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Tanjong City Marina, George Town, Penang

Tanjung City Marina, at Weld Quay, George Town, has been disused since 2011.

Tanjung City Marina is an abandoned marina off Weld Quay within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the early 2000s by the Malaysian federal government to rejuvenate the former Church Street Pier, the marina cost RM43 million (Malaysian Ringgit) and could accommodate up to 140 small vessels.

The marina was also part of the federal government's plan to restore George Town's seafront which had, until then, been neglected due to the decline of the Port of Penang.

However, the marina's floating infrastructure began to sink by 2009, and by 2011, the berths were completely lost to the waves. Tanjung City Marina is now the subject of a dispute between the Penang Port Commission, owned by the Malaysian federal government, and the Penang state government, which seeks to redevelop the failed marina into a seafront recreational zone.

History

Church Street Pier, George Town, Penang (1930)

Church Street Pier was once used as a jetty for passengers and motorcars using the ferry service between Penang Island and Butterworth on mainland Malay Peninsula.

Tanjung City Marina, which covered 1.6 hectares of land and sea at Church Street Pier, was created at a cost of RM43 million in the early 2000s by the Penang Port Commission (PPC), which is under the Malaysian Ministry of Transport. It was intended to revitalise George Town's then-decaying seafront, which had been much quieter following the revocation of Penang's free port status by the Malaysian federal government in 1969 and the subsequent loss of trade flowing into Penang.

Church Street Pier, George Town, Penang

Church Street Pier today

The rejuvenation of George Town's seafront was to be achieved by the attraction of recreational sailing activities to Tanjung City Marina. To this end, the new marina was equipped with 102 berths, and could accommodate up to 140 yachts, catamarans and other smaller vessels. In terms of its functionality, Tanjung City Marina would replace an older marina located off Fort Cornwallis.

The new marina was initially able to attract sailors from across the region. However, the marina's floating berths began to suffer considerable damage in 2009. The Port of Penang authorities reportedly blamed storms and strong waves for the damages, but ultimately did little to repair the sinking berths.

Tanjung City Marina finally sank in 2011, and the port authorities then began to place the blame on one another, citing the marina's poor design and management.

At the time of writing, the Penang state government is locked in a dispute with the Malaysian Ministry of Transport over the responsibility of restoring Tanjung City Marina. While the marina was built and run by the Malaysian federal government on its land, the Malaysian Transport Minister has been continuously shifting the responsibility of restoring the marina to the Penang state government, in what is seen as a politically-motivated blame game. For its part, although the Penang state government has been keen on acquiring and restoring the marina as part of the wider rejuvenation of George Town's historic seafront, the Penang authorities have limited powers to deal with a federal government project on land owned by the federal government.

Nonetheless, plans are said to be afoot to revitalise George Town's eastern waterfront, with Think City, an urban regeneration body, partnering with the Penang state government and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture for a proposal to create a seafront promenade between the Esplanade and the Clan Jetties south of Church Street Pier.

Political Representation

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)

References

  1. Hockton, K., Howard Tan, 2012. Penang : An Inside Guide to Its Historic Homes, Buildings, Monuments and Parks. MPH Group, Kuala Lumpur.
  2. http://www.penang-traveltips.com/tanjung-city-marina.htm
  3. http://www.penang-vacations.com/tanjong-city-marina.html
  4. http://penangmonthly.com/tag/waterfront/
  5. http://penangmonthly.com/where-the-sea-meets-the-city-is-where-the-world-meets-penang/
  6. http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/no-land-issues-stopping-putrajaya-from-repairing-tanjung-city-marina-said-g

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