In a new age of cities, George Town’s future looked uncertain as quiet crumbling decay set in. Since 2009 a small organisation has been quietly and systematically transforming George Town’s cityscape and the community’s mindset. PM speaks to Think City’s executive director, Hamdan Abdul Majeed to discover why the city’s future is so embedded in its past, and why this fact is the key to its survival.
Hamdan Abdul Majeed has reason to celebrate, the day of the interview also marks his fifth year working on what Khazanah Nasional1 has ambitiously dubbed the “Penang Initiative”. He arrived late, caught in George Town’s treacherous weekend traffic, direct from a closed-door meeting with the managing director of the World Bank, just one of the many global movers and shakers flying into Penang to see first hand what all the fuss has been about.
Currently, there is a sense of optimism and purpose in Penang that has gone a long way towards banishing the despondency of the late 1990s.
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