Down memory lane: Penang in 1986


Take a look at this fascinating video. It is the closest thing to catching a glimpse of what life was like on the streets of Penang in the 1980s.

What have we gained and lost since then?

We have lost much of the view of the sea when travelling along the coastal roads of Penang. Much of the sea is now obscured by mostly upmarket condo blocks.

We have lost the efficient ferry service. Ferries used to arrive almost every five to seven minutes during the day. That was the time when we had about 10-12 ferries in service during the day.

We probably had a lot more greenery on the island – and fewer high-density development projects.

How many of you remember the controversy that erupted when the Midlands One-Stop Centre in Pulau Tikus was built in the 1990s. Part of the problem was that it was feared that such a high-density (yes, those were the days when that was considered high density) would result in congestion in Pulau Tikus. Other projects that drew opposition attacks were the construction of a 36-tower condo tower along Gurney Drive (which apparently flouted the structure plan) and the overnight demolition of Hotel Metropole, a heritage building.

Ah, those were the days. Those projects seem like chicken-feed compared to the scale of the mega-projects these days.

One of the larger-than-life figures those days was Kee Phaik Cheen, who has just passed away. Today, we recognise her contribution in putting Penang on the tourism map and her role in getting George Town inscribed as a Unesco heritage site.

In other developments, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is still at it – setting up a national recovery council of sorts. The problem is, much of what ails Malaysia started during the 1980s during his tenure as the fourth prime minister. So really, he shouldn’t be advising the government how to get the country back on track.

The courageous Nathaniel Tan of POWR is into his second day of his hunger strike. Hopefully people will be inspired by his commitment to the cause of creating a better Malaysia.

Pressure is mounting on the government to reconvene Parliament within a week, instead of waiting till September.

But Tony Pua and a few others think there is no harm waiting longer so that justice can be done for the ‘court cluster’.

The thing is, the longer we wait, the worse the situation appears to be getting.

What do you think?

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Shopping Mall concept kills off small retail businesses, many of which are heritage family businesses that cannot sustain ever since.
Ask young post 90s customers if they are willing to shop along the vicinity of Penang Road/Campbell St other than for the food?
Penang Government of past and present have no innovative plans to overcome this phenomena so next GE15 i personally hope a group of independent experts of all disciplines pls do come forward and be elected to make more positive changes to Penang.


Many prefer to hide under NGOs. Why dont you as you wish, as desire or just KBKB and talk about grand dad story about 70s footy?


The present lockdowns are accelerating the process of destroying small businesses and transferring their customers/business to bigger fish including international ones.

Milk Tea

We need a new party that truly represents the Penang people. DAP doesn’t represent us, they are no different than UMNO/MCA. How many of the state officials have already took directorial seats elsewhere? How many pointless projects have already been agreed with for their developer friends?

I argued that Penang being an opposition to the federal is unhealthy for Penangites. We pay the most taxes per capita yet receive the less.

DAP did more harm to us than good. They must go!


Why not you go and start a party? You can go and represent pengland kias and become head for life, if cannot then form into a karakoke party or one ton mee party. There are many here eat, drink and talk about 70s football, They will join you as who cares about thousands gone and millions without jobs and wonder about next meal

Milk Tea

One day Penangites will unite and kick off the traitors that only shriek propaganda and provide nothing for the benefit of the people. You don’t support DAP just because the federal government is useless. That is the lose-lose scenario! Do we want Penang to be filled with shopping malls while we let local businesses to die off?


P brain can shriek and spin better. Local business pay tax to you or Chow or Moo? Local fisher of men get minyak from Chow? P brain cannot think and everything blame on Developer’s party. You even cant form a one ton mee party want to kbkb with p brain talk. Now you claim Federal is useless. Penang fill with shopping because it the market demand which they have carried our university like survey, Why not blame Developer Party for Pengland kias eating McDonalds and KFC? Again Naio Kong?


You said they must go but ask your Gilakan/MCa why they have to buy them over? They very hot and laku wanted your party

Harapan wants MACC to probe alleged attempt to ‘buy’ its MPs (


Its the opposition which is using all kind of tricks to pressure the Government to step down. Just because the PM is humble, they think he can be easily ‘bullied’ into stepping down.  Seriously, the people of the country gave PH the mandate to govern the nation. How did PH get to lose this mandate to govern the nation under its watch. If PH can’t even govern itself, how is it going to govern the nation and protect its people. Clearly, they are just an opportunist lot, with lots of baggage, creating mischief. Naughty fellows. ” The thing is, the longer we… Read more »


Somehow we forgot to give credit to many small towns in Malaysia where time stood still, remain intact with no development for decades. However the residents of these old towns are mostly senior citizens, as their children have migrated to the cities to get jobs.


Ask teh susu. He wants to migrate to PASS KB like the 70s football


“Demolition” of iconic symbols like Hotel Metropole, Gurney Drive seasides, many more and lately Ferries are irreversible actions.

The trouble is majority Penangites are so obediently silent (of course there are few self claimed heroes to protest) to let them happened.

Next to vanish shall be the authenticity of simple yet traditional local food. Because to earn higher profit margins so as to pay rentals (blame it on REITs) many traditional food has been unnecessarily upgrade with fanciful add ons eg fushion with western elements to make simple offerings becoming rojak cuisines.


Not necessary. Smart small traders are now selling their stuff on Shopee, Lazada, Taobao. Instead of paying rent for retail space, they are paying those e-commerce platforms. If you have good products and services, you can even get overseas customers.

The JB’s Kam Long Ah Zai is now exporting its famed fish head curry in frozen packs to Singapore, via online order, after losing walk-in customers to its restaurant due to pandemic.

Must learn to adapt or perish


Nostalgic Penang in 60’s and 70’s


Good idea for use phone to record 2021 scenery of Penang islans.
Then by 2051 we can review it again and may be by then we shall miss many present day condominiums making way for something else?


Tunglang can look forward to the new reboot ‘Fantasy Island’ on TV (or TV Box) soon:


Go and kbkb at your Gilakan/MCa PN gomen. No more orginal hokkien mee or Pengland food. They are now made by Burmese, Bangladeshi and other migrants thanks to BN/PN everyone can enter into the country under teh susu $$


It is never too old to be a hawker maestro.


Ori-60s street food to shriek it out with wyatt a feeling taste!!!!!! For selected few to know (to keep prices in check) for may to find out


Tunlan, which shopping centre in the past state has been eyeing or you half PAST sleep? Tell us otherwise another grumpy old man kbkb. Why Pengland not like KL with more middle and upper class with Gilakan state and BN/PH central gomen? Anyway you still not happy that developers build a dream Condo for you instead of squatting in Wong Fei Hoong Shophouse?


But done nothing to help iconic historic Pengland kias bechahs? Poor GREEN transport and everyone prefers a 4WD with front bull bar