Wednesday, 16 June 2010

George Town's city status: Petitioning the Queen

A bit of history. Would you know that on 31 Aug 1956, the Penang Municipal Councillors signed a petition to Queen Elizabeth II seeking city status for George Town? The city status in 1957 would coincide with the centenary of the Straits Settlements Municipal Act.

A motion to send the petition was introduced by the Alliance Whip of the day in the Council, Mr A.M. Abu Bakar, on a vote of urgency which was carried unanimously.

Mr Abu Bakar said: "This petition has been a well-kept secret. I think the time is opportune for us to ask for city status in view of the centenary which we shall be celebrating next year. The granting of city status to this oldest settlement on the eve of Malaya's independence would also be most appropriate."

The petition traced the history of Penang's growth since its establishment as a British settlement by Francis Light in 1786.

During the adjournment, Mr C.M. Hashim (Nominated) urged the Council to consider building a city hall that would commensurate with the new status being sought.

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