These buildings once represented the administrative, economic, education, religious and development centre of Penang. Some were the homes of prominent businessmen and administrators, and many served as the nerve centre of Penang’s business, political and judicial systems. This was where everything happened. Today, Penangites have grown so accustomed to the sight of these buildings that they have blended into the background, becoming mere backdrops rather than the historical artefacts they really are, their origins, purpose and importance now barely remembered, if at all. Each building still wears the colour white, a reminder of the colonial powers that once ruled over the island. In fact, George Town has one of the highest concentrations of white buildings in Malaysia. Together, they represent the remnants of the colonial era that influenced the course of the island’s history. While some of these buildings still serve their original purpose, others have been taken over by various private entities and given new life while retaining their original design. Although their original purpose is forgotten, the indelible mark they left on Penang remains to this day.

Related Articles