The Penang City Index 2016

Aside from Kuala Lumpur, the city of Georgetown in Penang, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, and having received status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is quickly becoming the next most developed city in Malaysia. But how liveable is the city? 



Sinkeh Guest House in George Town, one of many repurposed heritage buildings in the city. Image courtesy of Chee Sek Thim


About 3 years ago, while studying sustainable transportation in Penang, Think City began to delve into the sustainability levels of the city - the quality of the rivers and the air  -  and published a report on the state of the environment in Penang. One year later, seeking to update that report, Think City renewed the study, but this time, looking at broader aspects of liveability in Penang. For example, how easy is it to get from one place to another? Is housing affordable? Was there diversity in terms of jobs? Could they have fun in the city and could citizens afford to live comfortably in Penang?

Duncan Cave, Consultant at Think City tells us about the study and the different aspects by which liveability is measured in Penang.


Next, we track down Penangite and entrepreneur, Chee Sek Thim about his guest house, Sinkeh, who’s found an enterprising way to fund the art of theatre with the proceeds from his business. One of the best ways to gauge how liveable a city is, would be not only to speak to the inhabitants, but to speak to those who serve the city. Chee Sek Thim,  a seasoned Malaysian theatre practitioner tells us about living in the capital of Penang.




Sinkeh’s philosophy is to provide comfortable accommodation for travellers while giving young artists a space and a chance to create. Image courtesy of Chee Sek Thim


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