Penang’s three islands project: Where are those 400,000 people coming from?


In 2016, we were told that the population on the three artificial islands in Penang to be created by land reclamation would be 300,000. The three islands would cover 4,500 acres, making it much larger than Forest City in Johor.

But in 2017, reports were saying that the population forecast for the three islands was 367,000. This was calculated by estimating that 111,327 houses would be built on the three islands, and the average household size in each house would be 3.3 by 2030

And now, in 2019, apparently in item No 6 of the 18-point “advice”, the projected population for those three islands is 446,300. Amazing.

Consider this, it took 200 years for the population of Penang Island to reach just over 700,000.

And now we are expected to believe that we are going to get over 400,000 additional people crammed into those three islands by 2030? Where are they are going to come from, especially when only about 20% (has it gone up to 30% now?) of those 111,000 homes on those three islands would be supposedly “affordable”. What’s so special in those three artificial islands?

Let’s look at the three components of population growth: births, deaths and net inward migration.

Births – The Total Fertility Rate in Penang has dropped to 1.391 in Penang. The rate has been well below the population replacement rate of 2.1 children per woman since 2001. So the natural population growth is negative (see chart below).

Deaths – This has remained relatively static since the 1980s; so increases in longevity will not contribute significantly to population growth (see chart below)

Net inward migration – This is the main contributor to population growth but it has averaged just over 9,000 per year since 1992 (see chart below).

So how is Penang going to get over 400,000 additional people on those three islands? You tell me.

SRS Consortium is projecting an average of 6,000-7,000 people per year moving into those three islands over the next 50 years. But why would three quarters of the annual net inward migration focus on the dense three islands, especially when lots more high-end development is sprouting up in reclaimed land at Tanjung Tokong, Gurney Drive, along the Jelutong Expressway, Bayan Mutiara and along the Queensbay waterfront – not to mention all the property development on the mainland, especially in Batu Kawan.

So where are those 400,000 going to come from? Are they going to be foreign buyers?

It just doesn’t compute. So who are they building for?

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this is a rather not so bright question to ask…why do we need 400k residents? we want 100k buyers, that is all we need, if we can’t acheive 400k so much the better….the property that house the Sun yat Sen museum is owned by Penang elite and penang forum member Khoo Salma, obviously she does not stay there…so our elites can have plenty of properties without actually living in it…


Anil’s Q: So how is Penang going to get over 400,000 additional people on those three islands? I tell you: They (not humans) are coming during the Hungry Ghost Months since many of the ultra-expensive properties on these 3 fantasy islands are going to be unoccupied + unsold for years to come! One possible human occupier is X who may get a highly under-market value property from … beloved developers in the name of willing-seller, exhilarated-buyer. The lifestyle marketing truth is many are not earning much, not having more babies (ie not more than 1 per couple) or delaying marriage… Read more »


Problems in the heartland will see more migrating to Penang island, safety in number.

We may not like it but it is a reality.

Milk Tea

Hard facts. Penang is going downhill under this government.


Karma. Who asked the Raykat to vote for them.


karma? what karma??..most are happy with Penang now except psycho hater, thief’s eunuch and sore loser….hehe


What downhill? Uphill. What do see all highrise are uphill and onslopes.

Yao Kwang

Ha ha ha Gerakan?


Hard facts. No land everyone build highrise on slopes and reclaim land. Only susu teh wants to downhill live underground.


Influx of foreign workers to our country is already a norm, welcomed by employers seeking cheap labour.

The 400,000 could be a new norm, high net-worth individuals, bringing cash and investment to Penang economy? Is this what the Penang government hope to attract?


How fashionable to dismiss accuracy and hard truth for your purpose..Penang has had population growth rate of about 20-30,000 for the last few years. The number is only going to increase just from momentum alone. If you take numbers from 200 years ago or even ten years ago, it means nothing. And you have the audacity to attack Chow from being bias?


CM Chow is Sin Chow, your idol? Untouchable? Like Niao Kong? Why not ask for 9 terms for Penang CM?

Milk Tea

No term limit like President Xi better.


Like Xi best. Otherwise bullied by trump. Better read history how China was treated in the opium wars. Now you are enjoying the happy drug?


CM Chow may soon emulate Niao Kong who arrogantly told Sandakan voters to witness what Penang has achieved long before and now, reminding Sandakians they can have congested traffic and overhang condos and over commercialised street foods……


carrot not aware that CM limit his CM tenure to 2 terms…hehe


Many Malaysian chinese who work in Singapore since 1980s will likely retire in Penang after their retirement, cashing out their CPF money. Penang is the only state in Malaysia that offers similar demographic profile like Singapore would appeal to this segment of Malaysians seeking lower cost of living for their retirement. Penang developers could target these people.

Rango Tango

My Chinese neighbour is one such person. His CPF is 3x our EPF value because of Singapore Dollar. Can buy Penang property without problem.

Milk Tea

“The Total Fertility Rate in Penang has dropped to 1.391 in Penang”. (worse than Japan) If you discount the Malays, it’s even worse. 400,000 people? All members and cronies of DAP are compulsary to have 20 babies per person.


Sleeping. How many pg kias went south or over seas to cari makan? Many places an hear pg hokkien rather than taiwan or minaan hokkien

BB Boy

Married Penangites be more passionate less stress on money chase so as to increase babies lah


Ngos is and you do not have not yet how to count. You can reclaim takes a few years and the island are left few years to get consolidated. You can then build roads and buildings. It is more than 10 years. People are flocking there not like today people has to cari makan in singland and klang Valley. There are many pg hokkien speaking jump plane in down under.


The Penang South Reclamation (PSR) off the southern coast of the island is crucial for the economic transformation of the state, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.


Apa you tidak tahu, sell to mainland Chinese. Penang is part of the Chinese ring of pearls


Maybe Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program could attract foreign citizens to enter and stay in Penang’s man-made islands?


The average number of foreigners accepted for the program was a little over 2000 per year in the 2002-2017 period (

And certainly not all of them settled on Penang. So no.

From my own perspective – I’ve just spent 2 months on Penang testing it as an alternative to a second home in Thailand… I really can’t see any dramatic growth in the number of foreigners settling here, unless the rules get very seriously relaxed.


U speak Thai? English is close to malay language


Expatriate’s Commonly Asked Questions About Buying Property in Penang

BB Boy

Social reengineering to pull in willing buyers willing settlers from mainland Peninsular of Tanah Melayu Tanah Airku ?????


Event like this will make Penang a popular place to reside among the non-Malays:


Penang have mostly chinese sure can attract more people to migrate buy house there.

Kah Seng

Did they initially estimate the pop based on the houses built? That’s turning the logic upside down. How can they even present such an illogical and unbelievably amateur forecast?

YB salii /the non-salt bae

no komen


From China….read up on Cambodia

Shahril Reza

Ahem?!! @chowkonyeow @zairilkj @tonypua @xavierjayakumar Shouldn’t there be a proper EIA. In any case if…


What talking you?