Another public space lost?


Something is happening in front of the Dewan Sri Pinang on the quiet. Why is it that we seem to be losing many of our public spaces?

Dewan Sri
Palm trees are chopped down and fencing sprouts up instead: Another open space lost? – Photos by Anil

It so happens that this is the same area where the Abolish ISA candlelight vigils were held in September and October 2008. Perhaps the local government can tell us what is going on here.

Check out the photo below taken just over a year ago and compare and contrast.

isa vigil penang 14 Sept 2008 030
An Abolish ISA vigil in solidarity with detainees held on 14 September 2008 at the same spot

Come to think of it, this spot would have been ideal for a Speakers’ Corner in Penang.

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Having looked at the replies, you get Anil. It appears that not many realize the implications of the loss of such a space where the People have had their say and would continue to have their say if not for the kind of action the Penang State government has taken. It really doesn’t matter whether it is BN or PR in government, the government of the day must be held responsible for what it does and everyone has a right to voice their opinion as well as to disagree with others. This is what good governance, transparency and accountability are… Read more »


Anil … yes we need space but perhaps as a so called tutor for Citizen Journalists its best to get the facts than to aimlessly question when such questioning can cause issues. Is that what you teach the new aspiring CJs or is causing issues your intention?

What are the tenets of journalism?


Malaysians generally do not comprehend the importance of public spaces. In any developed country, the local community will fight tooth and nail to protect their public spaces.

There is a dire need to raise public awareness of the importance of public spaces in Malaysia. We have hardly any public spaces left and we are ill afford to lost any more of them.



Is the space being taken off for a new building? If not don’t understand you as the public space is still there unlike Gerakan K/UMNO want to take off the Chinese School in Damansara.Since you said about space, maybe the authority follow your suggestion – chopdown trees to create more space – to allow more demostration and more people.

Gerakan K

Some update for you. This school already re-opened.


Ok, Poor Anil, is trying to raise some awareness. Give him a break. he has done so much of good work for all of us. I may disagree with Anil on this issue. Maybe I can get someone in the State Govt to monitor Anil’s blog and respond accordingly.

Jebat musibat

oh come on anil. takkan la pasal tebang pokok pun you nak assume apa2? takkan lah tebang pokok pun nak kena cerita dulu mengapa buat begitu right? if you still feeling regret or not satisfied with the penang govt in case of KBP, you don’t have to ‘dendam’ them. They already doing their best. If you think ‘thats not enough’ for KBP, I felt it’s too much enough. If you comparing with ‘tiba-tiba rumah setinggan terbakar’ in KL (under ubn persekutuan) several times this year, then im very proud what LGE and penang govt did for some of KBP –… Read more »

Gerakan K

…MBSA had tried to ban beer and illegally confiscate beers from 7/11 store. People will reject such lawless administration in next GE/by-election. Let’s see the result.


BN Government also secretly ban pig rearing (in some places)… Gerakan (allies) also insult and mock animals such as display cow heads


“Why is it that we seem to be losing many of our public spaces? ” The article does seem a bit plaintive without the expected “I phoned the local authorities but nobody knows”. Transparency is one thing, but conducting your business in public is quite a leap. In the UK it’s quite common to see public notices attached to or near any public property that will be disturbed, changed or otherwise altered for many weeks before anything happens. It’s usually just a sheet of A4 paper inside a flimsy clear plastic cover. That is the obvious place to give notice,… Read more »


Funny, You operate from Penang and yet cannot engage anyone in the state government to get answers before coming out with such articles of ‘concern’? This is the biggest problem with the way media sometimes behave. First coming up with speculative articles, get the public to also make ‘noise’ for something that they are not sure of, and then use it to write further with views/comments from the public. Again, not knowing what the development is all about. And you live in an era of ‘open communication’. By now, as a responsible and ‘neutral’ blogger, you should have improved your… Read more »



If you are the minister, you spent time thinking about the trees,and (lavatories) and scrubs? Anyway, those are palm trees just decorative unlike the hundred years raintree. Like a husband supposed to be head of the house, you must know what your wife is cooking and also be transparent over minor matters. If the Malaysian parliament botak all the trees who cares if Gerakan/UMNO do not want us to go there.


Well, I guess Anil is pretty harmless but a bit delusional. Remind me of Don Quixote. Watching Communist inspired movies over & over again (no choice being in China for some time), Anil reminds me of the fading functionaries within Kuomintang failed to stem wave after wave the onslaught on KMT…..
Of course, it’s aplicable to Pakatan. It can be applicable to Anil. Anil got ulterior motives. Not monetary, power or position. Anil is a naturalist, anarchist & idealist.
David Marshall, ring a bell


anil you now seem to be a BN supporter.You are partly responsible for the KBP residents crisis

Gerakan K

Why you shoot the messenger? You should blame LGE for selective transparency!


Good question, it is not the smallness but the principle behind closing a space previously used to express public feelings in the spirit of democracy. Are we closing places where some acts of democracy have taken place?


Ooooh get her! Sniffy first post! Anil – what do you think of a public issue tracker for local governments so that you can make an enquiry that anyone can track the progress of? They’re very popular for managing open source software projects, providing snapshots of how much work is being done, how different people or groups are performing, who is doing what and when you can expect them to be finished – even listing who else is interested in the answer. In a case like this one, you could add this question and your images to the tracker. You… Read more »

Ilham Hanafi

As you have your right to write or bring up any thing, I have the right to avoid what you write. Me think there’s more important issues instead of these petty matters.


Certain things ain’t that petty. But however judging from what Anil is writing in his blogs, it seems he doesn’t know what matters to the nation.
Or he only bothers what he thinks best……Kinda bourgeois, don’t your think