The Remarkable Resurgence of Penang’s Hindu Endowment Board


This one-of-a-kind body improves its finances impressively – and regains its relevance for Penang’s Hindus.

When Pakatan Rakyat took power in Penang in 2008, they inherited an underperforming Hindu Endowment Board (HEB) that was generating a mere RM3,000 a month in income despite owning property worth millions.

According to executive director Ramachandran M. Muthiah, many issues plagued the previous iteration of the HEB, from bad rent collection to a lack of upgrading works in existing properties. Records were not properly kept. Gold bars worth RM300,000 went missing. “They did not even have a manager to manage the properties,” he says. “It was all stagnant.”

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