The formation of Chinese associations in Penang can be traced back to the early nineteenth century, when Chinese migrants began settling in the state; these associations were formed for economic, security and cultural preservation reasons.1
According to Buku Panduan Persatuan-Persatuan Cina Malaysia,2 these associations are classified into nine broad categories: religion; lineage and clan; locality; profession; sports; art, culture and education; charity and welfare; youth and women; and integrated associations (Table 1). More than half of the associations are located in the north-east district (Figure 1).
Among all the categories, religious associations and temples constituted the largest share at 37% (Table 1). ...
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