Penang and the Indian Ocean 2011-present

Penang and the Indian Ocean 2011-present

Proceedings available online


Penang and Indian Ocean (PIO) Conference
17-18 September 2011, Traders Hotel
The Conference examined the various networks, imperial, commercial, cultural, and biographical links between Penang and the littorals east of the Indian Ocean, stretching from Myanmar andSri Lanka to the Coromandel Coast. It gathered scholars with interests in Penang’s role as a gateway to the Indian Ocean to a common platform to share their research, ideas, and opinions and consolidate their facts and findings.

Phase 1: July 2010, consisted of convening a workshop in Cambridge University with academics from Cambridge and London Universities.
Phase 2: Penang & the Indian Ocean: An International Conference, 17-18 September 2011. Convened by Professor Loh Wei Leng (University of Malaya, ret’d.), Dr Tim Harper (University of Cambridge) and Dr Sunil Amrith (University of London). Sir Christopher Bayly and Prof Om Prakash gave their Penang Global Lectures (see above).

Penang Story Workshops and Colloquia

In 2012, three small workshops were organised, to bring together various scholars to share their research on a particular subject of interest, as well as one colloquium in which scholars presented their findings to the community.


1.      Penang Story Colloquium:  ‘The Siamese Heritage and their Footprints in Penang’

6-8 July 2012, House of Yeap Chor Ee

  • H.E. Ambassador IsornPocmontri, ‘The Significant Aspects of the Relations between Thai Royalties and Penang’
  • Ms. PrapassornPosrithong, ‘Following Thai Trail in Penang”
  • Prof Tengku Sepora Tengku Mahadi, ‘Ku Din Ku Meh and his Thai Heritage in Penang’
  • A special tour and unveiling of memorial plaque in WatPinbangOnn, Green Lane, marking the cenotaph of Phraya ManopakornNititada, the first Prime Minister of Thailand who was exiled and died in Penang.
  • ‘One Night in Bangkok Lane’: Bangkok Lane, in PulauTikus, was transformed into a Thai-themed street party venue, where visitors were treated to Thai food, handicraft and cultural performances.

 2.      Penang and the Indian Ocean Workshop: ‘Heritage across the Indian Ocean’

28 August 2012, Think City Sdn Bhd

  • Prof Sugata Bose presided over a workshop, with contributions by Marcus Langdon, Dr. Gwynn Jenkins and Khoo Salma Nasution.

3.      Penang and the Indian Ocean Workshop: ‘From Malabar and Minangkabau to Malaya’

31    October 2012, Think City Sdn Bhd

  • Dr JayakumarDevika, Centre for Development Studies, Kerala, presented ‘ “In the Land of Snake-Eaters, Eat the Middle Piece”: Malabar to Malaya through the Eyes of S K Pottekkatt’;
  • Ahmad MuradMerican, University TeknologiPetronas, presented ‘Pulau Pinang and the Minangkabaus: Batu Urban and Batu Bara as Sites of the AlamRantau’

 4.      Penang and the Indian Ocean Workshop: ‘Penang-Yangon Interaction’

15 December 2012, Northam All Suites

  • Ms. Moe MoeLwin, Acting Director of Yangon Heritage Trust, ‘Yangon Urban Heritage Conservation: Efforts and Challenges’
  • Datuk Khoo Keat Siew, ‘Revitalising Ties between the Khoo Kongsi (Penang) and the counterpart in Yangon’
  • U Thaw Kaung, ‘The Pashu (Peranakan) Legacy in Coastal Myanmar’
  • Dr Atsuko Naono, ‘Before Burmese and Malay Medicine: Imperial Medical Doctors and Native Medicine in Bay of Martaban and the Straits in the Early Nineties’
  • Dr Su Lin Lewis, ‘Migration, Modernity, and the Origins of Civil Society in Colonial Penang and Rangoon’
  • Dr Loh Wei Leng, ‘Maritime Links along the Andaman Sea Littoral: A Preliminary Sketch of Penang Chinese Enterprise from the late Nineteenth to the early Twentieth Century’

5.      Penang and The Indian Ocean Lecture: The Muslim Trade from Coromandal Coast in relation to Kedah and Penang

9 June 2013, MPPP Town Hall

Dr. J. Raja Mohamad, presented his paper “The Muslim Trade from Coromandal Coast in relation to Kedah and Penang” in Tamil on 9 June  and English on 10 June 2013


6. Penang Story Lecture: Penang Muslims and Tamil Vernacular Publics across the Bay of Bengal, 1880-1914

23 & 24 August 2013 at Wawasan Open University, Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah

Penang and the Indian Ocean Lecture: “For the Promotion of Tamil on this Island”: Penang Muslims and Tamil Vernacular Publics across the Bay of Bengal, 1880-1914 by Torsten Tschacher.