Save Soonstead

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This is a petition by the Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) to save Soonstead:

The heritage of Soonstead is threatened by a proposed 13-storey tower block which would necessitate the demolition of the house’s dining room wing and annexe buildings.

Originally called Northam Lodge, the mansion was built by the prominent architect James Stark in 1911 for the rubber and sugar planter Heah Swee Lee. The house was a focus of George Town’s high society. At the housewarming, the Straits Settlements Legislative Councillor A R Adams congratulated the owner on his ‘splendid domicile’ and the architect on the ‘excellent results’.

Soonstead at 46B Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (formerly Northam Road) is Penang’s leading ‘castle mansion’, setting the fashion for the city’s grand houses. It was emulated by Lim Lean Teng’s Woodville on Northam Road, and the house for Choong Lye Hock’s on Macalister Road designed by Chew Eng Eam.

Today, this iconic mansion is one of the few homes on Penang’s ‘Millionaire’s Row’ still set within its original grounds, which stretch out towards the sea.

With the proposed development, Soonstead would be mutilated and dwarfed by the 13-storey block (11-storey hotel of 108 rooms and 2-storey parking), while its garden setting and relationship with the sea would be lost. Such an outcome would make a mockery of George Town’s status and responsibilities as a Unesco World Heritage Site (WHS). It is important to maintain the architecture and urban setting of George Town’s adjacent historic townscape in sympathy with the WHS as part of our legacy for future generations.

In 1989, MPPP drew up a list of 20 heritage buildings on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah and drafted guidelines for the sensitive development of the area; Soonstead was identified as one of the heritage buildings worth conserving. Yet many developments approved in the last 25 years have compromised the character of ‘Millionaire’s Row’. Soonstead should not become another victim of guidelines being ignored.

The Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) urges the Penang state government and the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) to protect the heritage of Soonstead, and calls for a moratorium on developments on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah until MPPP’s own guidelines and the developments in this area have been reviewed.

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Eng Hock

Taj Mahal entrance fee is nearly RM80 if not mistaken for foreigners. Likewise, tunglang can collect RM8 to enter Soonstead if he finally gets his wish to convert it into a Street Food Museum; but I would say he can lobby to get St. Jo at Gurney Paragon to become a street food museum. Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM) can help him to achieve his dream (both aligned well against CAT).
All the best.

tunglang

Thanks Eng Hock for ‘resurrecting’ my buried passion for Penang’s 1st Street Food Museum.
It’s like drinking hot & aromatic Kopi-O kau kau for the first time after a month in the dark Belum rainforest.

dan k

one moment u whacked him now u thanked him. is this tunglang’s syndrome ?

tunglang

dan k, why be ‘sio-ki’? (translation: lady-sensitive fury)

Life is so short with it’s good & bad, beautiful & ugly, ho-chiah & bo ho-chiah.
It’s like Jeet Kune Do vs Tai Chi sparing which I had in school science lab. A few 1-inch punches & a few Chi-kicks will not kill. Unless the bin-chui ego is bashed.
Call it tunglang’s sparing+kiss+sparing-again.

Syndrome is a human disease symptom created by humans.
Pai-Niau-Kong-Pai-Ka-Jip-Sim-Jip-Nau Syndrome is one of them.
(translation:Pray to CAT until one become cultist)

tunglang

ho chiah: sedap, enak, delicious.
And Anil in Hokkien sounds quite like Ah Niu! (Mr Cow 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

kee

Prinyaka, spot on !!!

Yang

People mind are active and alive like the Chinese saying go. They can think what and when is right to chose and reject not unlike a robot that will forever obey without thinking.

herman

You have very well described our civil servants that are BTNised to ikut perintah without thinking.

Ananars

Please talk some sense. We are talking about politics and choosing a govt. Civil servant which are the same as employees of a firm or company are different. They are paid employees and workers and will have to follow instruction of their superior whoever (BN or PR) run the state or country. . Understood. !!!!.

kee

I find it so funny and laughable, gelakan has ruined penang for the past 18 years, those who have eyes can witnessed that and these same people who voted the useless gelakan out but today saying how nice if we still have gelakan (to run you down ???)

Yawn…

HPT

Some are seeking solace in reminiscing the old days of gelakan when they could not operate under teh CAT system?

kingston

we are talking about Soonstead; how about another soon, Eu Soon who may need your moral support now !

herman

Eu Soon is likely to be fielded as PCM candidate at Ayer Itam in the next GE, since he has got all the needed publicity(?)

Ananars

The issue is not about Eu Soon standing in the next GE. The issue now is PPS a legal entity. The police must investigate whether it is so. The state is now rampant with so many illegal entitiy of bar, karaoke, money lending etc since 308

tunglang

Political militarism on the rise? Copied from Hitler’s Brown Shirts?…

Alsatian dogs look formidable defence against these militant CAT minions!

We condemn ISIS, but the militant action in front of our eyes are conveniently defended unashamed.

Soon Ko, we don’t know what exactly happened on that night of terror.
Let the rule of justice run its course without the blame-game of cowards (who need volunteers) & bluffers.

kingston

Those who want to cherish the eternality of heritage building better set up private fund to save them; and Anil can be great consultant soliciting fund to sustain justice in preserving the so-called heritage. Many like to glamourize abandoned old buildings not knowing the children of those tychoons (with many concubines) want to settle the inheritance splitting the buildings not into bricks but into cash that can be transfered to overseas bank accounts. So the best way is for those who want to preserve them better pool the money to pay those children of heritage building tychoons who have no… Read more »

Don Anamalai

Such colonial building for the rich is a symbol of aristocrats’ lavish living that some poor people could not identify with even today. One way is to make such building accessible to the general public like turning it into museum or performance centre.

Priyanka

I support restoration of vintage building with public fund if they benefit the general public like turning them into public institution (eg wawasan open u for instance). if they are restored by private means, then surely the average folks like us can only admire the exterior facades and seldom have the opportunity to engage in interior activities held for the corporate functions or rich n famous high society (Suffolk House). So before you cry for justice for vintage stuff, think carefully and don’t condemn those who are against conservation/preservation because they create CLASS distinction in Penang like Jho Lows vs… Read more »

Kopi Ong

Think carefully, this high end project will be exclusive and out of bound to average Penang lang. And worse, no more history other than showing off a new style of living.
And worst of all, the beach may be fenced up only the crabs can access.
Think carefully.

Dan

More high end condos then MPPP charge high cukai pintu. Revenues gained go to social causes like helping the poors who can’t cope with high cost of island livings or those who get retrenched out of jobs (eg Fairchild at FTZ Bayan Lepas).

Abandoned old buildings without human occupancy can only invite spirits from different dimension. We can get Aaron from Ghost Adventures (NTV7 Thurs 8.30pm) to communicate with them and put Penang island on world map !

tunglang

Priyanka, your reasoning about class distinction with regards to heritage conservation smacks like an ignorant bigot. Historical assets worth preserving or relived whether they be cultural practices, beliefs, fashion, cuisine or architecture of different strata of society don’t deserve the discriminatory class delineation UHOO-ed to your kind of twisted social class argument like what you decried. Then I supposed destroying the upper class Taj Mahal (an icon of a Love Story excesses) suits your prejudices against the unpalatable Indian Caste system fine! The same goes for banning the lower class Indian betel quid (paan) of leisure chewing & ptui of… Read more »

Ed G

It will be such a waste to destroy or mutilate such a majestic historical building which is connected to the rich history of the island. The Penang government should be more circumspect in their decisions concerning structures, buildings and even communities of historical significance so that the heritage of the place is not denigrated or destroyed; more with the city being officially recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

lst

I bet Anil and co will not complain if the millionaire row of past rich and infamous is demolished for the building of PR1MA estate for the poor in Penang island.

herman

Other sites are mostly available on Seberang Prai but not on the land scarce Penang island since everyone wants to maintain the pristine conditions of the hills and forest, do not want land reclamation, want to preserve middle bank, do not want high rise high density development …

Unless Penangites want to live underground (Subterranean)?
Pantang to some to live underground?

Priyanka

RE : The state govt had Bayan Mutiara land on which it could have built affordable housing on the island but it sold the entire tract to a private developer.

Money earned to be used to develop bigger plot of land at Batu Kawan for affordable housing ??? otherwise wait for Federal government Fund ????

Ananars

There will be 72k affordable houses in Bayan Bay for the people. After you have been notified to see the developer, it will be 200 – 240k.

herman

What about the affordable housing at Sandiland Foreshore, along Jalan CY Choy, just 1.8km from Weld Quay, on the fringe of the city’s Unesco heritage zone?

The project comprises 482 units of medium cost apartments priced below RM400,000, 321 low medium costs flats priced below RM72,500.

Not sure if Anil is aware of this since it is not reported on NST or The Star.

Ananars

Like I said, make sure it is 72k. The 72k become 240k. Wait until its completion. Don`t listen to their lies. Wake up. Get the facts on the ground. To you 400k is affordable and I wonder how many poor can afford it.

Ananars

The end of Jalan CY Choy near to Jalan Sandilnd off shore, is a high end condo 1 millions onward. Or maybe you missed out the so called affordable in SP Chelliah which is not so affordable after all.

HPT

Ananars has confirmed that any low cost housing built on prime land in Penang will subsequently escalated in price due to strong demand, possibly the owners would cash in, leaving no trace of affordability after that?

Ananars

HPT; Exactly because the current CAT govt unlike the previous Gerakan rather (allegedly) took the money of 120k for each unit not built than force the developers to build the 30% of 50k and 72k unit which they are suppose to build under the guideline. Its even worse now. Developer now do not need to build LC and LMC units as their condo and apartment are now built combined with commercial unit on the lower floor. Check every projects from Jelutong, Macalister Road, Perak Lane & Perak Road etc and see whether its true or not

lst

Ask yourself if there is low cost or affordable housing in Iskandar Johor when China developers are building high-end condominiums to serve the rich and speculators. Looks like cities in Malaysia has no place for affordable housing? Retreating to Sungai Petani is becoming an emerging option now!

Ananars

Or do you want me to point to you every projects that is 72k become 200k. Worse part there are 2 agreements to deceive the people. !!

Yang

Soonstead is still standing until Gerakan 2008. 5 years after 308 DAP, Soonstaed will be gone together with one in Macalister Road already gone and another one in Macalister Road corner with high enclosing hiding from the eyes of the people. Peep inside and you will see that the building is like leng put siang leng, kui put siang kui. (human does not look like human, devil does not look like devil meaning does not look like it should be)

kee

I say it again, if today pg is still under gelakan, i tell you, soonstead is history by now…

Seteruk teruknya meow meow is any time better than the wolves that devour all, tulang pun tak nampak.

Ananars

Please don`t tell a story with if and but because it did not happen and have not happen. Can I say if LGE CAT continue with another 10 years Penang will sink down to the bottom of the sea. Talk with facts and logic not assumption

Yang

Ananars : With the CAT it could still happen because there is still 4 more years.
With Gerakan it could not and will not happen because today is not under Gerakan. So the if is an absurd way of saying thing. Its like talking with illusion

tunglang

When Soonstead mansion is going to be ‘chop + plasticised’ ala SingLand Frenzies of the 60s + 70s, seteruknya CAT is anytime better???
You must be drinking Teh Kucing Tak Masuk Akal.
Nevermind you can see Soonstead from a distance (from SP) & still fantasise CAT’s arrogance for all manner & degree of fairness to Penangites. Gosh, what degree of worshipping!

loose

Many malaysians are jealous of Singapore success. Singapore have achieved high income status with good public housing program in place. No need to show your sour grape feelings when you see the PAP helps its poor with CPF top-up scheme and strings of social benefits. You will never know the truth unless you have live in Penang, and not merely hear the half-truth of NST and Utusan.

Penang Ho Lang

Tunglang lives in Penang unlike some as far as SP.
loose, don’t shoot like a loose canon of Esplanade.
The topic here is about heritage conservation and nothing to do with your canons!
Anyway, Lee Kuan Yew did regret some of his measures to ‘destroy’ its Asian heritage in the pursuit of US consumerism.

tunglang

there’s a saying: can’t see the wood for the trees.
In this case, may I put it politely but realistically: can’t see the bluffing + arrogance for the CAT.
Cheers Kopi-O kau kau in sync with your Teh Kucing Tak Masuk Akal.

Supercally

BN Gerakan MPPP drew up a list of 20 heritage buildings on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah and drafted guidelines for the sensitive development of the area; Soonstead was identified as one of the heritage buildings worth conserving. DAP Kuching MPPP tore up the list

Don Anamalai

What about those heritage buildings at Jalan Sultan in KL making way for the MRT project?
The traditional trade is demolished along the way and high rise mixed development is taking over?

It is happening everywhere in Malaysia, nothing to do with CAT.

Penang always OWC Penang

Sweeping comparison shows how shallow your brain cells are.
Of course you don’t live in Penang.

Ananars

The heritage building in Jalan Sultan will still be intact once the MRT project is completed. The building are not to be demolished but the residents will have to make way for the underground to be done

herman

You can attack the opinion, but not the person (Anil, pls take note).
We can see who has shallow brain cell.

tunglang

Under Gerakan, old beautiful & graceful buildings were like ‘grandmothers & grandfathers’ respected by the people & leadership. The Metropolitan Hotel (formerly Asdang House) which was demolished in the dead of night (just like what happened to Madame Pykett) gave Gerakan a hard lesson not to be repeated.
Now, under this deceptive CAT, more & more timeless heritage (Thais, Chinese, Eurasians) buildings are (undermined) in the name of Cosmopolitan Penang. It seems this CAT has no respect for ‘grandmothers’ & ‘grandfathers’ of Penang Heritage.
Time to teach this CAT a lesson.

kingston

Latest preservation is the Weld Quay’s Rice Miller (now become boutique hotel and private suites). Like tunglang has said, no money no talk in Penang Cosmopolitan development. Want to preserve and maintain heritage building in present era requires $$$$$$$$. My friends who can’t tolerate such demolition and have no say bbecause no $$$$$$$ so quietly left the island seeking serenity in mainlands. The offsprings of Penang Heritage’s Grandpas & Grandpas, most of them have taken the fortune and now live not in Bolehland but elsewhere; and they are thankful to tunglang for voicing on their behalf to clear off thier… Read more »

Speedy Gonzalez

I fully support the modernization of Penang. 13-storey tower block is a symbol of greatness. The majority of Penangites want it. True story.

ABU
UBAH
Ini kalilah

Ananars

Compare it with 65 storey and 88 storey. Even my condo is 41 storey. The true story is ABU, UBAH and Ini kalilah are one great DECEPTION

herman

Do not forget during the Gerakan era, many roads with colonial references were renamed to local names. There exists certain quarters in Malaysia that are determine to erase their colonial memories, and demolishing colonial buildings is one of their way.

Penang always OWC Penang

Road names can be changed back to original, but original heritage buildings cannot be revived or resaurrected. Pls take note.

Yang

To save Soonstead we must save Penang and to save Penang we must make sure the CAT go

Eng Hock

Such one-line statement from Yang just shows his IQ & EQ levels, no wonder most readers (not necessarily CAT lovers) will buy his thoughts.
Should use his property selling techniques to woo more readers to accept his viewpoints ?

Yang

I am more straight to the point. Whether CAT lover or not buy the point, the point is that I am telling the truth and facts. The people must think hard whether the CAT has really done anything at all for the people of Penang safeguarding its heritage and Pearl of the Orient. We rather be bodoh as some alleged to safeguard our place from an outsider that is arrogant and know next to nothing about it. Whether we are bodoh to go against the current CAT and govt and support the predecessor is another thing but we must not… Read more »

tunglang

Should use his property selling techniques to woo more readers to accept his viewpoints ?

What are you troll-trying to suggest?
People have subjective brains to think what is right from wrong.
Comments are for expressing personal viewpoints or dissatisfaction, not for wooing strangers to be more popular just like your CAT Deity. Grow up, Eng Hock. Unless you yourself have no ounce of self dignity or bravery to say the unpopular.

By the way, Lorong Garu is a nice place to practice your style of wooing customers like back alley night cats.

tunglang

As I said earlier (last year) that Penang Island will be like a ‘joss-sticks’ island, a testimony to the frenzied development of tall condos lining the shoreline of once tranquil & nice to the eyes Penang Island. The mindless pursuit of such development is a slap on the face of UNESCO’s recognition of George Town & a reckless town planning at the calls of greedy developers full of fancies in their heads. Never mind it (the joss stick condos) metaphorically speaking could be another form of display of frenzied CAT-worshipping for cosmopolitan development at the expense of Penang’s unique social,… Read more »

Eng Hock

Penang island apprently not a place for your soul anymore.
Bukit Mertajam is too seedy for you.
Sungai Petani still a better choice.

Boh Hoo Hair Ya Ho

May be Sungai Bakap another alternative for Mr T ?

Sg Bakap not at frenzied phase of concrete cosmopolitan development. Assuming you are retiress in late 50s or early 60s, Sg Bakap will remain as it is during your lifetime.

Gua Bo Chap Cheng

Hokkien has a saying: …!
Eng Hock, I think you better get a Bangladeshi chabor for your … for Penang.
Lu bo heritage, hope your ancestors don’t turn in their graves!!!

kingston

Chap Cheng mean 10 species in one DNA !
Just like the colonial heritage many people still idolised not knowing their ancestors may once succumb to the redicules of the British/Dutch Masters like Slaves !

herman

Ang Mo Sai worships Colonial British and its legacy.
Ang Mo P… P… pun kong pang (K… Mat Salleh pun cakap wangi).