The first and forgotten Chief Minister of Penang


Few young Penangites have ever heard the name Wong Pow Nee, and yet, he was the state’s first Chief Minister. He was, furthermore, the man responsible for laying much of the foundation for the state’s industrial future. It is time he is given due honour.

When it comes to the history of Penang’s modernisation, the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu’s name will always appear. His legacy, from the Free Trade Zone to the Penang Bridge and Komtar, has left an indelible mark on the state to this day.

This focus on Lim as the architect of Penang’s industrialisation, however, comes at the expense of the late Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee, the state’s first Chief Minister. In spite of Wong’s own achievements and efforts, he remains forgotten in the minds of Penangites today.

An unplanned ascension

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Apr 2016

A History of an Icon

Penang Monthly traces the beginnings and rise of the Chinese Recreation Club.

May 2011

Marking George Town

To mark the heritage zone, unique street art has been set up at some iconic George Town streets.

Jun 2017

Why Penang YWCA is Such a Landmark

The organisation has been empowering women for over a century.

Jun 2015

The history of Bukit Mertajam Part I – From agrarian village to economic hub

Nicholas Chan takes a close look at how the village of Bukit Mertajam grew into a 20th century economic hub.