Penang’s Waterfronts May be Its Future Identity

By Ooi Kee Beng

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Penang’s free port status began eroding after the final boundaries of Malaysia were defined with the exit of Singapore in 1965. By 1974, the federal government had made it a thing of the past. Luckily for the state, the state government that was voted into power in 1969 had the boldness and imagination to press for the establishment of a free trade zone on the island. With Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak’s support, Chief Minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu...

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Ooi Kee Beng

is the Executive Director of Penang Institute. His recent books include The Eurasian Core and its Edges: Dialogues with Wang Gungwu on the History of the World (ISEAS 2016). Homepage: