Penang launches first Urban Archeological Park in the country


THE country’s first Urban Archeological Park at Sia Boey site (in the vicinity of Prangin Mall) was officially opened by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow this afternoon.

According to Chow, the park, which is part of the Komtar Phase 5 development project (total area of 5.73 acre), would be instrumental in telling the history of George Town.

The Sia Boey site is flanked by Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong and Jalan Magazine.

“Sia Boey was the trading hub during the earlier days in George Town and its activities were centred at the Prangin Canal where the 19th century Market Hall and shoplots are located.

“The Sia Boey Rejuvenation Project was launched on March 25, 2018 and the purpose of the project is to transform Sia Boey into an area of existing development as well as conserving heritage, green parks for a sustainable development.

“The project is also expected to add value to George Town’s Unesco sites since Jalan Lim Chwee Leong, where Sia Boay is situated, is considered to be the border of the Unesco heritage sites.

“The site (Sia Boey) is regarded as the buffer zone (Unesco heritage site), therefore it is important to retain its historical values,” added Chow.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by state Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee (Petach) chairman Yeoh Soon Hin, Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng, Pengkala Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi and Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang.

“I hope that the renovated Market Hall, which will be open for public use, will be fully utilised.  Those who are interested in renting it can contact the PDC Setia Urus,” Chow said.

Part of the Sia Boey site will make way for the construction of the proposed LRT station under the Penang Transport Master Plan.

The Sia Boey Rejuvenation Project project is undertaken by the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) with the collaboration of George Town World Heritage Incorporated (GTWHI) and Centre of Global Archeological Research USM.

Also present was PDC general manager Datuk Mohd Bazid Abdul Kahar.

The name ‘Sia Boey’ means the tail of a settlement in Hokkien and the Malays refer the site as ‘Ujong Pasir’ whereas the Tamil community calls it as” Kaalai Kadai’ during the 19th century.

Story by Tanushalini Moroter
Pix by Law Suun Ting
Video by Adleena Rahayu Ahmad Radzi