Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Penang Free School: 193 years of existence

Today marks the 193rd anniversary of the founding of the Penang Free School by the Reverend Robert Sparke Hutchings. Therefore, it's only seven more years until my Alma Mater reaches its bicentenary, the first English school in South-East Asia to do so.

Penang Free School main building and porch (courtesy of Timothy Tim of

Last year, George Town became the centre of focus as it was accorded World Heritage city status by UNESCO. It was a proud moment for all Penangites. This year, however, the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture with its "infinite wisdom" decided that the Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur should become a national heritage site, bypassing the Penang Free School. I treat it as an afront by the Ministry which had obviously not made a fair decision based on historical facts. After all, what is Heritage if it is not Historical?

Penang has always been at the forefront of education and the Penang Free School continues to lead in this field not only by virtue of it being the oldest English school in the country (founded on 21 Oct 1816) but also by the illustrious sons it had produced. Victoria Institution's tenure pales by comparison as it was founded only 77 years later. So this national heritage snub comes as a surprise to me and all others who are Old Boys of the school. It's wishful thinking, however, that the Ministry will put political considerations aside and accord the rightful status to the Penang Free School.


Sophie said...

Please forgive me as leaving a comment that is not related with the theme.
As I am searching the information about KLIA and LCCT's shuttle bus information, I foung your blog and read your article.
Some ques in my heart, and i decided to ask you.
1. Do you no more about the differences between AIRPORT LINER(the one you take, maybe)and NADI KLIA?
2. Where to get the bus ticket? Counter? Which and where is the counter?

I quite confuse of the words on the website(whatever website,say different things). So I very happy can ask you as you ever had the experience before.

I'll come back to see your answer for me.
Thank you very much.

Quah, Seng-Sun said...


1) Sorry, I wouldn't know the difference between the shuttle buses.

2) The bus counters are all within the building. You can't miss them.

Sophie said...

Well, thank you for you answer.
Before,I was not sure whether you will reply for my stupid ques.
Thank you anyway.

Anonymous said...

wonderful post! thanks so much for reminding me about my glorious alma mater!