Penang turning into concrete jungle?


What do visitors to Penang and Penangites themselves think of the place? Are we building more malls and high-rise luxury condo blocks than we need?

What about affordable housing?

Look at what has happened to Midlands One-Stop Centre, once a popular shopping draw. What is its occupancy rate now? It looks more than half empty now  – many of the shoplots are shuttered down -as shoppers make a beeline to the newer, flashier malls.

Have a look at these two letters to the press:

Penang a concrete jungle

We must keep the special funicular railway

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The air-con system on the roof of Midlands Park (One-stop shopping Mall) is making a lot of noise. This can affect the health and peacefulness of the residents around Midlands, Pulau Tikus. The noise can be heard from Midlands condo, Solok Midlands, upto Jln C.O Lim.

Ong Eu Soon

Read my article on A New Trend of Change for Penang?
This article will prove beyond doubt the incompetent of LGE as CM of Penang. The most startling revelation of the year! How LGE has carved in to big biz!

Andrew I

London and New York are densely populated cities. I wonder how the people living in those cities would react if it was decided that due to a shortage of space, Central Park, Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park would have to be developed.

Ivan Ho

Midlands One Stop was the work of the … Tan Gim Hwa, father of you know who.

Remember one road was closed or incorporated into the lot to make the area bigger. Gerakan K where were you then? How come not a whimper from you at that time or were you rolling in the money at that time?

Gerakan K

Cannot imagine if PR form Federal Government. We will have Tokyo cloned states. At least BN government have planted 5 million trees during last 5 years.


I beg to differ on shopping complexes and malls, I am referring to too many high rise on hill slops and seaside MUST stop. More shopping complexes are good for the consumers as they have more options to shops.


Dear Anil,

Penang is a small state. It doesn’t have a lot of land.

With a burgeoning population, more and more places will be converted into housing estates and industrial parks.

You want open space, Anil?

Two ways you can get it:

1. Reduce the Penang population by at least 80% percent.

Then demolish all the unnecessary concrete structures (houses, factories, shopping malls) and return the land back into green fields.


2. Move out of Penang, into states like Sarawak, where they still have plenty of land left.

You can’t have the cake and eat it too, Anil.

Andrew I

You can see the direction in which Queensbay is heading. The stench of urine in the stairwells, the bumper marks as you go up and down the multi-storey car park, more and more shuttered units, though well camouflaged with art work. More importantly, how many people are walking slower because of how many shopping bags they are lugging around. During the weekends, whole families, with ice cream cones in hand, lounging around, people-watching, and thankful to be out of this dreadful heatwave without the worry of TNB becoming a potential loan shark. Ask the average household what shopping malls are… Read more »


The Penang gomen, especially dap, try to modernize Penang like Singapore. Build more condos and high-rise with higher price, so that the poorer … will be pushed aside ( in advance stage > push out of islands) coz not affordable….

Rahim Maarof

Agreed. Lots of shopping malls springing up senselessly but basic needs are not taken care of(read here).


With more shopping and & housing development, it would bring in more income, job and business opportunities for the people under the current trying condition. Moreover these development are being developed by the private sector and so it is not the government that is funding them but the bank and financial company or from their own finance. With these development, economy and businesses will pick up and be futher sustained. The government has just sign on with an investor to revive KOMTAR (formerly Yaohan)into one of the largest electrical & electronics products, computers, handphone, camera and other related goods centre… Read more »


Development is inevitable, but left rampant and ungoverned, concrete jungles will choke out the life of the island. There is, of course, a limit to what limited space can take. We are all natural beings, needing a connection to trees and water and hills… if not for psychological and aesthetic reasons, surely for environmental, biological and life-support reasons. Add greed, corruption, ineptitude and mediocrity in high places, and the concrete has spread like cancer, at the expense of Nature. There exists developmental control and urban planning only in the most rudimentary form. We have never been famous for brilliance in… Read more »


What about affordable housing?
Very good point…why not direct this question to all the previous BN govts. The damages were done already, what more can the present PR govt savage?

I wonder if ever all the BN govts have any proper master plans done professionally to gauge the on the developments….. for the cities they were in control for the last 50 years. Tall buildings and narrow roads are not signs of development and growth of a nation.
If they screwed the infrastructures in the early stages of development, it will be an unimaginable sum to rectify the damages.


PAKATAN’s gomen, please be noted that Penangites are of different breed, not too much of development please, if that is the case, you may loose your support even though BN sucks.


The problem with Midlands and Bukit Jambul mall (which are under the same management) is NOT that they are old but that they are poorly maintained and overseen. Bukit Jambul for example was dead long before Queensbay opened.

If I am not mistaken the lots there can be owned by the tenants, meaning the mall could not enforce display standard and so you have things like haphazard displays that block the walkways, and escalators designed to be as annoying as possible, forcing you to walk the length of the floor to go to the next floor.