Light Street Roundabout & Pinang Fountain, George Town, Penang

The Pinang Fountain on the Light Street Roundabout, George Town, in front of the Jubilee Clock Tower.

The Pinang Fountain on the Light Street Roundabout within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site is a metal, betel nut-shaped fountain. Erected by the then Barisan Nasional-led Penang state government in the early 2000s, it was designed to symbolise Penang Island (Pulau Pinang in Malay); the name Penang was derived from the betel nut (pinang in Malay).

Initially criticised by most local Penangites, the fountain is now a widely-accepted landmark within the heart of George Town. It also provides a modern twist to the nearby Jubilee Clock Tower.


The Pinang Fountain was placed on the Light Street Roundabout in the early 2000s by the then Barisan Nasional ruling coalition. The 4.8 metre tall metal fountain was designed to resemble a betel nut, also known as pinang in Malay; the word pinang had lent its name to the island and the State of Penang.

At first, most Penangites objected to the installation of the fountain. Heritage conservationists feared that such a modernist, metallic structure would hamper the chances of George Town being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Others were worried that the fountain would ruin the view of the nearby Jubilee Clock Tower.

George Town was eventually recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 and today, the criticisms have died down.



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