Escape theme park: CM clarifies


The Chief Minister has responded to concerns about the environmental impact of the proposed theme park on 44 acres of PBA land near the Teluk Bahang Dam.

Given the scale of the project, its location very close to the dam and the narrow road to Teluk Bahang, I still think we need a detailed environmental impact assessment and a traffic impact assessment, both of which should be independently undertaken.

Behind all this, what is unstated is that the sea-water is too polluted to serve as a tourist attraction anymore. So we need an artificial “theme park”.

Reminds me of a Joni Mitchell song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’: “They took all the trees, And put them in a tree museum, Then they charged the people, A dollar and a half just to see ’em.”

All this still leaves open the question as to why the PBA is renting out the land so cheaply to a private company in the first place. The PBA board needs to explain.

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Penang has been losing it’s tourist business to other better value attractions steadily over the years. As a hotelier in Batu Ferringhi, I have had many younger tourists complaining the lack of “fun’ activities to do on their holidays…..for cheap booze: Langkawi, better value for $ hotel rooms : Thailand and Bali, etc,etc. Hotel business have been dropping steadily over the past 5 years and any additional attraction for the tourist will be welcomed by most hoteliers. RM 200,000 annual rental is nothing compared to the monthly overhead for a large themepark resort…….assuming it can break even after 15 years… Read more »


Hard Rock Cafe is doing well.
Upper Penang Road is doing well.
E-Gate is doing well.
Chulia Street is doing well.
All these are patronized by locals and tourists, except for Chulia Street which attracts more foreigners looking for authentic experience than glitzy discotheques or 5-Star F&B outlets.
If you get your target market right, you shouldn’t be worrying.
BTW, this year’s traffic going up to the beach tourist belt is getting heavier by the days.



I like your insights and ideas. You certainly are broad minded and must have travelled a lot. I never wish for Penang to be like HK or Singapore. I live and work in Hk and travel frequently to Singapore. Well we should emulate those cities but certainly not all qualities. Penang should develop to be a R & D center and transform into an eco city with its conserved heritage and a liveable city.


I am very surprised that the TBRA has been very quiet on this when they have been very vociferous on objecting to other development projects in the area. The project shouldnt be approved based on the traffic impact.

As it is, the long and narrow road to Batu Ferringhi is already jammed during normal days, imagine the impact on the road when they bring 10,000 or more people a day to the Escape.

To me, this is worst than the impact of 1,000 units of housing on the area.

Ong Ong

Hello! The government is going to expand the road to four lane from tanjung bungah to batu feringghi. =.= You think people everyday will go to the theme park one meh? It’s not universal studio or disneyland also~~~~ duh


Where is the money to expand the road to 4 lanes.
Doesn’t this give another kang tau excuse to the Feds for another Satu Lagi Projek? And remember the seashore is just feet away from the road. Want another environment disaster in the making? Or just tar up the beach front for expansion?
To realise a theme park but having to fork out for another budget is wasteful no strategic thinking.

kwan may fun

A group of friends with 11 children age 16-7 just returned from Hong Kong Disneyland said that the kids was not impressed because they had been to many theme parks. Just happy with their ipads in the hotel rooms.


In those days of 60’s and 70’s Penang, we as kids didn’t have digital game toys, 3-D cinemas, Toys”R”us or Lego. Neither did we Facebook, Twits, email nor SMS to connect with friends. But we had comics of Beano and Lao Fu Zi. And more. Kids had to meet face2face to enjoy TV cartoons, hobbies, share comics, play outdoor games like badminton and gasing or just plain lepak with a guitar. It was real physical social interaction. We ‘knew’ when to meet up as our homes were accessible – just call out in codes or nicknames thro’ the front windows… Read more »


latest tablet can also act as simulator to games on tv. i guess my nephews can use such gadget to simulate thrilled rides at home comfort while phyically not at Disneyland but can can virtual disney fun at home. by 2020s the young adults are those grow up with touch screen gadgets so local gomen must think ahead otherwise escape theme park without catering for the thrills of future kids may just be another white elephant in the making. Go and tell present 15-25 years old to camp at Teluk Bahang and they will ask you if they can bring… Read more »

Ong ONg

Aiya, just hook on the gadget, stop all development, no need public transport also, sit at home all the long. GOOD? =.=

Ong Ong

Go to the theme park then go to the real forest, what’s wrong having two attractions? Penang National Park is so beautifulllll. Love pantai kerachut so much.


When you are fascinated with nature and in the thick of the outdoors, you will easily forget about what or how many hitech gadgets you pack along in your backpacks. I had seen ‘changih’ handphones or gadgets (even GPS) absolutely unused or useless (drained of battery power) in my trips to Taman Negara and 4WD expeditions in the thick rainforest. And I had seen those wide eyes of urbanites experiencing ‘virgin, pristine and inaccessible (without 4WD)’ rainforest for the first time in their lives and not gazing into trendy gadgets. Your 5 senses are fully occupied with nature, less that… Read more »

Ong Ong

Clearly, the theme park in Hong Kong is such a NOOBBBBBBB. I am impressed with Universal Studio Singapore although small, Disneyworld, Genting Highland! I hook up my gadget at night but still will enjoy the theme park in day time.

Ong Ong

Eh, come on! You think Penang people very rich can go USA disneyworld, JAPAN universtal studio ah? I tell you la, many never go Genting also you know! Got a theme park, give a chance to them to go a nearer one what…

Ong Eu Soon

20m away from the dam, from the photo does it look like the site is at the downstream of the dam?

Ong Ong

Hey bro, photo can be anything man. It does not represent everything! I can say your photo does look like a woman. =.= Just go be the developer or join in the competition with the CM then be the next Penang CM lah. …


Ong Ong, you are humourous, i like it !!!

Ya, Ah Soon does look like aunty a bit.

Ong Eu Soon

There is no building according to LGe, what about the fun hotel? Where the guests suppose to sleep? Under the starry night? With darkness as the blanket cover your naked body?

Ong Eu Soon

This is from the developer’s website The predictions and comments of the 1960’s are still echoed today.The number one song in 1969 by Zager & Evans warned of the dangers of our obsession for progress, portraying a future in which the human race would at length be destroyed by its own technological innovation. A sobering thought, you would think, especially at the time man was landing on the moon. The song questions whether man will still be around in the future when he takes so much from the Earth for nothing in return. So why is it that the environment… Read more »


Most unfair to poke at Lim Guan Eng when BN will built 2 nuke reactors and dishing out license to Lynas.

Ong Eu Soon

The escape theme park according to LGe is 20m away from the dam, 3km away from the Penang National Park. Ground saturation and concentrated velocity flow are a major cause of slope problems and landslide triggering. To build a water theme park at a site just 20 m away from the dam, how the developer going to ensure that water from the park will not caused soil saturation due to infiltration of poorly drained water ?


The new malaysian drainage has being in place for more than 10 years with sedimentation and siltation ponds being all over the country. Unless you start to burn them if they are not validated in the Parliament and a law.


A theme park will bring more tourists to Penang. Even the locals can enjoy it. Otherwise, Penang has not much to offer.


I support the project to bring Penang’s tourism industry to the next level as well as a proudly made-in-Penang entertainment product for the locals too.

I as well, do hope that there’s authority to clean up the beaches and bring back the glory. So it’s not just clean the beach and scrap the project, but both are must be done! Besides, the dirty seawater and the built of the theme park is irrelevant, theme park is based on eco forest nature theme, whereas the seawater is just the beach and the sea. It’s two different category in tourism attractions.

antt wang

Wonder why you always pick on what the state government is doing. wonder green ngo’s were so vocal when the previous government was plundering the state? It left me wonder to see so many dubiuos high rised buildings that are clearly not environmentally friendly around. Should we always against development in the name of environment. Like everything else, moderation is good. when it’s biased to extremism it sounds like katak ibrahim in politics . We need development to sustain growth of population and to create employment for all. We wouldnt expect the federal government to feed us Penangites, moreover people… Read more »


antt wang, I agree with what you said. However, I think Anil, like me is concerned about the extremely cheap rate the land is being leased out to the company involved. I mean RM 200k a year for 44 acres seems rather lopsided in favour of the developer. Sure, Penang needs more high impact tourist attractions to keep us on par with our neighbours and do pump in tourist dollar, however, maybe a tender should have been called to see which company could offer the best rental rate for that same piece of land while operating a similar world class… Read more »


And then we go complain about property prices. Goverment must sell/lease at high price and private sector the opposite? Jeeeezzzz…..


The gov represents the people of Penang. When it sells or leases out its land, it is actually leasing out Penangites land. Therefore, if the gov is selling or leasing off the people’s land to private companies like in this case, then it should get the highest price for Penangites. So that the money can then be used to finance other people-centric projects (eg. affordable housing). If on the other hand the gov is selling land or houses to poor yet deserving penangites, then it should be given cheaply because society and the gov must care for the less fortunate.… Read more »


The people of the land are no fools when it comes to economic affairs of the pocket. To those with business interests in Penang, especially in property development, the sky high property prices are taken as (Thee Kong Hor) heaven sent! To those with little money just scrapping by, affordable housing is also Thee Kong Hor! So where is the equilibrium? Are we saying those with money and wealth can do anything to their profiteering fancies? It’s no denying that business is about making money, businessmen or women can influence political intentions of the state with election campaign funds or… Read more »


tunglang, you are absolutely right. It is high time we enrich the locals instead of developers. There should be a cap on luxury properties. The state should ensure adequate affordable housing and also low medium cost housing. Like u said, there must be an end to excessive profiteering at the expense of penangites. Since the theme park is economically viable, develop and lease it at market value. Not at a discount (only 200k a month) while other disadvantaged people have to suffer.


It’s not RM200000 per month… it is RM200000 per year!
With only 8 city shop lots of 200 sq ft each (ground floor, front portion only) one can earn this much without 44 acres of land.

Ong Eu Soon

The problem with LGe is that he (used) RFP and called it open tender. The RFP has no specific criterion for vendors to compete.


Please go ahead with the theme park if Penang want to stay relevant on the tourism map. Already, our seafront is not attractive (however, it was never clean even when I was small, always murky even in the 70s or 80s). If one wants to keep Penang traffic jam free or jungle-clad with no growth, then expect more exodus of our youngsters to Singapore. People at different age think differently. Some commentators here are retirees, and they like to keep Penang back to the 1950s era. But this is the new age. Spare a thought for the youngsters please! We… Read more »


The big question in our minds now is: Should Penang develop unrelentlessly (meaning anything goes) ala Hong Kong’s sardine can or Singapore plastics? Each of us has our own priority about what is good for our well being. Development for work employment: Should job creation base on building more factories, corporate high rises, land-eating enterprises or speculative business models like shopping centres. Or more Satu Lagi Projek enriching only the Barang Naiki cronies and not you and me? Why can’t we focus on Penangite SMEs model of business and job creation – models of entrepreneurship and self reliance. This doesn’t… Read more »


Penang would never turn into Singapore or Hong Kong even if we wish to! These two extreme crowded cities are developed due to geo-political constraints and also of their open imigration policies. They are more of less city states rather than cities within a country. I believe most Penangites would cheer aloud if Penang could turn into a Hong Kong or Singapore one day…and why not? Why keep insisting that Penang should never be like any of the great cosmopilitans? We still have so many hinterlands behind, Prai area, Kedah, Perah etc. Residents not happy with the city vibes could… Read more »


SME – to support which industries? Who are those enterprisers if Malaysian Uni teaches how to Kau Tim Authorities and Kuangsi like in China and no business skills? UMNO Government train everyone to be doctors and graduates and school leaves as mobile phone sellers or peddling DVDs but not trades and vocational skills.


Forget about local unis teaching. Just go out and be entrepreneurs. Work experience is the best teacher of any trade. The cradle to grave milking mentality is outdated in a global economy where time, competitiveness and constant innovation are rules of survival. Which SMEs? Look to tourism industry services. Look to food services. Look to delivery services. BTW, SMEs need not be the back yard sweat shop factories producing goods or spare parts only. And forget about AliBaBa kang tau. Sell yourself to get projects, not wait for projects. Networking. Be affiliates of business or trade groups/organisations. And be ‘Thick… Read more »


How to deliver like Pizza Hut if the roads are jams unless Penang caters for Lone Ranger Visitor? So you need better roads to mass cater for conventions. So Penang is going to have SPICe otherwise the conventions and trade fairs will be held in Nibong tree tops and start a monkey temple. Further, how much wong fei hoong type rumah tumpang can earn and create jobs and expect some vistors to face bed bugs. This SME is like HK model. No more manufacturing and if Hongkies want to stay in HK, either they come shop keepers waiting for May… Read more »


Go walk around inner city George Town and you will see some back lanes refurbished for tourists, bicycles and bikes to ease traffic jams. Pizza Hut bike boys had been delivering for years otherwise, they would have ‘chap lap’ long ago. The same goes for other delivery services who anticipated increase in demand due to increase in online purchases and other new businesses in the pipeline. There are scopes for tourism related businesses to take hold one of which is authentic heritage experience of real life Penang. No jazz up, no plastics like Singland. And you don’t need to compete… Read more »


I worked in one of the SME before. Never really trust them as they are very calculative when it comes to woekers welfare’


You will earn more from them than from any GLC. Want a ‘changih’ looking job with status or want to learn a trade ASAP?
When you are ready with the experience and skills learnt from these calculative SMEs, you can say bye-bye to them and strike out on your own to a life of wealth building.

Syiok Syiok

Suggested eco friendly thematic games/rides @ Penang Theme Park :

a) Escape from Barang Naik Phenomena (i.e burst the inflating balloon before it hits our pockets)

b) Escape from Corrupted Clutches (i.e use the brains to avoid being grabbed by corrupted monkeys)

c) Escape from the raiding cattles (i.e for adults only with a winning prize of RM250 million paper money)

sure heboh !!!!


Also sling-shot game called ‘Angry Rakyat’ …