Saturday, 3 August 2013


International Conference:

Penang and the Hajj, 17-18 August 2013
The E&O Hotel, George Town, Penang, 9am-5pm
E&O Hotel
Register before 9 August 2013
More at:

Penang Heritage Trust (PHT)

Contact Us:
Penang Heritage Trust
26 Church Street (26 Lebuh Gereja)
George Town
10200 Penang
Tel: +604 264 2631
Fax: +604 262 8421
GPS Coordinates: 5.417915, 100.341557

Good photos of Penang & Miscellaneous:

Photos & text by iGeorgetown

Photos by tourists

Masjid Kapitan Keling

Penang hospitals

Penang Global City Centre (PGCC)

Penang Monthly Archive

Penang foundation stone at Northam Road, George Town. The state name Penang comes from the Malay word buah pinang (refers to the areca nut) but just the word pinang suffice, and becomes Penang. The island once had many areca nut palms which preferred the well-drained hilly and sandy soil and salty sea breeze for optimum growth.
The 1918 influenza, plague and cholera almost decimated the inhabitants of Penang. This scene was along Weld Quay, where junks and medium-small ships came to berth right at the waterfront. The presence of an electric tram indicates 1904 onward. Bullock carts were the main mode of transport.
Batu Ferringhi beach, in North Beach and in north bay ... a place where the Portuguese landed in Penang - could be before 1511, before they attacked Malacca in 1511. The Malacca people called them Orang Peringgit. In Penang, Ferringhi could be an Arab word since there is no letter P in Arabic. Ferringhi could also be derived from the Tamil word Ferringhiar or similar.
Old shophouses and godowns at Ghat Lebuh Aceh in George Town, Penang. These are now dilapidated but some have been restored and are in use.
KOMTAR, once the only landmark of Penang. Now we also have the Penang Bridge. 
KOMTAR occupies the former site of the Chowrasta Malay School (before relocation to Jalan Hatin/Hutton Lane).
Indian cloth shop in Little India, George Town in Penang
Masjid Jamek Melayu Aceh, George Town in Penang
Masjid as above
The Quran School at Masjid Jamek Melayu Aceh, which evolved to become the famous Al-Mashoor School we have today.
Masjid Kapitan Keling, built in 1802 on the land of Kapitan Keling, an Indian Muslim headman and mosque founder Cauder Mohideen (Kader Mydin), who endowed his land (waqf land) for Muslim usage (tanah wakaf).

Fort Cornwallis

George Town as a capital city

The Malays called the city Tanjong Penaga after the large hardwood trees that grew aplenty here. The British called it Cape Penaigre and mapped it as such in early maps of Penang. This was initially renamed after the ruling British monarch and was spelled as George Town, then as Georgetown, and now we are reusing the initial spelling, George Town, and sometimes initialled as G.T.

Fort Cornwallis as a non economical and wasted British fortress

Fort Cornwallis is a British fort in Penang at Tanjong Penaga. It was made partly using the blasted remains of the Malacca fort, A Famosa. The fort is not so high but high enough than the average Malay man. It is not that imposing or scary and does not make the hair stand. It is quite a benign fort, and looks neat in place.

The main entrance to the fort faces the padang. There is an amphitheatre in the centre which was built later, and the walls all round the fort have an earthern platform (ramparts). The convict cells are on ground level and are nearest the clock tower and Light Street. The chapel is at the corner nearest the court building outside. There is an access door at Fort Road, and another small access door facing the Esplanade - they were probably for bringing in convicts or goods, or getting rid of the dead in the secrecy of the night. There are a few wagons and big wagon wheels on display inside the fort.

Francis Light had the fort built without first obtaining consent from Lord Minto in India. Francis Light went ahead to have the fort built by the newly arrival of Indian convicts. He did not wait for Lord Minto's reply to his request. He was impatient and disregarded company rules when he built the fort. Even after the fort was ready and Lord Minto visited to see the fort for himself, he thought is was a waste of money of the East India Company coffers. Lord Minto was displeased with Francis Light and the fortress.

Francis Light and his mistress Martina Rozells lived in a house near Church Street before moving to another house whose grounds are now occupied by the St Xavier's Institution. Suffolk House is further up on Ayer Itam Road, beside the Methodist Boys' School (MBS), and close to the Al-Mashoor Boys' School. Francis Light and Martina Rozells had five children, including William and Mary. William resembled his father; Francis Light's statue is actually that of his son. This was because there was no photo of Francis Light when his statue was to be made, and sculptors had used his son's photo to create the father's statue.

After Francis Light died of malaria on Penang island, Martina Rozells remarried to another English man. The wedding took place in the chapel inside the fort. It was the first marriage there.

Francis Light is interred at the Christian cemetery at Northam Road in George Town, quite close to the sea. There are various graves here. Francis Light's cuboid grave bears his name. Most of the graves here are run down and uncared for.

Seri Rambai the Dutch VOC canon

An elaborate Dutch VOC canon is also present at one corner of the fort, nearest the Esplanade and Town Hall. There are Jawi inscriptions on the Dutch VOC canon. I tried to decipher but can't get the story right. If I understand it right - it seems that the Dutch VOC canon was gifted (menghadiahkan) to the Malay sultan (Maharaja Sri Sultan) and his warriors (panglima). But who was the sultan then in Malacca during Dutch VOC era? Were the Dutch communicating with any of the Malay sultans?

Why was the name Seri Rambai given to the Dutch VOC canon? Buah rambai is a tropical fruit and the fruits appear in clusters. The buah rambai flesh is see-through - like fetus in amniotic fluid! Yes, they look like fetus in amniotic fluid!
Meriam Seri Rambai - a beautiful Malay name for the Dutch VOC canon
The Seri Rambai Dutch VOC canon seated solo, facing North Beach and North Bay, Penang, which opens beyond to the vast Indian Ocean, and Thailand, Burma and northern India.
Affandi tried to decipher the Jawi inscription on Seri Rambai, the Dutch VOC canon
Seri Rambai, the Dutch VOC canon at Fort Cornwallis in Georgetown, Penang; did it come from A Famosa in Malacca?
VOC emblem on the 17th Century canon, Seri Rambai - this is such a beautiful canon.
Mysterious Jawi inscription on the Dutch VOC canon. The bigger story behind the Jawi inscription tells the canon was gifted to the Sultan of Johor and was brought to Batavia in Java. It was to be brought back to Malaya when the Johor ship carrying the canon ran aground in the Straits of Malacca. The canon was later recovered by the British and was laid here at Fort Cornwallis. There maybe other versions of this story.

Salam Aidilfitri 1 Syawal 1434 Hijrah

  1. The greeting "Ta kobalallahu minna wa minkum" was what Nabi Muhammad SAW said.
  2. The greeting "Shiyamana wa Shiyamukum" was a friend's response to what the Prophet said.
  3. The greeting "Minal Aidil (Aidin) Wal Faizin" is commonly heard from the Indonesian Muslims.
  4. The greeting "Happy Eid Mubarak" or "Eid Mubarak" is commonly used in English worldwide.
  5. In Malaysia, we commonly greet with "Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin". Aidilfitri must be emphasized since it is about being 'born again clean without sins' and it is different from Aidiladha which is about sacrifice. "Maaf Zahir dan Batin" means "Forgive me physically (physical self and actions) and emotionally (soul and actions)". With this greeting, it is thought that the person has asked for total forgiveness and thus purifies himself from all wrongdoings to the person he greeted. 
  6. This is the English version of the Arabic doa, which I learned from Dr Syed at Um Qurra University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia and edited a bit: I would like to wish every Muslim a very warm and happy Eid. May Allah SWT accept all our good deeds performed in the Holy month of Ramadan and continue to bless all of us with His infinite blessings. InsyaAllah. Amin.

All these greetings support peace among the Muslim mass (Ummah).