“Penang” tak boleh!


Yesterday, I wrote “Penang boleh!”

I spoke too soon. It should be “Penang” tak boleh! Apparently, any group, publication or event that wants to use “Penang” in its name must now get approval from the state government?


“People should know that ‘Penang’ is not a name that they can simply use,” the Chief Minister is reported as saying in theSun. “The Penang government is the sole authority to decide whether anyone can use the state brand.”

What nonsense is this? Who appointed it the sole authority? The name of a place belongs to its people, not to the state government. Just because of a few abuses, it wants to control the usage of the place-name and claim ownership over it.

And since when has Penang become a “brand”? (Want to copyright and patent it?) Such giveaway words reflect a corporate-business mentality, not a people-centred mind-set.

This is the same kind of corporate developer-friendly mentality that allows a private company to block and close a public road – Jalan Kaki Bukit – just because the firm is carrying out a construction project. (Is this a permanent or temporary closure? Don’t tell me the road has been sold as well – the local government must clarify. If it has been sold, use the Land Acquisition Act to reacquire the road as it is for a public purpose. Where is CAT? It looks as if Penang tak boleh stop a developer from breaking up and blocking a public road.)

The Companies Commission and the Registrar of Societies already have their own requirements on the usage of place names. Is there a need for other “approvals” now? What is the criteria for such “approvals”?

What is the state government’s position on websites such as Penang Story, Penang Media and Penang Watch?

What about the civil society event called Penang Forum, organised by Penang-based NGOs after the general election last year?

What if someone opens a blog or magazine called Penang Char Koay Teow or Kuih-muih Pulau Pinang? Is the state government now saying that such names now require “approval” – because it supposedly owns the Penang “brand”?

Give me a break.

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anna brella

Perhaps there has been a miscommunication (thus leading to a misunderstanding) about what exactly it is the CM intended to convey with his stated proposal to restrict the use of the name “Penang”. If the CM’s intention was to: (a) protect the reputation of the Penang State Government (and by natural association the name of Penang itself) from being inappropriately taken advantage of and perhaps trashed (by say, the PSG’s name being used to promote crap-quality goods and activities so as to con the public by giving them a false perception/assurance that the goods or activities were in some way… Read more »


We have got enough coverage of some project associated with State Government and abandoned until now.

Correction : We have not enough news coverage (Malaysia Medias) of some projects associated with State Government before. And they were actually abandoned until now.


Some businessmen and company always came out to be associated with State Government. We have got enough coverage of some project associated with State Government and abandoned until now. For example, Nilai Inland Port project has a “fake association” with Negeri Sembilan State Government brand name during the launching. Now, the constructed drains are higher than the roads. Some businessmen always bull … hit to threaten others that they knew PM or DPM to get things done. I know Malaysian businessmen how crooked (many of them) they are. Some even say they paid political party RM10 millions. So, YAB LGE… Read more »

anna brella

As far as I know, the very branded names of New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Washington and Timbuktoo too are not restrictive trademarked names. To suggest doing so would, without a doubt, turn that person/politician into an immediate laughing stock and public relations disaster that not even someone like Max Clifford could help turn around. So, what gives with this overly smart PR political move there in sunny branded and potentially soon to be trademarked into an anal-retentive-like place named “Penang”? A tactical tendency from PR towards political suicide perhaps, or can it be down to a touch of heatstroke… Read more »


Again, this is a small talk. If I were a contractor and outing out a company name such as “Penang Prime Contractor Sdn Bhd”. I think what LGE is try to say. Anyway, this is a good forum where we are feel free to bombard a politicians. Then LGE can know what is the next course of action. This is western styles and also American style. But reading through the comments, and the main article itself. It looks emotional and hatred. Which show we are immature and influence by other factors and not solely bring out the real ideas. Hope… Read more »


LGE is talking nonsense. Who says RoS normally doesn’t allow state names or Malaysia used for societies? There are plethora of societies named with “Pulau Pinang”, “Penang” and “Malaysia” and every other states names or city/town names or whatever in the registry of RoS (Pendaftar Pertubuhan). States names and “Malaysia” are only not allowed for for-profit companies, or trademarks, ie. registry by RoC/SSM. As Penangites, we’ll call whatever we want with “Penang” – Penang CKT, Laksa, Rojak, hantu raya, whatever (ditto Anil!). Stop claiming everything’s yours, LGE. If you talk too much, and go way overboard, Penangites can kick you… Read more »


The use of the names involving Malaysia, Penang, National, World, and other related names, are selective and prohibited for non-state or non-national bodies, Registrar of society or companies will normally not allow. It is not only in Penang, Malaysia, it is also other more advance countries in UK or USA. This is to protect the image and to avoid certain parties using the names for their illegal or malicious motives. It is similar to other names which are provocative and sensitive, names will not be allowed. LGE is right to protect Penang’s name, it is not copyright. The right to… Read more »

hendrie chan

I am a strong supporter of DAP.I have one thing to say and that is the CM may be a great politician but is a damn lousy Administrator.



LGE has gone bonkers. the goodwill happy bandwagon wheels are falling off now! well done DAP! what a day to announce it too! right on the anniversary of Anwar failure to take over Putrajaya. i myself celebrated this FAIL-NIVERSARY yesterday by watching anwar talking … on Youtube. that was the best comedy clip i’ve seen all year.

prime minister in waiting? HAHAHHA….. funny guy that … Anwar is

Ravi Vijaya

Since when does the State government have proprietary rights over the name of our beloved island? What the hell is this and who the hell is LGE to proclaim this?

Is this his brand of fascist autocracy disguising itself as corporate styled hegemony?

I thought Penang belongs to its people and not its government – as proclaimed loudly and repeatedly prior to March 8.

Sigh…looks like I thought wrong.

Just what the hell is going on?!

This is NOT the kind of change I voted for!

Azimah Othman

There must be a reason why the so-called ruling had not been enforced previously…..isn’t it obvious?


Ong Eu Soon

Good observations ! To add to your list of questions, I wish to include the below.

– how about the hundreds of posters and banners put up by DAP, PKR and PAS using Penang state emblem on various issues like ceramah, Hari Raya & CNY message, dinners,etc ?

Ong Eu Soon

Can someone tell me how to get approval for using the name “Penang”? I want to set up a new NGO called Livable Penang , should I meet up with Big Brother, LGE? Hi! What about DAP’s own assembltmen using the Penang name and state emblem in private activities like donation in the name of charity? (Do they need to get) approval from the state or LGE?


Romerz, thank you for the explanation. Accurate information is a very rare commodity this days. Another example, whether MPPP did give the approval and did a U Turn is anybody’s guess.

Funny even after explanation given, people just find other things to complain .
I have heard of genuine feedback to see an improvement but this is “witch hunt”


i also use a lot of “penang”(in mandarin) in my blog… does this means that i have to wait for letters from lawyer firm??




LGE suing you is least of your problems if PR comes to power. You might end up in Penang’s own Guantanamo for violating the Penang “brand” name.

In fact I fear that I might be also violating LGE’s IP rights to (call) myself a Penangite !


LGE is becoming paranoid now.

I have domains pulaupinang.com and penang.biz, LGE is gonna sue me for promoting Penang long before PR formed the new government?


So now the state govt owns the name “Penang” ? I can only guess what LGE has in his mind. I think he doesnt want anyone else claiming to represent Penang doesnt matter in what field, be it private or public in order to strengten his political power. (Is this) meant to undermine his opponents by having a complete monopoly over all events and bodies so they cannot hold any state-level events? So what’s next ? No police permit for any events unless sanctioned by DAP ? Or even ban on any bodies or societies not approved by LGE ?… Read more »


I thought DAP and LGE are guided by the principles of Social Democracy but it seems that he has been mutated himself into … part LKY and part … Great Leader of North Korea. Like LKY, he talks Corporate-speak and attends numerous forums overseas dispensing his “wisdom” on how to run a country (did anyone notice his numerous overseas trips ?). And despite the big publicity over his economy-class travel, I was told that he and his wife Betty travel (in comfort) …. using foreign premium airlines. Like LKY, he (is friendly to) Big Business and (appears to) consider the… Read more »


It’s very amusing that LGE would think in such a narrow context. However I wonder if it is his inability to communicate effectively his message or the newspapers’ inability to understand what LGE meant.
LGE has to be very thorough before he announces anything in future.


Democracy means more than just voting every five years. It’s involves public participation and discussion of issues as well. – Anil

Well said. You should revisit the comments on LGE and the Penang state government regarding the KBP issue!
They thought KBP was the be all and end all for LGE and the rest of the Penangites.



I wonder if you are aware that this ruling on the use of the Penang word has been in existence for many years and to be used when there is a problem implicating the state government?

It’s just that lately a lot of unscrupulous people are organizing events using the Penang word giving the impression that they are endorsed by the state government.

Please note that CM Lim Guan Eng did not make this ruling, merely reiterating that such a ruling exists.

Penang Voter

The name of a place belongs to its people, not to the state government. Remember that, LGE!


Anil you should vote PR out if you are so displeased with the government and put back BN/Gerakan in power 🙂

Democracy means more than just voting every five years. It’s involves public participation and discussion of issues as well. – Anil


Hey, Koh Tsu Koon is also very prone to bouts of sore throats – not a word on Kampung Buah Pala or the destruction of the Tanjung Bungah / Paya Terubong hillsides.