Seri Teratai – Saved from the Ravages of Time and Termites

loading Seri Teratai.

Commissioned in 1919 for Macalister & Co., Seri Teratai is the official residence of the Chief Minister of Penang. 1 Located on Jalan Macalister and initially known as the State Guest House, 1 the building was aptly renamed Rumah Tetamu after the country’s independence.

Wong Pow Nee – the state’s first chief minister – was the mansion’s first long-term tenant, living in the double-storey structure throughout his tenure from 1957 to 1969.

State chief ministers after him have utilised Seri Teratai, as it is now known, in dwindling measures: Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu resided there for the first decade of his 21-year tenure, Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon, in his own words, resided there “not even for a day, and not overnight” but frequented the building for rest between events along with other exco members and senior officers in his line-up, especially those hailing from Seberang Prai, and immediate past chief minister Lim Guan Eng lasted a year and one week before a serious termite infestation forced him to relocate.


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