The first and forgotten Chief Minister of Penang


Few young Penangites have ever heard the name Wong Pow Nee, and yet, he was the state’s first Chief Minister. He was, furthermore, the man responsible for laying much of the foundation for the state’s industrial future. It is time he is given due honour.

When it comes to the history of Penang’s modernisation, the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu’s name will always appear. His legacy, from the Free Trade Zone to the Penang Bridge and Komtar, has left an indelible mark on the state to this day.

This focus on Lim as the architect of Penang’s industrialisation, however, comes at the expense of the late Tan Sri Wong Pow Nee, the state’s first Chief Minister. In spite of Wong’s own achievements and efforts, he remains forgotten in the minds of Penangites today.

An unplanned ascension

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