Many people asked me many times why I loved Penang so much. What's so special about Penang? And why is that I always regards Pulo Penang [classic name of the Penang island given by the English colonialist] as a place for me to find my true soul. Why is that I always went to Penang as if it was my birth place? I must say that its quite a lot of questions for me to answer as if I need a solid alibi to justify my un-authorized love for Pulau Pinang.
Me at the Esplanade
My first intimate encounter with Pulau Pinang was in the year 2005 when I went there by plane to meet the girl that I loved who happens to work there on my birthday. Before 2005, Penang was a secluded place and entirely alien to me and my life. I never went there before even though my mother studied there [University Science of Malaysia-USM] in the 80's. I must tell you today, I could still see the glimpse image of Teluk Kumbar from my plane view overlooking the southern tip of Penang island that morning of 5th December 2005.
Even though that particular girl was history, but my love for Penang is still much alive and grew stronger. There are strong feelings in my heart to explore the island more and getting to know the people and their culture. I believe the love for the island developed maybe with the view of Angsana trees in Gurney Plaza, or the view from the Esplanade, or perhaps the smell of the ocean breeze of Penang from Eastern and Oriental hotel. Which one really I couldn’t tell you all exactly. I couldn't explain how elated my heart felt to be there and knowing Penang so close like that before in my entire life and this feeling is only me and myself can understand no matter how much I explain it to others.
The classical building that really goes in jive with my historical readings of the Malay history [I am a historian] which further strike my heart redder of my love for Penang. I could still remember the respectful waving gesture of Dr. Koh Tsu Koon to me at the lobby of Komtar building [he was the Chief Minister then], as if I was somebody big coming to visits him on my second day in Penang in 2005. Perhaps I could tell you that I have a very high regards my utmost respect for P. Ramlee which also happens to come from Penang with all of his wonderful literature writings that enchanted me to believe that Penang is a place full of opportunities and great talented people waiting to be tapped.
I could tell you that I have a long list of my future plan for Penang and Penangites to capitalize on its potentialities and these plans is also for all Malaysian to believe, adventure and to love. Penang will always be my true love and this love will keep going strong and stronger. That’s why my prayers are to marry someone from Penang. It’s not just the love feeling for that particular person that I'm in love with now [and indeed I love her and her family so much], but also for me and my love feeling for Pulo Penang itself.