Lotus Square for Botanic Garden


Farewell to the arches. Now, we are going to see a Lotus Square in the Penang Botanic Garden that would be more in tune with the garden.

I just wonder who will absorb the cost of constructing those monstrous arches and then demolishing them. Who finally foots the bill: those responsible for approving the arches, the contractor or the public?

No thanks to those responsible for approving all the other ‘upgrading’ projects earlier, we will now have more concrete structures invading the greens: a so-called visitors’ centre with auditorium (an auditorium???), retail outlets and more car parks…. sheesh!

It’s going to be tough to undo the mess at the Garden. Unfortunately, we had to spoil a priceless treasure that was handed down to us intact for over a hundred years since its establishment in 1884. And the worst part is that we called that ‘development’ and ‘upgrading’.

Bernama reports:

New Attraction To Be Built In Penang Botanic Garden

GEORGE TOWN, Dec 14 (Bernama) — A RM1.5 million Dataran Teratai (Lotus Square) consisting of seven ponds decorated with unique plants and trees will be built at the Penang Botanical Garden, here, starting Monday.

The Tourism Ministry’s garden consultant, Dr Francis Ng said, the project spanning almost half a football field is believed to be the biggest pond area in Malaysia.

“The Dataran Teratai is expected to be completed by mid-2011 and has received approval from non-governmental organisations (NGO) in efforts to beautify the Penang Botanical Garden.

“The project will be carried out on the site of the Botanical Garden’s arches which were demolished,” he told reporters at a news conference here today.

Also present were Penang Botanical Garden Department chairman Datuk Tengku Idaura Tengku Ibrahim and Penang Tourism Ministry Office director, Jaime Yeoh.

Last June, the newly built Penang Botanical Garden arches were demolished upon request from the public and opposition from NGOs which claimed their construction were not environmentally friendly and the tilted arches could endanger visitors.

The arches, valued at RM150,000, took six days to demolish in August with a cost cost of RM80,000.

Meanwhile, Francis said among the plants to be used in the ponds are keladi (Victoria Amazonica) brought specially from Madagascar for its unusual size.

“The public will surely be attracted to these plants which have leaves that are three metres in diametre, in addition to giant lotus plants with a diametre of 1.8 metres,” he said.


theSun reports:

Botanic Gardens project can be completed only in February
Opalyn Mok

GEORGE TOWN (Dec 3, 2010): The federal government’s RM7 million Penang Botanic Gardens beautification project is expected to be fully completed by February.

The project, scheduled for completion by the end of this month, may be delayed due to several factors including the rainy season recently.

According to Penang Botanic Gardens chief controller Tengku Idaura Tengku Ibrahim, the physical construction of the water feature facade, which includes fountains and ponds, is almost completed.

“But there are still some finishing touches to it and landscaping works so it does not look like it can be completed by Dec 29 as scheduled,” she said.

She said water-proofing for the ponds could not be done during rainy weather and this may have caused the delay.

The whole project covers four phases – the water feature facade, a pavilion and visitor’s centre, an eco-stream walk and a bambusetum.

The eco-stream walk was completed last year while the bambusetum is yet to be fully completed due to difficulties in sourcing for the various bamboo species.

Tengku Idaura said the double-storey pavilion and visitors’ centre will be completed soon and hopefully, it will be open to public by February.

“The centre will house the administrative offices for the Botanic Gardens and also retail shops, an auditorium and an information centre for visitors,” she said.

A check at the project site by theSun revealed that the concrete base for the ponds and fountains are already in place and the contractors are in the midst of landscaping works.

Ample parking lots next to the facade are already fully completed but Tengku Idaura lamented that these were not originally in the plans.

“The original plan was to keep cars out as much as possible as this is the Botanic Gardens where it is supposed to be full of greenery but they have put in even more carpark lots than before,” she said.

The Penang Botanic Gardens beautification project, funded by the Tourism Ministry and implemented by the Drainage and Irrigation Department, was at the centre of a controversy earlier this year when two RM150,000 arches were built near the water feature facade.

The Tourism Ministry then ordered the arches to be torn down in August following an outcry by the public after discovering that one of the arches were tilting.

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tan, tanjong bungah

Hi everyone,

Why the ‘elegant silence’ on which party is to foot the RM230000 bill for the 2-arches debacle (erection and demolition costs!)? Hope that Malaysians would continue the syndrome of ‘mudah lupa’!


Send the bills to Ng Yen Yen, it shouldn’t come from the state coffers. BTW, this Francis NG also her brother ah??


“difficulties in sourcing for the various bamboo species”
They’re all extinct! Never mind just make some painted concrete ones, nobody will know the difference anyway.


“difficulties in sourcing for the various bamboo species”

Tidak apa attitude best fit these excuses.

How many months or 2 years since the Bambusetum launch by YB Teng that the sourcing of bamboo is still continuing? Already paid contractors who already spent monies who already run out of money!
Just checked with nearby plant nursery next to Indian Temple and found out that bamboo plants available, so how come the difficulties?

Why not say the Pandas have eaten them all!


To my knowledge, water lilies are very sensitive plants that require frequent care and pruning of dead leaves and stems to keep the water fresh. Hope that the gardeners are up to their tasks in maintaining the ponds which are the first impressions of Botanic Gardens to visiting tourists.
How about adding frogs (not the Perak frogs) to these ponds. These are natural species to water lilies and can create quite an orchestral audio effects on rainy days during dusk and evening!
Any garden chairs around the 7 ponds?