YB Yeoh Soon Hin

Retaining historic names and values is part of our identity.

In line with this, the names of Georgetown and Butterworth will be retained as they are of historic interest.

Penang State Exco for Tourism and Creative Economy, YB Yeoh Soon Hin stressed that the existing names will remain status quo.

“There has been a social media buzz by certain groups urging to change the names of George Town and Butterworth on unjustified grounds. They could instead offer better and constructive ideas on ways to safeguard our history,” Yeoh said in a press statement.

He was responding to calls to restore George Town’s name to Tanjong Penaga and Butterworth to Bagan. 

Yeoh highlighted that retaining the names of George Town and Butterworth does not mean that history is erased but is a testament that Penang is liberal and respectful towards an era that has witnessed the city’s transformation and civilization. 

“The identity of a town and city is formed by many factors including its history, people, architecture and language.

“George Town’s identity is predominantly shaped by its unique colonial architecture and townscape, which has been one the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) that has led towards the inscription of the town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” he added. 

Yeoh explained that the British colonization in Penang has played an integral and indispensable role in forming George Town and Butterworth’s multicultural foundation. 

Yeoh emphasized that different chapters of history coexist to complement, but not to compete. 
“We cannot rewrite history, if colonization has occurred in Penang, it should be inked and reflected because they matter in telling the story of George Town and Butterworth.

“George Town and Butterworth’s colonisation are stories of the past that should be educated in the present and safeguarded for the future,” he added.