History of Penang

The State of Penang, one of the most developed and urbanized Malaysian states, is located at the nation's northwest coast along the Malacca Strait. Unlike most Malaysian states, the history of modern Penang was shaped by British colonialism, beginning with the acquisition of Penang Island from the Sultanate of Kedah by the British East India Company in 1786. Developed into a free port, the city state was subsequently governed as part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Malacca; the state capital, George Town, briefly became the capital of this political entity between 1826 and 1832. By the end of the 19th century, George Town prospered and became one of the major entreports in Southeast Asia

Picture by Cmglee - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 

Historical Building in Penang

City hall

The City Hall is the local government headquarters in the city of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Built by the British, it now serves as the seat of the Penang Island City Council and was previously the seat of the George Town City Council. Originally completed in 1903 as the Municipal Offices, the building was erected at a cost of $100,000 to relieve the demand for office space at the adjacent Town Hall. The name City Hall dates back to the grant of city status to George Town in 1957.

Picture by Royal Netherlands Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies and Leiden University Library/Wikimedia Commons

The City Hall and the Esplanade in the 1910s

Fort Cornwallis

Fort Cornwallis is a bastion fort in GeorgeTown, Penang, Malaysia, built by the British East India Company in the late 18th century. Fort Cornwallis is the largest standing fort in Malaysia. The fort never engaged in combat during its operational history. It is named after the then Governor-General of Bengal, Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis, who had also been involved in the American War of Independence.

Picture by Gryffindor - Own work, CC BY 2.5

Penang High Court

The Penang High Court, founded in 1808, is the birthplace of Malaysia's judiciary system. It is housed inside a Palladian-style building at Light Street, George Town, Penang. To this day, the High Court sits at the top of Penang's hierarchy of courts. 

Picture by Vnonymous - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0