Planning to raise quality of life in Penang


Urban planner Chau Loon Wai has given us a glimpse of what Penang Road, Air Itam Road, Prangin Canal and Sungai Pinang could look like.

A good dose of planning could do wonders for the quality of life.

Check out the visual images in his presentation (pdf file) during Penang Forum 5.

What do you think? Do you share his vision and if so, can we realise it?

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What you are chewing but don’t digest properly with your brain is laughable. High income society in many cities has its good & bad, not a perfect utopia that is your sole mantra of hope. But who is denying a market-oriented economy in a globalized world? That would be absurd & impractical as the Talibans in caves. What we have to be careful of are the detriments to our life, Asian society & environment in the long run. Not high income as the end all by itself but a means to an end that is quality of life. Of course… Read more »

Loke Ming Xian

Do not be deceived by the ‘high income nation’ notion by the slogan-infested party when your purchasing power is easily wiped out by barang naik inflation, sonn-to-be-imposed GST with no corresponding lowering of income tax, diminishing value of Ringgit … brought on by the so-called GTP.


In an ‘unbridled’ market economy of post-capitalism & globalisation of high income, this will be the likely scenario of strata of society: The poor = remain forever poor & slaves to some The low>middle middle income = rendered poor The upper middle = may survive or thrive & prosper The 1% rich & wealthy = become landlords, get richer & some will manipulate the economy & political landscape/direction. Sorrowful Soros & his Open Society are real life examples on a global scale. Question is: How to counter or minimize the ugly factors at play instead of becoming victim guinea pigs… Read more »


Below is a bitter remark by a young American who is not happy with the Baby Boomer Generation that has left the new generation with financial ruin and debt. “The baby boomers lived in the most prosperous time in American history and are now telling us they have nothing to show for it. The country is in financial ruin and as baby boomers are retiring, they are scrambling to secure their entitlements after squandering their wealth… For 30 years, the baby boomers have been eliminating jobs in this country for their own self-interest and the interest of their stockholders. Now,… Read more »


Babyboomers lived & prospered in an era when globalisation was just beginning to crawl out of the Rockefeller craddle. Those times were good for the enterprising & financially savvy & thrift in the first world where trade practices favored them against the 2nd & 3rd world nations. When globalisation took hold, many nations unprepared fell to their knees even though the spread of wealth was seen to be benefitting every open economy. Japan was not spared even. The post colonialism of economies is well & alive breeding thro’ global financial institutions, cross-border speculative capital, manipulation of commodities (fuel & food),… Read more »


Ask youself, if Najib’s GTP is good, then he could be a saviour to European woes. idris Jala could make more money as a consultant to IMF.


Penangites can register to vote here:

Prangin Mall, Atrium
1 Sept

First Avenue 8th Floor, Komtar
2 Sept

Queensbay Mall, Ground Floor
26 Aug

Gurney Plaza, Ground Floor
31 Aug; 1 Sept; 2 Sept

Make Ubah a reality!


Yawn… Lets me, Penang is a small Island, Penang is a small Island, Penang is a small Island, Penang is a small Island. It seems typical Malaysia mentality still refuse to move away from the 80s~90s, when you move away from car, you can only think about public transport improvement. Malaysian seems afraid of low to null emission alternative such as bicycle and electric counter part. In addition, Malaysian just love to bull s…ing about the heat,humid “issues” of cycling. in fact, those people don’t know how to ride a bicycle. A rider 3km cycling will show less sweat compare… Read more »

semuanya OK kot

You may sweat at the same rate as a cyclist, especially if you are stressed. You usually are not aware of this as the aircon is drying it up. But then, you can’t wear fancy clothes meant for cold climates without aircon. Through modes of transport, construction, manufacture etc., we are collectively creating a world where most will sweat more. Then, some of us wait for the doctor to tell us that we need more exercise and proudly tell others that we have signed up for a gym.


Make people think car is cool and borrow money to get one, then sign up gym to keep the body in healthy state. It is sad that many people refuse to admit this is consumerism created by bad government policy and dumb voters.


Penangites have choices.
They can choose to live in the island or Seberang Prai to enjoy the different type of living to suit their pockets/income.
They can have the best of both worlds.

Super Senior

Jabba made a good point. For a newly retired person at age 55 but have only EPF savings that is less than the nation’s average of RM150K, his spending power from EPF savings is merely RM625/month for the next 20 years (to live up to age 75). Ref: If he does not have other active income, then it is better to migrate to a small town to stretch the Ringgit. Otherwise he will live in frustration in a big city (like Penang island) when everything is expensive, and suffer in envy when people can sip Starbucks while he can… Read more »


Singapore is ‘the richest country’, yet its senior citizens who need $$$ would work in McDonald’s, serving the young generation, without any ego issue.

If you cannot upgrade your skills citing age reason, there is always other way to make a living.


Public transport and parks is the most important to me right now.


I want better quality, more space and cheaper cost of living. I don’t care how, just give me.

Gerakan K

Then voting DAP is a wrong decision. DAP money money money money principles contradicted with your basic needs !!! By the way, you have the alternative.


I want, I want, I want, but do you understand this?:


I understand, but does he? Can you afford t o live in places like those? There is a reason why slumps look the way they do.


There are many variables at play like speculations, less priorities of public land use for parks or affordable housing, bumiputra quota for housing forcing developers to shift the ‘cost’ to non-bumis (a recent tactic not to absorb?), integration of planning or fragmented chaos, etc.
And bear in mind Penang average household incomes that will never be able to buy a decent & ‘maintainable’ home.


Just because those cities subsidise their public transport doesn’t mean we cannot make one that is financially viable and self-funding in the long run. Sg’s SBS and SMRT make money every running their MRT lines which are known around the world as one of the best. It even makes enough money to extend the lines every 5 years. If they could do it 30 years ago, why can’t we do it now? If they can make it viable, we can too. If we are capable of building a tunnel underwater all the way to the mainland and multiple urban highways… Read more »

Gerakan K

First thing you must do is to ask LGE stop giving FREE money.


Oh really? How come BN competing with LGE to give free money?

Kim Tai Hong

House price to go up?

So said the Star:

Super Senior

The Edge has reported that ‘The values of homes in a number of areas in Johor Baru trended upwards on the secondary market in 1Q2012.’

In the August 20, 2012 issue of The Edge, it is reported that “Average home values in some parts of Johor Baru rose sharply durng the 2nd quarter, appreciating over 10%, according to The Edge KGV International Property Consultants Johor Bahru Housing Property Monitor 2Q2012”.

So high property price is a phenomenon in Malaysia, not just Penang!


Reported in chinese paper that a household with combined monthly income of RM7K still have difficulty to pay off RM2K loan monthly (for purchase of RM500K condo) in view of rising cost of living these days (car purchase another serious pocket burner).

This bring to mind how many Penang household are in that league (RM7K monthly income) these days ? RM3K more likely; so how to survive especially for the young ones unless they opt to stay with parents ?

So reality truly bites us.

Gerakan K

“Whatever it is, we still can change path.”

So touching, finally. Yes, we can vote BN this time to teach DAP a lesson !!!


2000…….. Installment
240………..Apartment service charge
1000 ……..Car loan for both
300 ……….Average monthly car insurance & road tax
700 ……….Babysitter for 1 baby
100 ……… Babysitter food
400 ……….Petrol
800 ……….Daily food expenses
250 ……….Electricity & water bill
100 ……….Telephone/hand phone bill
Total = 5890. not counting many other miscellaneous expenses.
Still can scrap through provided you are thrifty and make sure you don`t lose your job and start again.

Gerakan K

“250 ……….Electricity & water bill”

Stop using air cond, brother !!! Without air cond, only RM60-90 max per month !!!

Georgie Lukas

if they go bankcrup is none of your business, right ? don’t impose your 60’s-70’s values on younger generation. if your children want to have Black Ball with their social friend (go check out the craze eg at 1st Ave) and you ask them to go for Keng Keww Chendol instead, how would they feel ? Don’t envy those who can afford. As long as we are thrifty, no harm once in a whole we have dinner at Kim Garry otherwise life will be kind of dull right ? By the way, ori-maestros migrating to air-con environment, inevitably, in cosmopolitan… Read more »


Time to impose stronger policies to weed out property speculation-The Star


Then why Housing Minister Chor Chee Heung is still sleeping and cannot come up with a good policy besides free tong sampah?


Budget to ensure prices of property remain affordable. Ah Chor is working on it.


Of course Chor is putting up a show because election is near.

He has been sleeping on it for the past 3 years. He is too occupied with sampah matters?

syiok syiok

Better be organic natural sustainable develoipment (not concrete) otherwise traditionalists lwill spill their long-winded comments (tunglang & ah soon come to mind?)

Better be proposed, planned, consulted, executed by true professionals know how (non-political cronies linked).

Better for serious NGOs to be involved from day 1.


“the rich & living in comfortable only” only penangites can help to improve the quality of the less priviledged Penangites by

1) creating job or career opportunities especially the young ones out in the workforce.

2) contributing $ (if not moral) support to fund the education of bright students from poor families; and when they graduate make sure they don’t get drained off to Spore.

3) engaging in “moralistic” business not gambling, GRO, illegal underground money lending businesses that can whack happy family units.

what say you ?

Batu Ferringhian

Of course it can be done.

But we need to address certain issues like..enforcement, creating a civic conscience society especially hygience and cleanliness, local authorities should help promote enviromental/eco friendly policies..we need to cut down “red tape”…having an efficient police force helps tremendously too 🙂

Penang can look like this and it should!


What is quality of life? Before we ask this question, what are we looking forward to & for whom (the living or the state’s image)? Is it to look good & ‘advanced’ or is it Penangites’ lifestyle & needs friendly? Doesn’t it defeat our vision of a QOL when we try to emulate the HongKees or Singland wholesale when we can’t even sustain ourselves living in the city or even in the suburban like GreenLane or Ayer Itam what with our level of wages in the doldrums? Worst, are we planning to marginalize the poor & soon to be poor… Read more »

semuanya OK kot

A visit to an average town in Europe (physically or virtually) shows that you need not be a genius to identify the factors, only less corrupted and twisted. Some of the factors are these: – Appreciation for history. Bolehland only has rabid one-up-manship racism and the outright rewriting of history. – Appreciation for the importance of reducing inequality in income which brings social destruction. This appreciation includes the right of the majority (a word that the federal gomen loves so much) who are not wealthy to clean, safe surroundings and freedom from discrimination. The elitist appropriation of public resorces such… Read more »


Penang’s beauty and unique legacy must be saved-Malaysiakini
A good insight from someone from the outside who appreciates what Penangites have but can’t take care of!


Every single one of his example, Wilshire Boulevard, Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and Adelaide, Dallas – the mass transport system is SUBSIDISED both in construction/capital(land particularly) invested as well as operationally every yeat – go check..

Were the money and the capital come from?

Gerakan K

This is pakatan style. You can promise a moon and sun even no $ in your pocket. But believe it or not, a lot of pakatan supporters never question it !!!


The moon and sun, as you described, can be had when UMNO/BN is out of Putrajaya

Richard Lai

If this is what Penang going to be in the future, I better migrate there fast.


Whenever there is Penang issue of concern, we get to see the behavioral evolution of typical Pnangites.

One classic example is tunglang-eu soon good for case study with reference to Jedi principles seen in sci-fi movie Star Wars.

Has tunglang (ala Luke Skywalker) abandoned Jedi spirits (308) to return to opposite force of anti-LGE Eu Soon (ala Darth Vader) ???

Thank you for sharing local version of The Star Wars !!!!!!!!


no point harbour negative thoughts just because own aspirations cannot be fulfilled (lack of spending money for daily needs/wants) due to lack of productive efforts (work hard not smart just may not guarantee desired returns these days).

there is Ying there is Yang
there is Light there is Darkness
for those who dislike current development in Penang (not able to measure up with those who can afford this and that), i suggest for more fulfilling (hence less stre$$ful life) lifestyle then forgo the “ego” and move beyond island penang …. nothing to be shameful of.


JEDI is right.

We should move forward with time and abandon old thinking that has anchored us from progress.

Upgrade yourself with better marketable skills and qualification to earn a better paying job. Improve your productivity and value-add abilities.

If you lepak and wait for the ‘high income nation’ dream to come, the world will pass you by and you will whinge as you sip your kopi when affordability is a handicap to you.


RE: Golden cart (Cosmopolitan Penang) before the working horse (Penangites) & ask the cart to move! The cart and horse work for mutul benefits ! The cart attracts attention for people to ride; and the horse gets the rewards for the revenues earned. The horse may get to eat more nutritious food rather than the road side grasses if the opportunities for such rewards continued to be resisted just becoz some envied lazy bulls always there to create unproductive havocs. If one study urban landscape under inescapable dynamics of capitalism world (too bad we’re in it so stop groaning and… Read more »

Han Solo

being apolitical (not bn nor pakatan) observer, if the present working horses still over indulged in past glories and not gearing up for future challenges; the nature world of survival is to acquire hard working, effective, efficient horses elsewhere to pull the cart to keep the wheels turning to sustain the economy.

Super Senior

One can only surmise that our disposable income did not rise along with Barang Naik inflation all these years, while Singapore/Brunei dollars are appreciating faster than Ringgit. Failure of BN policy? The ‘high income nation’ is merely a pipe dream as the government’s policy has never been meritocracy-oriented, with little emphasis on productivity,value-add and competition. Today Europe (Greece in particular) suffers because they have been consuming ‘in advance’ future money via debt financing. Asian nations prosper in producing goods/resources to these European nations for decades. As austerity bites into Europe, what Najib’s GTP can spur our GDP growth other than… Read more »

chin wei

RE : ‘Working Horse’ may have to work extra hours at the expense of sleeping hours!

also at the expense of “lepaking” writing long comments instead of making those desired sustainable actions happening !


“So don’t assume with one-mind track of richie railway for everyone. A destiny train with diversity of coaches…” Anil, what I meant was destiny path, not railway (metaphorically speaking). You are right, why wait for FDI or Federal peanuts? In fact, there are many Penangite multi-millionaires (who frequent Penang Hill for tea & kopi-o with nice sunset view) just waiting to invest in the ‘right’ projects with great ideas, which btw is not lacking among us. All it takes is an IdeaTree for Penangites to bear fruits thro’ such private investment initiative. A win-win for both talents & investors &… Read more »


Dubai’s Dirty Little Secret (of cosmopolitan greed & exploitation):

Be wary, lest we go down the same route of disgusting humanity.


Very true.

Life is miserable when you have limited or no option/choice.

Do not envy those people who have the choice (i.e. $$$) to drink Starbucks Coffee. Learn to feel good for others. Otherwise you may find your kopi-o taste sour due to your own bitterness.


Kopi too kau kau will reduce your capacity to empatise with others because too much caffeine concentration will make you envy others.


In the ‘Star Wars universe’ here, tunglang is like Jar Jar Bink providing comc relief for all. His view may be amusing but mostly make little sense in the capitalist society we are in.

If your high quality living is tagged with consumerism/spending, then you will have to work hard/smart to earn more to sustain that kind of lifestyle. It is a choice we could make. May the choice be with you.

Princess Leia

in anguish time like this when the nation can go bankrupt with mismanagement by barang naik folks, thanks to Jar Jar “tunglang” Bink for providing us the comic relief.

my friends in this universe, vote with your conscience and don’t expect free goodies which can be serious liability to our children.


Tunglang has succumbed to the dark side of Gelakan? No wonder his posting has been irrelevant of late. Cannot blame the coffee.