Butterworth remains the Ugly Duckling

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When a clear vision for growth is missing, places and plans that hold promise turn into disappointments. Such is the case for Butterworth. But now that the town is richly represented in the state assembly, perhaps the aging duckling can yet turn out to be a swan.

Surely, Butterworth is worth more than what it is getting.

About 25 years ago, I gave a talk to a youth organisation there about the future of the town. The title of my paper was “Butterworth – Will the Ugly Duckling Become a Beautiful Swan?” It was hoped that the growing but dull Butterworth would develop into an attractive town.

Unfortunately, the duckling has been chronically sick.

Butterworth came into existence about 160 years ago when a collection of existing villages in Province Wellesley, since renamed Seberang Perai, was declared a single urban entity.


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