother or care about the Heritage Listing. In fact, view the heritage listing as an obstacle… Read more »


The MAN with the BESTEST of BEST policies and knowledge shoots his mouth again. Go stand in an election…, and see if you can make a difference.
Not shoot your mouth, just because you did not get your riches when PR came into power.


I see anil mentioning “spruce up and restore the canal”. If true then good for heritage status, no?

sam/PRAY, it works

“The old buildings in the Magazine Road-Tek Soon Street area should have come under the Local Plan for George Town, which has been promised since 1997. Where is that Local Plan?”

That local plan is 1997. It’ bn not PK govt. Armchair govt and real govt are 2 different things. Try it, get voted into govt.


Perhaps the plan is to link Komtar to Penang Time Square with an LRT to realise the ‘masterplan’ that was in brochure of Time Square during its launching?

Geraka K

No need local plan.

We trust LGE administration will produce a wonderful and world class plan. Nowadays LGE three letters are the shinning brand in Penang. Even can outclass DAP three letters.

Andrew I

What to do? LGE brand brings so much investment in to Penang.
Definitely outclass the KTK three letters.


Yes, Agree to what Andrew I has said. With LGE in the helm, even Bayan Lepas International Airport has achieved the highest growth in Malaysia.
People all over flocking to see the excellent work LGE and PR has done in Penang.
Even much of the stink left behind by Gelakan, KTK, Sg Pinang, Prai end of Penang Bridge, Canal running along Bayan Lepas etc have dropped significantly.


There was a report that some folks are planning to turn the Pragin Canal along the concept of Boat Quay/Clarke Quay of Singapore; with dining and boat cruise there. Have you heard of such plan, Anil ?


Yeah, after the fact that The Little Red Dot did something to their canals (or longkang) that we the ‘timid followers of happened trends’ have the mind-opened conviction to follow in the same suit for our once filthy, smelly canals that were covered for good out of sight. There was also an ambitious plan to restore the stretch of smelly, rubbish strewn Sungei Pinang River that runs out to sea from the Jalan Gurwara Jelutong Bridge where one will enjoy the riverside dining and boating ala The Italian Gondolas of the Venetian fame. What has happened to the ‘Italian’ job?… Read more »