Penang: Rampant property development alarms residents


The frenzied pace of property development on Penang Island is worrying neighbouring residents and causing grief to villagers facing eviction.

Here is a sample from press reports:

Batu Ferringhi: Penang rapped over condo (asiaone)

Tanjung Bungah/Batu Ferringhi: Elegant Sonata hits a flat note (NST)

Pykett Avenue: Our heritage – Penang (Malaysian Insider)
Residents want the MPPP to explain why it started processing new high-density plans from a developer after an old bungalow was demolished before the council could inspect it for heritage value. They also want to know the status of the order to rebuild the bungalow.

Jelutong: 12 villages to make way for development (NST)

Sungai Ara: Uphill battle (NST)
Taman Desaria residents’ objections to a hill slope development in Sungai Ara, Penang, have been dismissed by the state’s Appeals Board

Let me know if there are other examples I have missed out.

Part of the problem in certain areas is the higher density now allowed, which will only worsen congestion.

Meanwhile we are still waiting for the Local Plan for the island – for what it is worth.

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Ho Hia Tee

don’t compare Penang 2011 with Penang of the 60’s or 70’s. What’s happened cannot be reversible !
If one cherish the 60’s or 70’s of Penang, do some homework and migrate elsewhere within Bolehland where one can recreate the feelings again.
Kota Kinabalu waterfront near airport (only a few condo – nice to see sunset there) is one good example. If one still has 20-25 years of life on earth, no harm live there. Seriously fun there 🙂


Then all the islands with UNESCO World Heritage Site status will be invaded by the rich and famous and after a decade become unlivable ghettos (brought on by the mindless build, sell and decay). Then one fine day, they richie will look at Kota Kinabalu fondly with covetous hearts and restart the havoc cycle of build, sell and decay. In the near future, the whole wide world will be one big hell of an unlivable ghetto without soul (culture) that even money cannot rehabilitate it into decent homes with roofs and fresh air. And UNESCO World Heritage Centre will be… Read more »


Whether Tiok Tua Kee, Tze Ke Liao or Boh Than Kiu, life is still an opportunity to make things ‘right’ and fair for the majority. Don’t tell me the 1% absolutely rules the earth. Dream on. See what is happening in Tripoli and London. People’s power is not to be mistaken and taken for granted. This means LGE has to toe the line every now and then. He is no God to be worship like a god. The same goes for ‘crass’ development that seems to betray the Penangites’ trust in ‘308’ Tsunami Gomen for a better future in Penang.… Read more »


For all those complaining that Penang need a ‘local plan’ and sustainable development, can they provide a reference to which developed city that Penang should emulate?

I thin the Scandinavian countries are good example – people go for public transport. However, they are not densely populated like us. Unless our people can dump the ‘must own a personal car’ mentality and ‘must have big family’ thinking, we cannot be like them.


frankly, we live in free market capitalism society where supply & demand dictate the growth and so does the property market. However, a) too many loopholes even in the legal matter to be exploited due to lack of strict enforcement of rules n regulations. b) lack of long term strategic planning for the infrastructure masterplan that forsee the impact (social, envirionmental etc) in short term (10 years) to longer terms (25-50 years). c) implementation & control mechanism (check n balance) at the fancy of the “elite” folks – good or bad depend on which side of the political divides. d)… Read more »


This is what I am ‘seeing’ Penang within the next 5 years with my mind’s eyes: 1) More green glass-facade super condos ala The Icon Residence for the rich & famous from somewhere (definitely not from Penang). 2) More heritage-valued buildings disappearing before MPPP can do anything. Destroy then rebuild the facade is a cheap and 100% guaranteed loop-hole to get an unauthorized development AOKed. 3) More property speculation based on the ‘Serengeti wildebeest’ mentality of hordes of speculator mad rush buying to resell by the greedy. No thanks to giddy property forecast news inspiration by lying property gurus and… Read more »

Sze Tho

a rather rosy outlook (not). Granted, Penang has its traffic problems and property prices are booming. It is not all doom and gloom. The populaation is growing and new developements are needed. Not everyone agrees, but its a fact of life. If the new condos are too expensive, please exercise your right NOT to buy. But bear in mind others may want to….whatever their reasons. You say speculators, some call them investors. I wouldn’t mind paying for a plush condo myself , somewhere on the Island.


it shall be a reality if everyone thinks so 🙁 go n read “Laws Of Attraction” or “The Secrets”. Your vision becomes reality if your mind is focused on those. i am glad there are people q up to see my condo (not expensive one bought 12 years ago) this weekend. after sale, i shall move to Sungai Petani 20′ x 40′ residence – value for money a a retiree middle class with limited fund for healthcare after house purchase. if u ask i miss Penang ? then i say i can drive to Penang in 45 minutes on weekday… Read more »


The Universal Laws of Attraction is only that good if it’s for attracting the good and beneficial.
It being non-judgmental or ethical/moral can also be used for other not so good purposes which we have to be careful of what we wishes. Secrets is no ancient secret but more of humanist common sense if we apply the rules of law and karma as higher human species and not 4-legged dog-eat-dog transformed sub-species.

Still wishing for more Highland Towers?


Actually those people who are growing fed-up with Penang island (cannot afford the property) or LGe (like Ah Soon) should execute Plan B to migrate to BN-led states where you get the 1Malaysia solutons. Can contact Ghani Komtar for details?


re 6.01

penangites must push for the local plan to be adopted before the island becomes a concrete jungle.


Penang island is already a concrete jungle 2.0 going to become version 3.0 and so on !

Carbon level 10.0 going to 11.0 because of traffic congestion of motor vehicles !


Everything in Penang points to a ….giant traffic jam…


traffic jam in penang and many still fork out RM500K to RM3 million for properties to enjoy such scenery ?

Sze Tho

…simple: Supply and demand. You have a better idea? Land is limited in Penang, therefore it is pricey. Nothing to do with traffic jams…


A rich and famous guy/gal probably owns many cars. Add a few thousand richies to the population and you get the maths right this time.
Still no traffic jams?
Unless they richies own mainly collectible Matchbox toy cars for display in gold plated cabinets.


i am not rich and also eco-friendly to keep buying new actual cars, and have been collecting Matchbox n Hotwheels cars.

Any Rich Penangites (after getting tired of buying properties) interested in buying these collectible cars (or vintage toys) do come to Straits Quay flea market in near future.

Ong Eu Soon

To all the sycophant cyber troopers of LGe, this once again shown that my accusation on LGe fast tracking Penang island into a big ghetto is proven beyond doubt. Why should I agree with LGe on his policies? Why I should not adopt an anti-LGe stand? If you talk about 2 parties system, then any right thinking Malaysian should not hesitate to voice his/her objection on LGe’s pro-developers policies.


Ah Soon

you seem to be the minority as the majority in Penang defines
LGe = Life’s Good enough !

Sze Tho

Dear Soon,
your views would have some credibility …IF you had facts to back it up AND you didn’t have this big chip on your shoulder. I doubt anyone bothers what you think or what you support. If you want to post, at least bring some substance to the discussion. It is just pathethic how you carry on like this. Please go get a life.


Developers must be having a good time in Penang. Penang Kai must be very rich otherwise why houses and apartments are very laku. Mind you, they are not low cost houses. If there are many buyers, then there are sellers (developers) going all the way to make money.


now it is a new awareness.
people used to call Penangites as “Kiam Siap”.
Now the Kiam Siaps show the world they have the $ to splash on properties !!!!!!

May be the offsprings of the traditionally Kiam Siaps have now returned from overseas n they don’t like to be labelled as such again ????


Sadly there are many frustrated souls in Penang when they could not afford the desired things (properties, gadgets, branded stuff) and are envious of others who have earned their money overseas (and now return to Penang, for retirement maybe) and can spend with ease on these items.

Thye must learn to curb their desire and be contented. Otherwise, they have to ask why they cannot grow their wealth in the last 30 years that is coincided with Gerakan rule.

peter wong

we r for development, but sustainable development, at Pykett, Westland, Khawsimbee and Padang Victoris, we are an ESTABLISH HOUSING AREA.

Some of our neighbours have been living here for some 50 years.

CM you should not allow 87 units per acre in our locality of established housing, our infrastructure just cannot handle this. Look at Spore all the high density areas of HDB also grouped at one area not among established housing areas.

Thank you for a new Malaysia


if the owner wants to develop his property and complies with by laws what’s the beef?

the trouble is there is not a view of what Penang should look like in the longer term and so the hue and cry everytime a multi storey development takes place.

a balanced long term plan is necessary.

Sze Tho

Dear Anil,
that is true. In the meantime, existing rules and restrictions apply. You don’t seriously expect all developments (including condos and high density ones) to be frozen in the interim?


Actually ony those illegal squatters are making noise.

If I am have a legal house around the development area, I should be happy as my property or land will escalate in value in tandem with new development.