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Prangin Lane, George Town, Penang

Prangin Lane, George Town

Prangin Lane is a short narrow street within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site. It runs straight from northwest to southeast, between Carnavon Street to the north and Beach Street to the south.

Due to its location near the Sia Boey Market, the street was once known for certain auxiliary trades, such as fish-drying. This was especially so between the end of the 19th. century and the mid-20th. century, when the market was operational.

With the closure of Sia Boey Market, the street has been somewhat cleaned up.

Prangin Lane sign, George Town, Penang

A bilingual Prangin Lane sign, featuring its Chinese name.

Etymology

Prangin Lane was named after the Prangin River, which marked the southernmost limit of George Town for much of the 19th. century. The river was then converted into a canal, enabling boats and sampans to transport goods and produce between the harbour and the interior of Penang Island.

As the lane was where fish caught in the sea would be dried under the Sun, the Chinese called this lane Kiam3 hu3 Tnia2, meaning 'salted fish yard' in Penang Hokkien.

History

Prangin Lane has been in existence since at least the late 19th. century, when trading and wholesale activities around both the Sia Boey Market and Prangin Canal were in full swing. At the time, fish caught in the sea would be dried around the adjacent areas such as Prangin Lane and Fish Lane. In addition, several other auxiliary trades, such as rattan-making, were based here.

With the shifting of the now-defunct Sia Boey Market to Maccalum Street Ghaut to the east, the lane has become somewhat quieter and cleaner. On the other hand, this has unfortunately left a negative impact on the traditional auxiliary trades around the street.

Fooi Chew Association, Prangin Lane, George Town, Penang

Fooi Chew Association

Notable Landmark

The Fooi Chew Association, located at the mid-section of the lane, was founded in 1822 for the Hakkas from Foochew prefecture in southeastern China. The double-storey building is the most distinctive of all along Prangin Lane, due to the pair of granite columns stretching all the way up its façade.

Street Art

No Plastic Bag wrought iron sculpture, Prangin Lane, George Town, Penang

No Plastic Bag Iron Sculpture, Prangin Lane

The 'No Plastic Bag' wrought iron sculpture has been installed at the southern junction with Beach Street. Commemorating both the past and the present, the sculpture merges one of the auxiliary petty trades along the street with the relatively recent ruling banning plastic bags on Penang Island in 2011.

It depicts a wicker shopkeeper telling off a woman who is obviously carrying more goods than she can carry. Its description is as follows.

A petty trading neighbourhood, where you can find activities such as drying of salted fish and basket weaving.

Political Representation

Penang State Government

Western stretch between Carnavon Street and Fish Lane

N.28 Komtar State Assemblyman : Teh Lai Heng (Democratic Action Party)

Eastern stretch between Fish Lane and Beach Street

N.27 Pengkalan Kota State Assemblyman : Lau Keng Ee (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)

References

  1. Khoo S.N., 2007. Streets of George Town, Penang. Areca Books, Penang
  2. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/prangin-lane.htm

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