One of the most significant decisions ever made by the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) in 2004 must be the preservation of the old tram tracks unearthed at the junction of Penang Road and Chulia Street during roadworks.
The MPPP did the right thing, because the tracks come from a bye-gone age when tramcars ruled the streets of George Town, not the cars or buses of today. The tram cars were living proof that Penang had a good public transportation network that stretched from Weld Quay, passing through Chulia Street, Penang Road, Dato Kramat Road and thence to Ayer Itam village. This was the nerve line of Penang, bringing people from the interior of the island to the port where Penang's entreport trade was its lifeline.
Today, the MPPP has unearthed a further stretch of tram tracks along Penang Road that curved from Chulia Street towards the Campbell Street junction. It will be significant if the MPPP chooses to preserve these tracks as well.
As a Penangite, I will support any proposal to the Penang state government that it rehabilitate the tracks and reintroduce tramcars to service the inner city. We should be proud of our heritage and this is indeed one of many in Penang.