Although Penang has long been a trading, educational and industrial hub, what makes its cosmopolitanism unique was the fact that it was at the fringe of Big Power influence. The frontier atmosphere fostered a strong sense of independence and its distance from power fostered a distrust of government. This was the case even in the middle of the 19th century, as seen in the legacy of James Logan.
YOU MAY NOT notice it driving past the recently refurbished Penang High Courts on Light Street. But look closely and you will spot the memorial dedicated to James Richardson Logan standing tall as if presiding over the hallowed halls of justice. While many may think the name has a familiar ring (there is after all a Logan Road in Penang), James Logan has long been categorised as just another colonial name of little consequence from the past.
However, Logan should not be forgotten. His accomplishments had much to do with making Penang what it is today. There are concrete reasons why his memorial stands outside Penang's majestic court houses. It is an appropriate tribute to his achievements.
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