Higher densities despite the Penang Structure Plan 2020


The Penang Forum is an umbrella grouping of some of the main NGOs in Penang. The steering committee of the grouping has issued the following statement:

The Steering Committee of the Penang Forum is deeply disappointed and concerned that the Penang State Government has recently obtained an order from the High Court to strike out a court application made by the Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA) for legal clarification on whether Tanjung Bungah falls within the secondary or primary corridor in the Penang Structure Plan.

We are of the view that the State Government should have done the honourable thing to allow the Court to decide on the substantive issue of the case.

The State Government is fully aware of the fears and grievances of the residents of Tanjung Bungah over the controversial modification of the sketch map in the Structure Plan as it had relocated Tanjung Bungah from the secondary development corridor (with a density limit of 15 units per acre) to the primary corridor (which allows a much higher density limit of 30 units per acre).

The amendment was only made to the sketch map and it was not re-publicised and re-exhibited before it was gazetted in 2007. The public did not have the opportunity to object to the amended sketch map. The amendment and inconsistencies with the written texts and the rationale in the Structure Plan was only discovered by TBRA in 2009.

After a protracted debate between the State and TBRA over the questionable amendment, TBRA was eventually told by the State to take the matter to court for a judicial decision.

We are therefore extremely disappointed that the State Government had thereafter applied to strike out the application by TBRA for a court declaration on a purely technical point.

We urge the State Government to act in good faith, by reviewing the Penang Structure Plan 2020 immediately, and to rectify the discrepancy in the sketch map in accordance with the entire text of the Structure Plan.

We also urge the State Government to stop allowing higher densities in development projects as they contradict those in the existing Structure Plan.

We have been informed that a more detailed draft Local Plan for Penang Island has been completed since 2008 and we call upon the State to publish and circulate the draft Local Plan for public feedback as soon as possible.

We fully support the State Government’s efforts to legislate the Freedom of Information Act and laud its recent exhibition of the Special Area Plan for George Town to obtain public feedback.

We hope that the State Government would give the residents of Penang an opportunity to engage with the State and to offer their views and opinions on planning and development proposals which would no doubt affect every resident living in Penang.

Ms Lim Kah Cheng & Dr Francis Loh
(on behalf of the Penang Forum Steering Committee)

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Land size is rather fixed in Penang island (as there is negligible land reclamation) but population is increasing (no birth control and more inflow from migrants, Surely the density will increase. So why complain on something you cannot control? Adapt to the environment or die complaining.


Malaysian should be waked up from “Malaysia style car cultures” . It is a sicko mentality that Mahatir build up in order to imitate USA. Alas, although USA is the world biggest oil producer, US government did not impose direct subsidies. Compare to Europe counterpart, US gas/petrol tax are way lower. OTH, Malaysia take the worst approach, in order to babysit his own pet national car project, Mahathir throw huge subsidies and also take away the oil tax, skewed the economy and lure to people drive too often. Car cultures are actually for country with sparse land, low density town.… Read more »


the question is with population / buildings increase in density, can the present road system cater for that ? I live in Sungai Ara, Penang (near Bayan Lepas for those who are not aware) in the 80’s. The present road system still hardly been improved despite increase in road vehicles and many many housing (condo eg from Setia) project mushrooming ever since. With more shopping plazas coming up very soon, i can only forsee nightmare of traffic jams. Waiting for federal government fund ? Dream On because even the highways leading to FTZ Bayan Lepas (which is a tax cashcow… Read more »


If you cannot come to terms with development, you should migrate to a small town in the mainland.


Good news as reported on today’s The Sun that Penang Development Corporation (PDC) will build high-rise affordable and low-medium cost units at Batu Kawan, at not cost more than RM220,000 each for eligible Penangites!

A good effort by the Penang government in times of Barang Naik!

Randy Savage

this means a decent 3-room condo in the island of Penang is now at least RM300K as a low cost apartment to be built by Penang gomen now costs at least RM220K ! so for those who can’t stand high rise concrete jungle and choking traffic jams and currently own a decent 3-room condo, you will soon have an option to sell your island home and then acquire a cheaper (but not necessarily inferior in quality) in mainland Penang. Balance of excess cash can be used for retirement funds and occasional jolly ride n makan (refer to Anil’s Penang Street… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

LGe is all out to make Penang Island a Big Ghetto, read my article at http://eusoon.blogspot.com/2010/03/new-trend-of-change-for-penang.html

Randy Savage

Eu Soon
You have a choice to live in mainland Penang as it fits your criteria.
Read my recommendation below.

Cheers 🙂

Ong Eu Soon

I always find it strange that not only TBRA, the Penang Forum and all other critics always misquote the development density as denifed in Penang Island Structure Plan. If TBRA can accept 15 unit per acre, it should have no problem accepting 30unit per hectare. Since LGe insist to follow what is written in Penang Island Structure Plan selectively. Let force him to adhere to the dentity defined in the Penang Island Structure Plan as below: Development Density as per Penang Structure Plan District Type Density Island TL North East High Cost 15-20 units/hectare 6-8 units/acre Medium Cost 37-74 units/hectare… Read more »

Gerakan K

Now for the first time, machais here cannot blame previous state government for the problems faced by Penangites:
Penang State Government has recently obtained an order from the High Court to strike out a court application made by the Tanjung Bungah Residents Association (TBRA)

My solution for TBRA is to vote them out the entire rocket team. No other way. Just do it, in next GE. You all have enough of excuses.

Andrew I

And go back to the dark ages with uncle Koh?

Randy Savage

… he has abandoned tanjung bungah seat…? if so how can TBRA seek his help ?

May be PAS with the kebajikan motto can deliver what TBRA being seeking ! Mat Sabu rocks !!!!


30 units/acres are “higher density”, well, it is called Medium-density housing .

I hope people read before shooting out all sort of “concrete jungle” comments. As in wikipedia :
Medium density housing is not new. Many traditional types of housing developed prior to car-based cities were at comparable densities, such as the terraced, row or courtyard housing found in many parts of the world.