Province Wellesley or Seberang Perai?


According to the MPSP president, Province Wellesley is still the gazetted name of mainland Penang though the council itself is known as Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP).

When formal documents are required, the Malay text uses Seberang Perai while the English version uses Province Wellesley.

When Maimunah took up her post in MPSP, she said she asked longtime council staff why the council was called MPSP if the gazetted name was Province Wellesley.

The staff replied that that it had been that way for as long as they could remember.

Maimunah made those remarks at the recent Seberang Perai Story forum on Saturday, organised by MPSP, Penang Heritage Trust and Think City.

The MPSP itself was formed after the Local Government Act (Peruntukan-Peruntukan Sementara) 1973 merged three county councils for North, Central and South into the Local Authority Managing Body, Seberang Perai and later, when the Act was passed in 1976, the merged entity was renamed MPSP.

The Butterworth Town Board (upgraded to Butterworth Town Council in 1952) and the three rural councils were first set up by the colonial state government in 1913. In 1962, the Butterworth Council merged with the County Council North.

Both the names – Province Wellesley and Perai – came about at different stages of the history of the territory.

Province Wellesley was named after Richard Colley Wesley (‘Viscount Wellesley’), the British colonial governor general of India (1798-1805). The British East India Company acquired the mainland strip from Kedah in 1800 purportedly in exchange for British protection for Kedah against external attacks.

The strip was later expanded under subsequent agreements, so that mainland Penang today is significantly larger than the original territory acquired, the Seberang Perai Story forum was told.

As for Perai, we will take a look at the possible origins of that name in another post.

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Off topic : We should beware of the opposition rhetoric such as when Jokowi was elected President saying that is the dawn of a new change. Yes after Ubah, now Indonesia has got a 30% increase in petrol price worse than in Malaysia which is only 10%

Don Anamalai

Indonesia paid the hugh price for its racist policy during Suharto era, chasing away the chinese, yet we see Malaysia is repeating the mistake? Just watch out for the circus in the coming Umno General Assembly.


No need to ague as those Umno fellows have eradicated all reference to the British names.
But they still have the liking for one British legacy, namely the Sedition act.

gk ong

At least we see the Penang government is making effort to restore the tombstone of Sir Francis Light – a site that can draw British tourists.


Sir Francis Light statue was shifted from Pg State Museum to unfamiliar places on many occasions without consulting his sleepless soul.
Given a chance, Sir Francis Light statue might retort this:
“Let me walk back to my grave once & for all !”


Typical double-think. Other examples:
– George Town for tourists, Pulau Pinang for citizens.
– Public show of unity and democracy; private practice of privilege, exemption, corruption, inequality and tyranny.
– Effusive advice for the public, but ongoing excuses for failure to perform.