Penang has a long and erratic history. For one thing, it was founded in a make-do manner, and it has never been gifted with exemplary planners. But one can’t say it is not a fortunate place either. It is. But perhaps letting it compete in an international competition will add enough oomph to push it to a higher level.
George Town is now 226 years old, and of course, it has gone through its share of trials and tribulations. The question is, is it a better city in which to stay, bring up a family and have a life than in the past?
To be sure, it did not have a good foundation for development into a liveable city. When Francis Light founded the settlement in 1786, he did not have the luxury of bringing along persons with the right qualifications for designing a town from scratch. Apart from drawing a grid pattern settlement at the promontory, there was no blueprint for development.
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