A tourist’s impressions of Penang

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Beyond the glossy brochures of Penang boasting of sandy beaches and promising an unforgettable stay, what do tourists actually make of the place?

Blog reader Sean describes his recent experience on the island. Notice that the need for proper and unobstructed pedestrian walkways figures prominently in his impressions of the place:

It wasn’t awful! There are bits and pieces that are quite good, but it didn’t give us the impression of a proper tourist destination – more somewhere that had moved on from being popular with tourists and had its sights focussed elsewhere now. Perhaps we were just not Penang Tourism’s target market. We were impressed by Rapid Penang – with two small kids, the reliable, clean, cool, inexpensive buses with their cheerful, helpful drivers were marvellous. The ‘frequency’ schedule was great for us on holiday, but I guess it might not be ideal if you’re commuting to work.

I think my biggest difficulty with some of the better-known South East Asian tourist destinations (not just Penang, though I think Penang was among the worst in this aspect) was that it was almost impossible to walk anywhere. You can’t really ‘experience’ a holiday destination – particularly on a short visit – from the inside of a taxi. We have to drive a lot in our day-to-day lives, so we expect to be able to really relax and walk around on holiday.

I did have to laugh, while dodging the obstacles on the destroyed path along Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah (in contrast to the path along Jalan Kelawei?), about the only other people we saw trying to walk along it: other tourists! We live at PD, so Batu Ferringhi seemed a familiar experience. It seems like the beaches don’t have quite enough people caring that they should be great places at which families can relax to prevent them being taken over by people racing speedboats and jetbikes up and down close to the shore, and people racing quadbikes on the sand. Those activities always mean that a tiny number of people monopolise the beach. Perhaps a few people running those businesses make a small amount of money, but I suspect the loss to the tourism industry from people who can’t enjoy a safe, peaceful holiday is far greater than that gain.

I really enjoyed the old places where we ate between the newer buildings . The old place between Tune Hotel and the new Food Court was the kind of thing I expected. Eating at the pasar malam on Gurney Drive was good too, but crossing the road outside was a bit of a nightmare. I don’t mind eating at Starbucks or Old Town when I’m at Jaya Jusco or the airport, but it’s not what I go on holiday for. The laksa (with no plastic chairs, tables, bowls nor utensils!) near the T-junction below Kek Lok Si (so many elderly beggars) Temple was superb. We saw too many temples – perhaps a poor choice on our part. The kids were bored stiff, and even we were “uh-uh, more temple” by the end. We enjoyed a trishaw ride, but worried about such an old man and obviously poor emissions controls on exhausts. My wife was obviously concerned – she didn’t haggle over the generous fare (I won’t tell you how much we paid to go 500 metres) – a very rare event!

Street signage was something we appreciated. It makes a huge difference when you’re trying to find your own way between the attractions that you can easily find out where you are. I think Penang Tourism could do themselves and Penang a big favour if they just got out their sun-hats and string bags for a week and attempted to walk around Penang as a tourist would, and try not to keep a friend in a car waiting near the kerb – as a tourist can’t.

Bangkok (or was it Chiang Mai?) does a good job of mapping out a network of quiet side-streets and alleyways that are kept in good condition where its possible to get around on foot – maybe Penang could consider something similar. Just having some sort of consistent path between adjacent buildings that isn’t used for motorbike parking or as a business extension might be sufficient.

On the subject of whose fault it is, I honestly think Penang should be honest (not finger-pointing) with tourists and rather than just provide a glossy list of attractions, some of which are shut or were photographed and described in what I can only imagine were better days, actually say that some places are either ‘undergoing repair’ or are ‘earmarked for badly needed restoration’ or such similar phrases whose real meaning will not be lost on visitors. The problem with marketing that doesn’t accurately describe reality is that it can raise expectations which leave a lasting bad impression if disappointed.

I think it would be interesting for tourists (and perhaps even for locals!) to see a comprehensive plan for Penang tourism that includes not only the highlights, but also those areas where planned improvements might make a return visit more likely. If a comparison helps (and I know I’ve only made short visits to these two), while I’m in no hurry to return to Penang, I’m looking forward to a second visit to Melaka. Melaka seems like a much smaller destination than Penang, but I found it much more amenable to me as a tourist – I think the large pedestrian areas may have made all the difference.

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Alvin Soh

My family from Singapore has just visited Penang. The place is now much better in terms of tourist signage in various language. Keep up the good job!

Ken Wong

What the PR Government in Penang need to do is run a really clean Government, find ways and means to attract investments, especially from overseas, and promote tourism. Instead of too much politicking, please concentrate on tackling the problems (including those left over by the previous Government) and take bold measures, as being done by the Selangor State Government, to overcome the problems. At the end of the day, a prosperous electorate is always a happy and supportive electorate. Propaganda and politicking do not work in the long term. It is crucial that Penang succeed as it is being watched… Read more »

Kam See

I am a Singaporean. Penang should target Singaporeans who can spend money to help your tourism industry. I suggest you do promotion in Singapore independent from the Malaysian tourism board who is only interested in promoting certain culture only. Singaprean will appreciate the Peranakan culture after the success of the TV series ‘Little Nyonya’. It has made Malacca very popular among hte Singaporeans. You have one very good Peranakan Museum as featured in the Amazing Race. Your Penang chinese food will be a hit among Singaporeans, though the standard of hygience in food preparation must be improved. With frequent flight… Read more »

tunglang

Kam Kee, thanks for your good, creative and alternative suggestions. We Penangites should know where our rice bowl comes from – Singaporean tourists. Among Asean, Singaporeans spend the most while visiting Malaysia. And we already knew for a fact, and that’s part of the reason for the daring alternative branding of Visit Penang Year ’99 which strategically focused on the “Timeless Impressions” emphasising affordable holiday in old world charm Penang with catchy visual brand icons on things Peranakan (which in actual fact is a blend of Malay and Chinese cultures) and diversity of colorful cultures and festivals. That memorable branding… Read more »

K

Kam See

I think you have missed the point here. There is no Peranakan culture in Penang anymore. It is all only one culture with the minorities being driven and their culture being wiped out out of the Island…

LGE already been spending too much time in Singapore selling high-end condos.

Thanks but no thanks. We would rather not sell more condos to foreigners and make the poor and middle class go homeless.

We want tourists but we want those we appreciate the heritage and historical aspects of Penang.

Saujana

Actually it is not so much of Singaporeans buying up high-end condos in Penang, but those Penangites who have been working in Singapore as PRs. I think it is natural for them to want to return home. A typical 3-bedroom 1000 sq ft HDB flat in Singapore would cost at least S$300k (or RM790K). so the price of Penang condo is relatively affordable to them. Indirectly we can woo back our lost talents and their children to contribute to Penang. It is a simple economics – supply vs demand. Those who find Penang island too expensive to live can move… Read more »

Sabri

Penang should slowly move away from manufacturing (no point debating about falling FDI becuase those MNCs are not coming back) but to be more service-oriented. That’s why Tourism is one sector to be capitalised. Let’s focus on multi-cultural aspects of Penang where the ‘harmony street’ has mosque, temple, church all in close proximity. This is something that no other country can replicate easily. Another tourist attraction in Penang that is unique is Kek Lok See Temple. It is marvellous. Make the tourist stay as many days as possible per visit. You must have an integrated plan so that the tourist… Read more »

kee

Ken, i really appreciate your calling for a more sensible, intelligent, cultured and civilised manner of posting comments in Anil’s blog.

However, i wonder that is possible …

Yes, it is very annoying to have some venomous behaviour here as they are not discussing anything but conveniently spewing venom at Lim Guan Eng or PR government @ Anil’s blog.

Their reasons for so doing are best known to themselves. They may not know actually it reflects badly on them.

Please read tunglang above. Thks !

A happy weekend to all !!!

Kamil

Those connected with the previous government are really sore because they cannot cari makan under the new CAT system. Unfortunately they vent their frustration on this blog.

tunglang

What else these sour grapes can do?
Tak creative nor competitve nak cari makan the honest, respectable way!

Ken Wong

Thanks, Anil. May your blog continue to be the place for all who believe in justice, democracy and humanity, to exchange ideas and develop their mind.

Ken Wong

Anil, Yours has always been an unbiased blog providing room for calm, polite, intellectual discussion on democracy. But looking at the quality of the comments, with all the name calling, vindictive statements and immature and emotional outbursts, especially by those who hate the DAP, I, as a neutral Penangite, feel somewhat ashamed to have contributed to this discussion. Anil, would appreciate if you could review all the comments made here and if you think what I say is reasonable, you can perhaps make a call to your readers to argue intellectually, without spewing so much hatred. I believe that the… Read more »

tunglang

Anil, some comments are making assumptions much to the edge of ridicule and aggressive fancies-based accusation without facts and figures to back up. One example is the tourism promotion by Tourism Malaysia for Penang. We Penangites know for a fact what’s being promoted via TVCs, Billboards, Press Ads, and Radio which didn’t connect with Penang’s state tourism campaign. One example is the Visit Penang Year ’99. Also, some sour grapes, due to ‘hardship’ (no ‘khang thou’) faced under LGE leadership decided to attack what’s good LGE has achieved so far. Sure there is no perfect performance expected of LGE or… Read more »

Rima

To those who think Penang has accomplished God knows what during KTK’s time, ask ourselves sincerely: has Penang progressed? Ask the businessmen in town. Ask the middleclass. Ask the hawkers.

ANSWERS TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS: NO.

K

Accusations without facts and figures ? Investors more confident ? When then Penang’s FDI dropped like a stone compared to other states (FDI inflow dropped by 80%)? Why Penang is now been beaten by Sabah, Sarawk and Perak ? Chairman Lim being attacked for lack of “khang tou” ? Do you have facts and figures to support your accusations? This Cheap Minister only preaches CAT but not practices it. It is all talk and talk. You can complain about Najib but LGE runs Penang like a dictator. He accuses others of being little Napoleon but he himself behaving like Napoleon… Read more »

tunglang

Get your facts right! Get it from investPenang. The figures speak for investors’ confidence. They are in contact with MNCs so they know better than you. Penang’s FDI did drop slightly BUT not drop 80%. 80% is an overall national figure which is even challenged by our International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed. Good for Sabah and Sarawak. They have been neglected far too long. Perak is still in the doldrum. Last I spoke to a Perakian, he said nothing much is happening in Perak despite with all the hoo-hah. In fact it is on the downslide… Read more »

K

tunglang

I think you forgot that this issue of 80% drop in FDI for Penang was hotly discussed a few months ago and LGE himself had admitted this.

The FDI for Malaysia dropped 80% based on nett FDI. But if we calculate nett FDI for Penang I think it would be even more than 80% drop.

So obvious CAT has failed miserably even compared to Sabah, Sarawak and other states.

There was a few letters and articles on Penang’s disasterous FDI performance. You can do a google search to enjoy these hammering of your beloved Dear Leader Lim.

Sabri

Hello K.

The drop of FDI was actually the results of poor performance of Gerakan. The lagging effect will take 2-3 years and is only felt after Pakatan took over.

Anyway Electronics MNCs are shying away from Malaysia because of the lower cost in Vietnam and China where the contract manufacturers like FoxConn and literally manufacture anythign a much lower cost (not counting on human lives lost on suicide). Penang has bee havig the most number of elctronic MNCs.

Pearl

It is nice to agree while disagree but Mr. Anil, you can check back the comments I have made and I have not even once use languages like “Ignorant Fools” or whatever to describe the machais.

On the other hand, them machais have done that to me and others who have disgreed with their blind loyalty towards Lim Guan Eng.

Frankly speaking I do not see any “reminder” from you to the machais when they use all those not-so-nice words against the other posters.

MA-CHAI

It is not about loyalty to who, but in appreciation to the one can can contribute to the progress of Penang.

DG

K, Lim Dynasty in Penang, can mean any “Lim ” .
So many Lims’ in politics.

Franklin Oei

It is quite obvious reading the comments that there are still quite a few Gerakan supporters in Penang. I am not saying that you are one of them, Anil. However, it is also quite obvious that your blog (unwittingly or not)has become an outlet for the release of pent up frustrations from many of these guys. Many of the comments above (e.g. K, Pearl, Ong Eu Soon) are bereft of substance and contain nothing but venom toward LGE and the Penang State Govt. References to ‘Chairman Lim’ are unnecessary and reflect the partisanship of many of the commentators in this… Read more »

Ah Nang

I agree with Mr Oei. During KTK’s time, there was no blog or internet where people to voice their displeasure. Try writing to mainstram press and you know you are wasting your postage (no email at that time). Therefore the displeasure of rakyat is not so evident as it could be easily brushed aside or masked by those propaganda-laced mainstream papers like The Star and NST. Much of the current predicaments and problems in Penang are the legacy of Gerakan’s inefficient and poor management/leadership. It will take time to undo especially the civil servants are still holding on to old… Read more »

K

Ah Nang

Ya right, we should all fully support Chairman Lim and each morning must pledge our undying loyalty and love to our Great Leader….

Long Live the democratic state of Penang. Long Live Dear Leader Chairman Lim !!

K

Why not make our dear CM as the Supreme Leader for life and give him dictatorial power that so he could do whatever he deems fit to “develop” Penang….

Let’s give DAP 50,heck even 100 years to undo all the problems that BN created. Heck, just give Lim dynasty the right to rule Penang for next 1000 years.

Yes, let’s have the Lim Dynasty in Penang….

Ken Wong

K, What I said to Anil is very clear i.e. if the bashing is fair and constructive, why not? It does not matter whether it is the DAP State Government or the BN Government that is being bashed. If the DAP Government proves to be worse than the BN Government, by all means, throw them out. The same should be applicable in the case of the BN Government. This is democracy. In the case of the Penang State Government, my only appeal is that the DAP be given a bit of time to show whether they will reach the required… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Can you believe or not that a simple article, that voice out the concern of a tourist, can attract so much hostility from LGE supporters? If we can’t even talk about simple issue without fear or favor, what is the point of changing the government? Why do we need another incompetent and stupid government? From the above comments you can easily sense the hostility of those stupid brainless supporters. Why so k bo?

K

Ong…It is called as the Pakatan doctrine…Let me produce the new 10 Commandments. 1. You are either with us or against us. 2. You can criticise as much you want, as long as it is against BN. 3. Pakatan leaders are above law and can do no wrong 4. There is nothing illegal or unethical as long as it is by Pakatan 5. You have the right to vote..but only for Pakatan 6. When the courts rule against PR it is because they are under BN. If courts rule for Pakatan it is because Pakatan is always right 7. You… Read more »

Mahendran

Penang needs good world-wide publicity.

If KL gets Martha Stewart & Robert DeNiro, Penang can get Paris Hilton & Jamie Foxx to come over.

As a former Penangite, probably billionaire Low can arrange that with LGE ??

Fardi

Get Mark Burnett to shoot ‘Survivor – Pulau Jerejak’!!!

kl_boy

Let’s not just blame authorities, i think we are also at fault. Sean pointed out some of the obvious such as parkings, rubbish and maintenance. I don’t think it’s just BN / PR govt that commits such offenses, all of us did (please…….how many here actually believe they are not guilty of these offences). We need to change the mindset, if your loved ones and friends sees that you don’t commit it, they slowly won’t too (its not immediate but its a start) My call to Penangites: Your home is Penang, not the house / flat that you stay in.… Read more »

Ken Wong

Anil,

Yes,what you say makes good sense. As long as the criticisms are fair and do not have the hidden agenda of underminibg the present State Government for the purpose of enabling a regime change, why not? Anil, I presume, like me, you would not consider the constant UMNO-style bashing of the State Government as constructive and for the purpose of improving the Government. I am happy that some of the others, including Kee, agree with me. Regards.

K

Ken

Let me get this right. Are you saying it is OK to bash BN left right and center both at home and overseas to bring about a regime change BUT IT IS NOT OK to criticise Penang and DAP govt to effect a change in the state administration ??

K

Great and fair comments by Sean. I think Sean been very kind in his comments. Some others have been less diplomatic and did not mince their words. I ahve read letters where people swore never to visit Penang again. My concern for Penang is not so much on what we have now but the direction we are heading. Our Cheap Minister Chairman Lim has been promoting development above everything in order to “promote rapid econmic growth and FDI”. He also been going overseas with begging bowls in his hands asking Singaporeans and Hong kies to “invest” in the state’s property… Read more »

Fardi

Why so many condos in Penang.
The answer is demand from people outsie Penang.

Why is there a demand?
Because it is a good place to live in.

Why is it a good place to live in?
We all should know the answer except people like Pearl.

Ahmad Syafiq

Of course Fardi. Economic principles. Who can ever ignore them at their peril? Supply = Demand. No supply, no demand, simple as that. =)

K

Fardi

Good point. Let’s exile every poor and middle class people from Penang to Kedah or Perak and just fill the whole island with condos.

CAT – Condos Apartment Townhouses
DAP – Development Above People

Fatimah

It is the BN’s policy that has made the poor and middle class people suffer. They are living ‘happily’ (syiok sendiri) when the likes of Cambodia and Vietnam is still struggling to come to terms from the effect of war. They enjoy the subsidies like birth rights. They received sub-standard education despite scoring strings of As. They do not upgrade themselves to advance their career opportunity. Now FDI is decreasing. MNCs are moving out of Malaysia. These people lost their jobs and are facing structural unemployment with no savings other than EPF. Now the rich people outside Penang are coming… Read more »

Ahmad Syafiq

I like your level-headed response in addressing the issues raised by Gerakan K.

I’ll like to see you try exiling those poor and middle income people from Penang, Gerakan K. It’ll be interesting to see how they will respond to your ‘policy’. (Shooting out of the mouth without thinking about the feelings of poor and middle income people)

K

Even if you half-baked theory is correct, when then the state under Cheap Minister allowing more and more condos being developed and sold to foreigners ? If he cares for the poor and middle class shouldn’t he introduce some legislation to protect these groups like Rent Control Act,etc ? The fact is the Chairman Lim himself is actively promoting these condos so that foreign money can come in as FDI and show he’s “successful” in developing Penang. If he cares for the poor then why did (his administration allow) KBP (to give way) for a luxury-condo project ? In fact… Read more »

Jill

Certain streets need to be pedestrianised so that tourists can walk around. I totally agree with the lack of paths and indeed in Macau which is where i live also, we have the same problem. This is something the local council needs to bear in mind and do something about. I also like the hop on/off buses that are prevalent in European countries for tourists. They need to see the sights, not spend hours in traffic jams being on limited time. My one and only visit to Penang Tram was sufficient not to make me wish to return in a… Read more »

Fatimah

Penang councillors can take Bas Expres to Signapura for ‘Lawatan sambil Belajar’, but stay in JB hotel to save cost – also provide a perspective appreciate why Johor government never capitalise on its proximity to learn from Singapore.

Ahmad Syafiq

Lol…Probably Johor thinks it’s way more advanced than Singapore? ;P Hehe.

DG

LGE is no “saint” but it’s obvious where their loyalty is, not Penang, when same-same ppl keep bashing or picking on LGE, never anything nice to say….even when he has done some good for Penang. So before accusing ppl for “blind loyalty” look in the mirror and ask ourselves are we “witch hunters” or a ” little devil in disguise”
Perhaps, we are even guilty of “blind loyalty ” to the opposition, I mean the present opposition party in Penang. And why not ? They are the opposition, so they will oppose…right ? It’s their job.

JusticenEquality

The main issue here is the “tug of war” between the PR State Govt & the Tourism Ministry concerning the promotion of Tourism to Penang.

How can you have a “Visit PENANG YEAR 2010” when,for instance,S’poreans in general DOES NOT know about it?? No ads in their mainstream newspapers, TV and other media. Only their officer like Mr Teoh will often come to S’pore during their Travel Fair[Twice a year]. He will take that opportunity to visit the Travel Agents to promote Penang. Thats about it.

tunglang

Penang state gomen under the excellent guidance of Madam Kee Phaik Cheen did an excellent branding for Visit Penang Year 1999. That campaign alone created an unforgettable impression on foreign tourists with the tagline: “Timeless Impressions” which set the motion for Penang’s future promotional icons and symbolism. After that year, the branding changed! Brand continuity was not taken into consideration and foreign tourists with the unforgettable experience were confused and wondering what happened. It is frustrating for Penangites and tourism industry players when Penang tourism promotion is not sufficiently funded, properly implemented and brand-cared for, locally and internationally. It is… Read more »

K

Do you think Penang is the only state in Malaysia ? There are other 13 states FYI.

Tourism Malaysia does not exist solely to promote Penang. Wake up. The world does not revolve around Penang.

tunglang

Penang brings in SUBSTANTIAL tourist dollars compared to other states and for so many years already. The gomen also gains in terms of taxes from so many tourism-related industries and national exposure due to UN Heritage recognition. So what’s wrong to highlight more (compared to existing MEAGRE exposure) on Penang tourist attractions (since it is a world heritage site) to garner more diversified tourists to come to Malaysia? Heritage recognition is our national (not a state) strategic advantage which we should maximize instead of taking an indifference attitude for whatever dubious/self-defeating reasons! Only a fool will not do anything or… Read more »

kee

Ken, am with you. You are fair with your comments – 50 years of BN’s rule and with no criticism whatsoever compared with less than 3 years of PR/DAP over Penang and with so much of adverse criticisms on Lim Guan Eng… Those who have eyes will agree that Penang has indeed improved generally as a whole, and Lim Guan Eng is only taken over slightly more than 2 years, and our criticism on him is like he has to transform Penang overnight??? Fair??? Anyway, except a few sour grapes here, maybe they are related to Dr Koh or Dr… Read more »

Mutiara

Ken cakap memang benar.
Kerajaan Penang & Pusat perlu memperbaiki “pedestrian walk” supaya senang orang (terutamanya pelancung yang tak giti biasa denagan jalan raya di Penang) berjalan.
Saya masih ingat waktu saya buat survey untuk Tourism Malaysia 9 tahun dahulu di airport. Kebanyakan pelancung luar agak kesal dengan “pedestrain walk” yang tak sama rata & susah untuk “movement” terutamanya untuk mereka yang sudah berusia.
So MPPP haruslah memberi prioriti untuk membaik-pulih “pedestrian walk” di Penang.
Sekian terima kasih.

frags

I remember in my school days walking around Penang. Well sections of the city. More specifically around the Hospital area as we used to go to Penang Sports Club for Cricket practise. Ah the old days(this was in the 90’s). These days when I go back to Penang, I’m reminded how the island has become a gridlock with traffic congestions. But I’m some what pleasantly surprised to see how the cleanliness has improved. I personally would love to see more emphasis put on public transport, reducing the number of cars, and yes make it easier for people to walk around… Read more »

Ken Wong

Thanks, Anil, for your reply. I am a Penangite who loves Penang. I am of the opinion that after 50 years of BN rule in Penang, we have nothing to lose by giving DAP a chance to run the State Government. What I fear above all else is that the continuos nit-picking and fault finding against the present State Government could be blown out of proportion, resulting in a return to the old regime. I say that the DAP should be given sufficient time to prove themselves. They are new at this game and have only run the Government for… Read more »

K

Nothing to lose ? You have everything to lose by letting such incompetent as LGE to rule the state. It is not like we are like Kelantan. We are the most industrialised and 2nd richest state. At this rate, even … Kelantan will beat us in a decade if Cheap Minister is in power.

Ahmad Syafiq

That is an exaggeration K. Kelantan’s oil royalty has been held back by the federal government. How would you expect them to overtake Penang in terms of development? The state government of Kelantan for the last 20 years has been running on a tight budget, and being prudent as possible. But that doesn’t mean they can’t help the people. They have always served the people, which is why PAS has helmed Kelantan since 1990, despite only having Internet penetration of around 10-15%. They don’t even need to look at blogs nor do they really read Utusan Malaysia. Most of their… Read more »

K

Oil royalty is an excuse. How many states in Malaysia enjoy oil royalty. Melaka, NS and Johor do not yet they are far ahead of Kelantan.

Ahmad Syafiq

But of course, you tend to forget that Malacca, NS and Johor are under BN rule. Obviously the BN federal government will release a lot of funds to those BN-led states. Why the double standard? All states, regardless of who is helming the state government, should be treated equally, which means, state governments will be in control of the funds given to them by the federal government, depending on how much tax payers in each state contribute to the federal government. Thus, there should be a restructure of federal-state relations in this case. If you are the PM Gerakan K,… Read more »

Ken Wong

Anil, From the comments made by your readers, I gather that you could be a Gerakan Party member or a closet Gerakan supporter. Is this true? If this is so, then I can understand your fixation with the failings of the Penang State Government. The relatively large number of articles you have presented about the ills of Penang gives the impression that other State Governments are performing well, compared with the DAP Government in Penang. Until recently, I have had very high respect for your blog and admire your unbiased analysis. I am not a member of any political party… Read more »

Ong Eu Soon

Poor poor Anil, finally you have been accused as a closet Gerakan supporter. Seem like after 308, if we still critised those in power, we are all bad bad guys. End of the day, I can bet with all those DAP supporters that Anil will vote for the lesser evil even if he is reluctant to do so. What choice do we have? BN ? LGE? Both are bad, but one of them is a lesser evil which we really don’t like.

soohuey

Ken, Part of why Malaysia is in such a mess is because too many blindly supported BN for too long. Now, just because people want BN out, too many are blindly supporting PR components too. Blind support for any one party (or any one person) is not healthy. For me, I love Penang and for the betterment of Penang, I will voice myself whenever something is not up to standard in Penang, regardless of who is in government. Just because a person points out areas for improvement in Penang, does not make him/her a Gerakan supporter. Simply a Penang supporter,… Read more »

Ahmad Syafiq

Najib (allegedly) stole (someone’s) idea in setting up the TIA. Full stop.

Ong Eu Soon

After 308, if you critise those in power especially those in Penang, you will be labelled as BN supporter. A guy told me he respect my right to vote for any party I wish. When I started critising the power that be in Penang, he immediately accusing me of try to bring BN back to Penang. This is a guy who used to call me buddy! This kind of story used to happen to PAS before 308. Now it is our turn to play this stupid and silly game. For far too long, Malaysians used to support BN without questioning.… Read more »

K

Ong It is a poor reflection of Malaysians’ political maturity that people like you are being accused as “enemy of the state” or anti-Chairman Lim. Rather than encouraging non-political and impartial critics like you, these Pakatan supporters work hard to suppress any traces of dissent. I admire your independent spirit and guts to stand up for what’s right for Penang and Malaysia even though I might not always agree with what you say. I think it is probably Penang’s karma that we have been punished by having LGE as the CM. The kind of destruction that he has inflicted on… Read more »

Pearl

Dear Mr. Wong, If you think Mr. Anil is doing a bad job why don’t you start your own blog proclaiming how wonderful Lim Guan Eng is? In your own blog you can highlight how wonderful Lim Guan Eng’s each and every single action is. You can also point out to the world that no one else can do what Lim Guan Eng can do – even his machine-gun mouth is superbly qualified to be listed in the Book Of Malaysian Records. Go on and start your own blog, Mr. Wong. Don’t get disappointed by Mr. Anil’s blog. Start your… Read more »

Fardi

Pearl

Can you list some specific achievement from Gerakan and KTK that the current Penang government should emulate?

tunglang

I don’t think so. Not an ounce to show for the 18 years under KTK.
Answer this, Pearl? Gerakan K?

Talk is cheap, isn’t it?

K

Ken…

It is so typical of Pakatan..it is always “you are either with us or against us”.

You want fairness ? Why then only get riled up when Anil’s critical of Penang govt and not when he whacks the Federal govt or Sarawak CM ?

Roger Gordon

As an American expatriate living here for past 5 years, I would say the present Penang government has done better tourism work compared to previous one; although i must say they can still deliver more (productivity is sadly lacking in general in Malaysia). For instance, there are more culturally balanced, diversed and interesting Tourism Brochures generated lately compared to the “lack original and sincerity” brochures produced in the past. Penang must identify its uniqueness and sell that to the world. I understand it’s not easy as Penang is trapped in promoting heritage (tradition) vs development (commercialism). So some creativity is… Read more »

Zakaria

Well said.

If you go to Melbourne, they have many readily-made 1-day, 2-day trips with itinerary for you to choose.

Penang should have such facility since our public transport are not that advanced for the tourists.

Iman

The most telling part in this story is to read the comments, they mostly blames the government. The government does not do this or that, past or present. Well, the government probably does not park their bikes and cars everywhere, does not litter all over the place etc. Infra structure in general may be a government responsibility, but the daily up-keeping has a lot to do with the local individuals. If each individual put a little more effort in keeping tidy and clean up ‘own’ mess, perhaps some resources (money and man-power) may be freed up to improve the underlying… Read more »

MatSentul

There r at least 3 different categories of tourists coming to Penang. One that stay at feringghi belt of 4-5 star hotels; prefer cozy setting and majority don’t venture out but stay at beach resort ==> money spent mainly for established big corporations. Another one r those backpackers along Chulia St/Rope Walk (picking back it’s 70’s pace) who r more daring to try out whatsoever along the alleys/5 foot way/DVDs. The money spent from this group favours small-time business folks. Third one r mostly domestic tourists (Cuti-cuti type) that know Malaysian taste well and can forgive the cleaniness/hygience of Penang… Read more »

Zakaria

What type of tourist Penang need to target? We should target those big spenders to create multiplier effect to the economy. If you depend on those cuti-cuti locals, they will jammed the road with their cars, pollute the air, haggle for every little thing they are buying to stretch their ringgit, littering the streets and beaches. Little multiplier effect. If you look at Singapore, they are not focusing on the back-packers. Each tourist atraction they have would make the tourist stay an extra day, thus earning their money (dollars, poinds, yen, remimbi). Visit Zoo, stay one day, visit Sentoa, stay… Read more »

Richard Loh

Everything good or bad are always turned or blamed on politics, this is a true fact in Malaysia. For the so call tourist such as the author of this posting, his view is as a tourist and those follow up comments will see it in a political point of view. I am very sure many people do not have a chance or simply do not want to get a true picture of what is happening before they open their mouth. If the author is a genuine tourist speaking out and not like a poison pen mail recently circulating bashing the… Read more »