Southwest Penang Island District
The Southwest Penang Island District is a district within the Malaysian state of Penang. The district covers the southwestern half of Penang Island and borders the Northeast Penang Island District to the east. It has an area of 175 km2 (68 sq mi) and a population of 197,131 as of 2010. Balik Pulau is the district's administrative centre, while Bayan Lepas is the largest town within the district.
Southwest Penang Island District
|Daerah Barat Daya Pulau Pinang|
|• Jawi||دايره بارت داي ڤولاو ڤينڠ|
|• Tamil||தென்மேற்கு பினாங்கு தீவு மாவட்டம்|
Location of the Southwest Penang Island District within the State of Penang.
|Largest town||Bayan Lepas|
|• Local government||Penang Island City Council|
|• Total||175 km2 (68 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,126.5/km2 (2,918/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||Not observed|
|Vehicle registration plates||P|
Although Penang Island consists of two districts, both fall under the jurisdiction of the city of George Town, which encompasses the entirety of the island plus the surrounding islets. The city's jurisdiction is exercised by the Penang Island City Council in the centre of George Town, which lies within the Northeast Penang Island District.
In 1786, the British East India Company had taken control of Penang Island, establishing the city of George Town at the island's northeastern tip. For several decades since, the island was governed directly from George Town, with no administrative divisions on the island.
In 1888, a District and Land Office was established in Balik Pulau at the southwest of the island. Thus, the Southwest Penang Island District was created, effectively dividing Penang Island into two districts. Both districts first appeared in official maps of Penang dating back to the 1890s.
The Southwest Penang Island District covers southern and western Penang Island, as well as parts of the island's central hill ranges. Under the district are the following towns and residential areas.
Residential areas and villages
The Southwest Penang Island District comprises 16.8% of Penang's total land mass. It is further divided into 22 mukims.
- Sungai Pinang
- Sungai Rusa
- Permatang Pasir
- Bagan Ayer Itam
- Titi Teras
- Kampong Paya
- Sungai Burong
- Pulau Betong
- Dataran Ginting
- Pantai Acheh
- Telok Bahang
- Sungai Rusa & Bukit Sungai Pinang
- Batu Itam
- Bukit Balik Pulau
- Pondok Upeh
- Bukit Ginting
- Bukit Pasir Panjang
- Bukit Gemuroh
- Bukit Relau
- Telok Kumbar
- Bayan Lepas
Although the districts in Malaysia were created for the purpose of land administration and revenue, in practice, it is the local government that ensures the provision of basic amenities and maintenance of urban infrastructure.
Notably, both districts on Penang Island are under the jurisdiction of the Penang Island City Council, which is based in the heart of George Town. With a history dating back to 1800, it is the oldest local government in Malaysia. The current Mayor of Penang Island is Yew Tung Seang, who was appointed into the position by the Penang state government in 2018. The Mayor's term lasts for two years.
|Federal Constituency||Party||Member of Parliament||State Constituency||Party||State Assemblyman|
|Bayan Baru (P052)||PKR||Sim Tze Tzin||Pantai Jerejak (N36)||PKR||Saifuddin Nasution Ismail|
|Batu Maung (N37)||PKR||Abdul Halim Hussain|
|Balik Pulau (P053)||PKR||Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik||Bayan Lepas (N38)||Amanah||Azrul Mahathir Aziz|
|Pulau Betong (N39)||PKR||Mohd Tuah Ismail|
|Telok Bahang (N40)||PPBM||Zolkifly Md Lazim|
The following is based on the 2010 National Census conducted by Malaysia's Department of Statistics.
According to data obtained from the census, over 62% of the population within the Southwest Penang Island District were concentrated around Bayan Lepas, making it the largest town within the district.
Most schools in the district are national schools, which are run under Malaysia's Ministry of Education. In addition, a few international schools, such as the Prince of Wales International School and the Straits International School, have been set up in Bayan Lepas and Balik Pulau.
The Balik Pulau Hospital is the main hospital within the Southwest Penang Island District. It complements the Penang General Hospital in providing healthcare to the citizens on Penang Island.
The Southwest Penang Island District is connected to the rest of Peninsular Malaysia via the Second Penang Bridge, which runs between Batu Maung at the southeastern tip of Penang Island and Batu Kawan on the mainland. The bridge, with a length of 24 km, is now the longest in Southeast Asia.
Federal Route 6 is a winding trunk road that serves as the pan-island road, forming a circular loop along the length of Penang Island's coastline. The road links Bayan Lepas, Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang with the centre of George Town in the Northeast Penang Island District.
Public transportation throughout Penang Island is provided by Rapid Penang, which has public bus services between the city centre, Bayan Lepas (including the Penang International Airport), Balik Pulau and Teluk Bahang.
The Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas serves as the major airport within the northern region of Peninsular Malaysia. Completed in 1935, it is also the oldest civilian airport in the nation.
Today, it is one of the busiest airports in Malaysia in terms of cargo tonnage and passenger traffic, highlighting the role Penang Island plays as a tourist destination and a major manufacturing hub. The airport's proximity to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone allows for the easy transportation of goods to and from the factories in Bayan Lepas. In addition, it connects Penang with several major regional cities, including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Taipei, Ho Chi Minh City and Yangon.
The Snake Temple in Bayan Lepas is said to be the only Chinese temple to be inhabited by snakes. Built in the 1850s by a Buddhist monk, it has attracted varieties of pit vipers, which are believed to be rendered harmless by the incense. The temple is also a focal point of the annual Chinese New Year celebrations, during which a flame-watching ceremony is held to predict the fortunes of the next 12 months.
The Penang War Museum is located at the southeastern tip of Penang Island. The sprawling complex was originally Fort Batu Maung, built by the British Army in the 1930s to defend Penang Island against amphibious invasion. However, during World War II, the British Army abandoned the fort to the Imperial Japanese Army without a fight. Neglected after the war, the fortress was converted into a museum in 2002, and features bunkers, tunnels and other military structures.
Balik Pulau is famous for its agricultural plantations, which are rarely found elsewhere on Penang Island. In recent years, agricultural tourism is booming in Balik Pulau, as tourists from other states and abroad flock to the town to sample fresh durians and nutmegs.
The Penang National Park, covering 2,562 hectares of rainforests, swamps and beaches at the northwestern tip of Penang Island, is the smallest gazetted national park in Malaysia. Within the park are some of the most pristine beaches on Penang Island, such as Kerachut Beach and Monkey Beach. A canopy walk also allows visitors an impressive view of the lush rainforest underneath.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Southwest Penang Island.|
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