Penang’s Forgotten Protest: The 1967 Hartal

By Koay Su Lyn

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Mob attempting to overturn a bus.
For almost two months in 1967, Penang erupted in violence and bloodshed. To many, the incident has been largely forgotten, but what inspired the 1967 Hartal, and how did it descend to chaos?The word “hartal” refers to a cessation of work or businesses in protest against a political decision. While the 1947 hartal, organised by the Pan-Malayan Council of Joint Action against the constitution of the Federation of Malaya, is widely quoted on paper today, there is little mention of...

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Koay Su Lyn

reads and writes of the past to make sense of the present. She is a research analyst in the History and Heritage Programme of Penang Institute.