Even to casual eyes, Seberang Perai and Penang Island are markedly different in many ways. Especially to those involved in urban planning and urban development, the neglect that mainland Penang has suffered is painfully evident. It is time equal attention is paid to both Seberang Perai and Penang Island.
A brief history
A peek into the history of the state clearly shows the reason for the neglect of Seberang Perai by the government of Penang. When Francis Light, a captain of a trading ship owned by the East India Company (EIC), wanted to secure a trading post in this part of the world, he was only interested in the island of Penang.1 In 1786, he managed to persuade the Sultan of Kedah to cede the island to the EIC.
It took more than a decade for EIC officials to realise the importance of the land facing the island.
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