Before palm oil, there was coconut oil...

By Wong Yee Tuan

February 2011 FEATURE
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A coconut estate in Penang in the 1890s.
Foreign markets and imported technology fuelled the copra and coconut oil industry in Penang, making it the third biggest money earner for decades. What this tells us at a time when we need to diversify Penang’s economy is that agribusiness has a future.WHEN PENANG WAS occupied by the British, it was intended not only to serve as a trading port but also as land for the cultivation of commercial crops such as peppers, nutmegs, cloves, sugarcanes and coconuts. Of these,...

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Wong Yee Tuan

is Fellow and Head of Penang Institute’s History and Heritage Programme. He hails from Malim Nawar and has profound research interest in the history of Penang.