Betting on BIDS


George Town starts Asia’s first ever Business Improvement District Scheme

The rejuvenation of an urban area cannot really be left only to the authorities. This has become clear to businesses and residents living around the Komtar area. Taking the lead from other cities that have succeeded in reviving degenerated areas, they are now working with the state government to turn their district into Penang’s next attraction.

Komtar, or Kompleks Tun Abdul Razak, remains one of the most recognisable symbols of Penang. Although an unmistakable landmark, it is also ironically a “forgotten” building, only a shadow of its former self. Back in the 1990s, Komtar was bustling with traders, shoppers, workers and students. This was no surprise as it was the only “mall” of its kind and size in Penang.

Believe it or not, Komtar was the place to be seen for teenagers. Today, the area looks like it’s still stuck in the past, refusing to adapt to 21st century sophistication.

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