The luxuriant backdrop that Penang’s central hill range provides, hits any visitor to the island immediately. It softens much of the haphazard development that happens on the flatlands. And so, Penang lovers love Penang Hill most deeply. Developing the hill is therefore not something to be attempted by the meek, or the overly ambitious.
Penang Hill remains one of the state’s more politically sensitive issues today. With renewed development efforts coming under fire from activists and the press, this is not about to change.
The hill was recognised as a good retreat destination as soon as the British arrived. The construction of the funicular train in 1923 saw a boom in bungalow properties, which ended with World War II. Penang Hill was then left as it was and no major development was carried out on the hill until today. Development around its foothills, including residential developments, on the other hand, never ceased.
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