The General Post Office at Downing Street, within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the main post office in the State of Penang. The building in which the office is housed, Bangunan Tuanku Syed Putra, was one of the first administrative buildings to be built in Penang after the Malayan Independence in 1957.
The post office has had a long history dating back to the late 19th. century, when the British colonial authorities reclaimed the area from the sea and began building governmental complexes. The spot on which the General Post Office now stands was where colonial buildings like the Treasury Department once stood, while the post office itself was housed inside a U-shaped administrative complex across Downing Street.
However, most of the colonial architecture were destroyed during World War 2. Later, Bangunan Tuanku Syed Putra was erected in the 1960s, and has since housed Penang's General Post Office.
The General Post Office mainly serves the heart of the city and contains special counters for various services.
Soon after the reclamation of the area between 1883 and 1889, the British colonial authorities began constructing administrative buildings within the said area. Upon the completion of the U-shaped Government Offices along the northern side of Downing Street in 1907, Penang's main post office was based in its eastern wing facing Weld Quay.
At the time, the site on which the current post office stands was occupied by two colonial buildings - one housing the Education and Treasury Departments, while the other served as the Town Club. Founded by Robert Yeats of the British trading company Boustead & Co., the Town Club became a watering hole for European merchants.
Sadly, these buildings were destroyed by Japanese and Allied bombers during World War 2. In the case of the Government Offices, only a section along the adjoining Beach Street survived; it now serves as the Penang Islamic Council Building.
In 1961, the foundation stone of Bangunan Tuanku Syed Putra was laid by the then Prime Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman. Named after the then King of Malaysia, this International-style building was completed the following year and declared open by Raja Tun Uda, the first Governor of Penang in the post-Independence era.
Initially serving as the seat of the Penang state government before its eventual relocation to KOMTAR, Bangunan Tuanku Syed Putra now houses Penang's General Post Office, which mainly serves central George Town.
Monday - Friday : 0830 hours - 1730 hours
Saturday : 0830 hours - 1300 hours
Penang State Government
N.26 Padang Kota State Assemblyman : Chow Kon Yeow (Democratic Action Party)
Malaysian Federal Parliament
P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)
- Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books, Penang.