Vincent and Danny Tan spread wings in Penang


The Tans are stamping their presence in Penang in a big way.

The Tan brothers are involved in two of the biggest deals on the island in recent months.

Vincent Tan’s Berjaya had signed a deal to buy 57 acres of super-prime land from the Penang Turf Club not long ago.

Now, younger brother Danny has entered into the Bayan Mutiara picture almost unnoticed by the public. Ivory Properties had bought the 103 acres of super-prime sea-front land (between the two Penang bridges) from PDC for RM1.1bn. The firm then entered into a 51:49 joint venture with Dijaya to develop the RM10bn Penang World City project. Danny has a 31 per cent stake in Dijaya, according to the firm’s 2010 Annual Report.

Have a look at the details of the Ivory-Dijaya joint venture.

See this Business Times article.

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boh hoot= cowardly person ,is a polite translation.
a more direct route would be
boh hoot=no cojones…
ha ha ha

Smalltown Beng

From what I have read in this blog, many penangites ‘kow peh kow boh’ when there is development, claiming it is not sustainable, enriching the rich, depriving the poor, harming the environment, displacing their old memories, affecting their heritage, blaming political patronage……

I am living in a small town where there is zero development and hardly any economic buzz. I am willing to trade my place with any penangites who is disillusioned by development. Stay a week in my small town and they will go back home accepting the progress of development!


smalltown beng i beg t be different may be bcoz i’m already kind of senior age leaving penang prefering small town landscape in Sungai Petani. i don’t blame Vince Tan & Gang raiding penang island as they can be “berjaya” in hiring small town people to earn basic wages when governmental jobs r still having preferential quoto system. my neighbor 2 sons, Ah Beng A works for Berjaya hotel in downtown penang and Ah Beng B works as 7-11 executives; they brought home decent pay (not big by richer Penangite standard) but good enough to feed their 80+ years old… Read more »


Life is a one big circle. You may not have experienced living in urban cities like George Town and the kind of life values learnt,experienced and adopted along the way. Opportunities are definitely more as more want better living standard, be they employee or employer. And the standard thinking of our government is urban priority development, unless you are blessed to have one benevolent tow kay opening shops or factories in your sleepy small town. But all is not rosy as one small town guy likes to think. It is a dog eat dog world, in the office, on factory… Read more »


Smalltown beng, I was born and bred in Penang. Trust me, almost all Penangites want development and want Penang to be a first-world state. However, they are asking that development benefits the majority, not to the top 1% of society. In this case, bayan mutiara was owned by PDC (a state body), all everyone here is asking for is that since it is owned by the state, it should benefit everyone. Now that it is sold, the developer would make tenths of billions of ringgit in profit while the poor are either left to rot or dumped into low-cost flats.… Read more »


Smalltown Beng, your description of Penang people is spot on, “kao peh kao boh” about this and that. I do wonder what did they do for the past 2 decades, i didnt hear much ” kao peh kao boh ” then, why??? You are right ask them to trade places with you and see which one of them is willing to do that. Quote one eg, New Zealand is unspoiled, a virgin land so to speak but see how many will emigrate to NZ compared to Australia and the UK/US ( more job opportunities). Ideal and real life are two… Read more »


kee, in the past even if u “kao peh kao boh” until the cows come home, there would be no use. Now they are hoping their gov will listen to them.


When a political eunuch ostrich had its ego head deep in the sands of indifference, no amount of “kao peh kao boh”, not even with free porridge and “liam keng” will awaken its decades of slumber in Boh Hoot Gerak-Sand. Now at least with venues like to “kao peh kao boh”, we Penangites have some glimmer of hope that the state gomen do take notice or listen with a heart (intently). FYI, “kao peh kao boh” is also a lucrative side business from the Chinese funeral service provider but not for those with Boh Hoot, status-conscious of Boh Bin… Read more »


Alright, Anil.
Here’s the Hokkien translation:
“kao peh kao boh” = complain loudly, incessantly or cry out loud for the beloved deceased at funeral
“liam keng” = long Taoist prayer for the dead
“Boh Hoot” = cowardly person
“Boh Bin Chui” = lose face


FYI, New Zealand is such a well managed and peaceful, picturesque country, there’s no need to “kao peh kao boh” by its denizens. Except for some mumbles from the Maori. My childhood friend left for NZ in the late 70’s and has grown deep roots there for good.
Even the Lord of the Ring found the place irresistible to cari-makan and eventually reaped box office revenues.

Bowen Liu

Interesting that it takes little words from Smalltown Beng to stir up Penangites. We can always trust the wisdom of smalltown fler to provide some sense to us.

That certain developer (A non-penangite datuk that used to bodek KTK) is now using his ‘charm’ on LGE and PDC to gain access to Mutiara project, after his ‘twin-tower’ achievement. he is the 1% that is depriving the 99%!


So, all the more to “kao peh kao boh”. What the use of development by KL fler developers when the spill-over of employment is not much and affordable housing beyond Penangites’ dreams but rather it causes more chaos of traffic jam, uncontrollable floods and less green cover? Moreover, jobs go to immigrant Indons in the housing industry. Leaving speculative housing agent jobs for surreal selling and unhealthy market pricing by the greedy. And not to left out, the loan marketing by O-Blady banks for over-zealous over-lending to green horned home buyers or speculators who actually can’t afford beyond certain limits… Read more »


If i am VinSetan , i will work with and cooperate fully with anyone whom is in power. That is the way of doing business and business is business.
In business there is no such thing as loyalty to anyone as it is all about making profits.
Cant blame him or blame Lim Guan Eng.
I think only those from private sectors & business owners will understand such issue fully.


It makes me wonder if PDC is being well-managed or heading towards the same direction as a certain airline we all know. Firstly is PDC so desperately in need of cash? Or are they so bankrupt of ideas? Why does it have to sell its own land (i mean the people’s land) to another developer when it is itself a developer (and one who is supposed to care for the welfare of penangites). Why can’t PDC itself develop the land properly, with good planning, affordable pricing and satisfactory quality homes or shops? Now they sell it to a developer who… Read more »


Some of the recalcitrant developers don’t have 2 ears to listen to the common folks’ needs for decent affordable housing. Neither do they listen to our CM if at all for proper housing development or integrated development to meet the needs of Penangites. If this is not the case, why build million ringgit homes, which to any decent folks is beyond their means? Why build ‘changih’ homes which do not match the purchasing power of even the dwindling middle class? If not for speculative menace playing the unrealistic tunes of property gold rush good to the ears of the greedy,… Read more »

Karam S

The Tans spreading wings ?

Are they The Wind Beneath Penang’s Wings to soar higher ?

Only time will tell.

Meanwhile enjoy this Bette Midler’s song :


Seriously, most big business in Malaysia are well connected to the BN government simply bec. BN had ruled the country for over 50 years. In housing development industry, all if not all the players are well connected, YTL, SP Setia and of course Berjaya. Even Ivory was gung-ho for BN in Pg. Just before the last election I saw a huge poster hanging from Times Square. The important thing is not so much which developer but to scrutinize the process in which the developers obtains it’s “permit” to develop, be there EIA, Planning approvals & etc etc. Are there short… Read more »


And immediately by the next morning they took down the poster when PKR won. Why would they (developer) antagonize anybody. They are there out to get the fast buck. They move with time and flow with the river. Just like Bn, LGe or for that matter PR would also need these big business people for the development of the country when they won. When they look for FDI they are also looking at the big business guy. It is with these big guys that the small guys may also benefits.The problem is the LGe & PR have been giving them… Read more »


I do not think it is that easy being a developer…..try and see whether you can make that fast buck…..developers also provide a good service to all of us …..we should not tar all developers…but should be prepared to go after the bad ones, the one that cut corners and shortchange their customers and neighbors


To Yang and Sptay, at least i found some light in both of you, otherwise i am sinking into depression. Ya, biz people will go close to the government of the day. I read that Francis Yeoh is a devoted Christian but he was so close to that Dr M, so can we blame YTL? Ya, what is more important is, there is no corruption in the dealings. Sometimes i find it funny, BN has “telan” so much of the country’s wealth for the past half century and every 5 year we voted them again and again. We chose to… Read more »


Many such Malaysian companies are lead by CEOs whose daylight itinerary is to play golf, attend ‘official’ functions, Gravy train tenders, crony entourage overseas and get close to so and so of political+kang tau agenda. Their minds are not cracking the next big innovation, not updating on market intelligence, not understanding consumer sentiments (super-duper house price), not building team motivation, not securing the best talents, best tools and nurturing the next legion of competitive, productive workforce, not demanding excellence at work, BUT dreaming of how much dog’s crumb % from Ali BaBa dealings and wheelings, and how big is year… Read more »


What is clear is that Lim Guan Eng and the Penang DAP are now too close to big business. They accuse the BN of the very things that they now indulge in. Pot calling the kettle black! Hence, is it not time that all DAP YBs declare their assets, individual and family, domestic and foreign? As well, is it not time that the DAP also declares all its sources of funds, both domestic and foreign? What’s so difficult about that Lim Guan Eng? Will this not prove your commitment to “accountability and transparency”? Or did you fail to learn how… Read more »


As far as I know, MACC and PDRM have devoted massive resources , working 24 hours a day, to find any wrong doing they can arrest/ charge members of the PR administration with both in Selangor and Penang. Teoh Beng Hock died after a hellish MACC interrogation concerning a suspicion over RM 2,000 ! If they haven’t arrested Lim Guan Eng yet, its almost certainly because they have not found anything…….. My concerns are more related to PR’s rush to show development results in the state, and they are getting too close to property developers in their decision making. Those… Read more »


I think andrew has a point here. The opposition parties have always pushed for transparency and have advocated the declaration of assets of ministers and senior gov officers. If I am not mistaken, when they came into power they did say that they would declare assets and income. They should lead by example. It has been done in Selangor but not yet in Penang. Whether or not the MACC investigates them is irrelevant to the fact that such a declaration is a good practice that minimizes corruption regardless of party. Since they are all clean (I am confident most of… Read more »


Update on cycling lanes in Penang, with pictures:

Gerakan K

Tan and Lim dynasty in Penang. The perfect match for Development Above People !!!

Feel so sad for poor LOCAL people in Penang ~

Feel so sad for try 5 years, die 5 years ~

Feel so sad for cronyism in Penang ~

Feel so sad for fast-track concretion of Penang ~

Feel so sad for poor Tan and Lim in Penang ~


i feel more sad for the Tans and Lims in Penang for the past decades even under Dr Lim Chong Ewe, not to mention Ah Koon.

If it is not Vincent Tan, it will be somebody else….

Andrew I

Suffering from depression as well? Try your local 1Malaysia clinic.


Malaysia’s corrupt political and economic system is such that essentially all big businessmen are linked to Barisan Nasional, more, or less.
I’ve heard pretty convincing arguments that some are far more treacherous than others.

I’ve for years considered that patronising any of the businesses in their stable of companies amounted to a political contribution to UMNO/BN.
My own (admittedly puny) personal action is I stay away from outlets owned by B****** Corp.

Lim Guan Eng better think very carefully about getting too close …

Ong Eu Soon

With Vincent, Danny and the guy who can make you tak boleh cari makan in Penang, the Tan Dynasty is now the most powerful developers in Penang. Who benefited the most? Call it crony or what?

Andrew I


Yes, Andrew, thanks for the music, at least am entertained…


The 3 Chippettes reminds me of 3 Stooges coined by Anil Netto 🙂


Since the last time, ‘Hee’ Frogs were groomed and bred and rewarded in urban Perak, are we seeing the possibility of Frog Grooming and Party Hopping in Penang?
Our politicians should consult the rainforest Black Cobra (monocellate cobra) for some … advice. Environmentalists need not be alarmed as this measure is not aimed at nature’s innocent frogs or toads but 2-legged, money-greedy irresponsible homo sapien species.


tunglang and company
I dedicate this song called “The End Of Innocence” by Don Henley, who is also a Eagle who sang Hotel California (can check in but no check out for the “frogs”!)

with the invasion of 1% into the sacred turf of penang island, it’s the end of innocence for the 99%.

so from now on we should not be so naive anymore. Come GE13 know what to do lah !


Thanks,rilakkuma. I love Hotel California for its classic song rendition. But on the deadly dark side it tells of devil worship, traps and human sacrifices no different from today’s politics of the darkest of hearts and souls. ‘Hee’ Frogs don’t talk truth but tell lies so no sympathy if they are perfect lunch for the serpentine demons. But Rakyat should be in the know/watchful of dirty politics-business partnership not to be fooled by these same legions of old world entities of darkness in the guises of white sheet politicians and benevolent corporate figures. Dedication to all innocent Rakyat for the… Read more »

Karam S

the lyric of the song reflects the situation ….. We’ll sit and watch the clouds roll by And the tall grass waves in the wind You can lay your head back on the ground And let your hair fall all around me Offer up your best defense But this is the end This is the end of the innocence O’ beautiful, for spacious skies But now those skies are threatening They’re beating plowshares into swords For this tired old man that we elected king Armchair warriors often fail And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales The lawyers clean up… Read more »