The Municipal Fountain, within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, stands at the junction between Esplanade Road and Light Street. It was donated to the Municipal Council of George Town in 1883 by Koh Seang Tat, an influential Chinese millionaire.
During the colonial era, the Koh family was highly regarded. Koh Seang Tat's grandfather, Koh Lay Huan, had obtained permission from Captain Francis Light, the founder of Penang Island, for himself and his men to settle on the island.
During his lifetime, Koh Seang Tat was appointed Justice of the Peace and later became a commissioner for the Municipal Council of George Town, while simultaneously monopolising legalised opium farming. He was also a philanthropist; he set up scholarships and petitioned the Singapore-based Straits Settlements Government to allocate more financial resources for Penang.
The fountain was donated by Koh Seang Tat to the Municipal Council of George Town in 1883, in conjunction with the opening of the adjacent Town Hall. By then, Koh was so successful, his residence was located right next to the Town Hall, where the Dewan Sri Pinang auditorium now stands. The fountain was unveiled on 4 July 1883 and today, it still stands at its original spot at the junction between Esplanade Road and Light Street.
The fountain was renovated to its original glory in 2011 and still functions to this day.
- Langdon, M. A Guide to George Town's Historic Commercial and Civic Precints. Penang : George Town World Heritage Incorporated.