Gardens going to seed

loading The offending arches.

The recent development of Penang’s historic Botanic Gardens have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. PEM examines what Penangites are so heated up about, and why the large twin arches constructed at the Gardens’ entrance have raised such a commotion.

It was a Thursday, and Loh-Lim Lin Lee was buying fruit in the Penang Botanic Gardens. The next thing she knew, a man drove up to her on a motorcycle and began scolding her furiously in Hokkien: “How did you allow these monstrosities to be built?” He gestured, but Loh-Lim knew exactly what he was talking about.

Their gaze fell upon two massive concrete arches currently under construction just outside the entrance to the Gardens proper, standing tall by a fountain and car park. They were part of a RM7mil allocation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, and meant to be a new facade welcoming visitors to the Gardens.

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