Penang Story Colloquium: The Seberang Perai Story

Penang Story Colloquium: The Seberang Perai Story

Pengkisahan Seberang Perai

Date: Saturday, 15 November 2014, 9.30am– 1.00pm
Venue: Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP Auditorium), Bandar Perda
Limited to 50 pax (refreshments and lunch provided)

All proceeds to the Penang Heritage Trust, a non-profit and tax-exempt charity.

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To register tel 04-2642631 or

Members of the public are invited to attend this colloquium. For Penang Heritage Trust members RM 10. Non-members RM 20. “Youth” below 35 years old, half-price. Refreshments and lunch will be served. The talks will be in English and Malay.

Anda semua diundang untuk mengikuti kolokium ini. Untuk ahli Persatuan Warisan Pulau Pinang RM 10. Bukan ahli RM 20. “Belia” di bawah usia 35 tahun, separuh harga. Makanan disediakan. Ceramah/kuliah dalam Bahasa Malaysia dan B Inggeris.


“From Pinang one sees its broad stretches of bright green sugar-cane and the chimneys of its sugar factories, and it grows rice and cocoa-nuts, and is actually more populous than Pinang or Malacca,” wrote Isabella Bird in The Golden Chersonese and The Way Thither (1883).

While previous Penang Story events held by the Penang Heritage Trust have mainly focused on George Town or Penang Island, the Seberang Perai Story looks at the social history of the mainland part of Penang state.

Dato’ Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Yang DiPertua of Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (MPSP) will preside over the half-day colloquium, which will feature three speakers moderated by Dato’ Dr. Goh Ban Lee.

Encik Dahalan bin Fazil will give “A brief Account of The History and Heritage of Seberang Perai”, which is gleaned from oral history, physical evidence and comparison of old maps. Starting from archaeological sites such as Guar Kepah, he will talk about how Province Wellesley, which was part of Kedah, was annexed to the British Straits Settlements, the impact of the Kedah-Siam War (1821–1842) also called the ‘Whispering Enemy’ War, the establishment of new agricultural settlements in Seberang Perai, early secular and Islamic education, the growth of trades such as blacksmithing and house-building, and prominent personalities of Seberang Perai.

Khoo Salma Nasution will give a presentation entitled “From Sugar to Rubber: The Agricultural Development of Seberang Perai”. Seberang Perai, also known as Province Wellesley, has been the rice bowl of Penang state, with the local Malay population being the main padi-planters. They were joined by Chinese cash-croppers and European managers of plantations worked by indentured Indian labour, producing sugar-cane, coconut, tapioca and a variety of other crops. By the turn of the twentieth century, agriculture in Seberang Perai was well developed and thickly settled by a population of seasoned cultivators. The conditions were therefore ripe for Seberang Perai to be transformed by the arrival of the rubber boom.

Trevor Sibert will speak on “The Eurasians in Penang and Province Wellesley”. Captain Francis Light gave the Catholics in George Town a piece of land bounded today by Pitt Street, Bishop Street, China Street and Church Street. They landed on the island the 15th of August 1786, which is known to Catholics as the Feast of the Assumption. As the years passed, there were more and more Eurasians moving over to the mainland, previously known as Province Wellesley, now Seberang Perai.

SPEAKERS at The Seberang Perai Story

Dato’ Maimunah Mohd Sharifmaimunah
Dato’ Maimunah is the Yang DiPertua Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai. She was recently named Planner of the Year 2014 by the Malaysian Institute of Planners for her remakable and outstanding achievements both nationally and globally.



Dato’ Dr Goh Ban Lee (Moderator)goh
Dr. Goh is a columnist for the Sun newspaper in Malaysia. His work focuses on issues of urban governance, housing and urban planning. He holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from USM and PhD from the University of California Los Angeles. Formerly a lecturer at USM, he was also a Vice Principle of Tunku Abdul Rahman College. He served as member of the National Economic Consultative Council (1989–1991) and councillor in Penang Island Municipal Council (1989–1995), and was involved in projects run by the Urban Management Program of United Nations Asian Pacific region and Asian Productivity Organisation.


Dahalan Bin Fazildahalan
Dahalan was formerly Penang state Deputy Director of Agricultural Department (2000–2002), as well as Landscape Architect and Assistant Director of Town Planning of Seberang Perai Town Council (2002–2008). He is very passionate on Seberang Perai’s history, and is carrying out historical research for the book “Seberang Perai Pictorial History”. He has been appointed as history consultant for “Seberang Perai’s Heritage Inventory Survey”.


Khoo Salma Nasutionkhoo
Khoo Salma is an author, social historian and heritage advocate. She is currently President of the Penang Heritage Trust. She is also a writer and publisher with Areca Books. She has authored a number of books on Penang, including The Streets of George Town, Penang (1993), Penang Postcard Collection (2003) and The Chulia in Penang (2014) and she has also co-authored two books on Perak.


Trevor SibertTrevor
Living in historic Malacca for five years spurred Penang boy Trevor Sibert’s interest in history, heritage and culture. He joined the Penang Heritage Trust in his early twenties. Of Eurasian descent, Trevor is very interested in architecture and furniture restoration and is an antique collector. He believes, “We are only borrowing Penang from future generations.” He is also the editor of the PHT newsletter.


About Penang Story
The Penang Story Initiative was started in 2001 by Penang Heritage Trust and jointly organized by Star Publications with the support of various stakeholders. With the UNESCO WHS Inscription in 2008 and the growing awareness about cultural heritage issues, the new chapter of the Penang Story, Penang in Global History, continues to celebrate cultural diversity and has expanded to include a re-discovery of Penang’s place in local, regional and global history. The public lecture will bring together various scholars from all over the world to share their research on a particular subject of interest.

Organized by:

Penang Heritage Trust (PHT)

Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai

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