Mount Erskine: Penang’s Forgotten Flagstaff Hill – Part 1

By Eugene Quah

July 2022 FEATURE
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The peak popularly known as Pearl Hill, seen here from near Fettes Park, is actually Mount Erskine. The hill was named after its owner John James Erskine who was once the Penang Presidency’s most capable council member. In 1974, a multi- phase project to develop the hill was called Mount Evergreen. The development’s name never caught on and instead the developer’s name, Pearl Hill Sdn. Bhd., became the colloquial name of the hill from then on.
Tanjung Bungah, an affluent suburb on the North Coast, is known for its international schools, well-established neighbourhoods, mid-range beach hotels and posh mansions on a hill. As I write this, I can see that said hill, called Pearl Hill by us locals, sitting resolutely alone on the coast, away from the other peaks of the Penang Hill range. This is the story of two hills in Penang named Mount Erskine.The hill known to Penangites as Mount Erskine is officially called...

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Eugene Quah

is an independent researcher and writer who is working on a book tentatively called “Illustrated Guide to the North Coast of Penang”. He rediscovered the joys of writing after moving back to Penang from abroad.