Batu Kawan

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Not to be confused with Batu Kawa.
Batu Kawan
峇都交湾
Town
Batu Musang Jetty
Batu Musang Jetty
Batu Kawan is located in Peninsular Malaysia
Batu Kawan
Batu Kawan
Location in Peninsular Malaysia
Batu Kawan is located in Malaysia
Batu Kawan
Batu Kawan
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 5°15′0″N 100°25′0″E / 5.25000°N 100.41667°E / 5.25000; 100.41667
Country Malaysia
State Penang
District South Seberang Perai
Government
 • Member of Parliament Kasthuriraani a/p Patto (DAP)
 • Tuan Yang Di-Pertua MPSP Maimunah binti Mohd Sharif
Time zone Malaysian Standard Time (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Postal code 14100

Batu Kawan is an island and a town in the area of Penang, Malaysia. The island is situated off Seberang Perai, which is on the mainland. The island is separated from the mainland by Sungai Jejawi and Sungai Tengah.

Batu Kawan was long considered a quiet backwater, noted for sugar-cane, coconut and rubber plantations in the 19th century, before changing to oil palm plantations in the middle 20th century, which have now mainly fallen into disrepair. It was among the oldest towns in Penang, accessible only by ferry from Bukit Tambun.

Development of the island has come under intense scrutiny after the government chose Batu Kawan as the mainland site for a major industrial area and the third satellite town of George Town, Penang after Bayan Lepas and Seberang Jaya. New industrial sites, commercial areas and residential schemes are expected to be developed in Batu Kawan town. Besides that, Batu Kawan is heading towards a bustling industrial hub just like the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Park and the Prai Industrial Area. Three big companies — Robert Bosch, Boon Siew Honda and VAT Manufacturing Malaysia — have pledged investments totalling about RM10bil to site their manufacturing plants in this town. [1]

Apart from that, the Penang state government announced an ambitious plan to build 11,800 medium-cost housing units under its RM2.7bil Bandar Cassia Affordable Housing Scheme, which would be modelled after Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) housing schemes. [2]

This area has also become a strategic location for the Penang Second Bridge which links Batu Kawan and Batu Maung on Penang Island. This 24km bridge is expected to be open to traffic in September 2013 and will be the longest bridge in South-east Asia. The bridge project has sparked various economic activities including the mushrooming of new housing projects. Many people from Penang island are buying properties in Batu Kawan since the price is believed to be cheaper than that of the island. [3]

The island is also the location for the Batu Kawan Stadium, Penang's state stadium. When the land in Batu Kawan was acquired by the state investment arm, Penang Development Corporation (PDC) some 30 years ago, large tracts of land were cleared including for the construction of the state stadium. The stadium project and the setting up of an industrial estate were one of the early stages for the development of Batu Kawan. [4]

This tiny island also has many hidden historical gems, dating back to the days of the British colonial masters.

Notable landmarks[edit]

Gedung Island viewed from Batu Musang Jetty, Batu Kawan.

Tangga Seribu[edit]

Locals in Batu Kawan would have heard about Tangga Seribu (a thousand steps) which charted a path up Bukit Batu Kawan but few outsiders have knowledge about it.

The steps continued to the top of the hill and down the other side. They were believed to have been built by a rich quarry owner about 200 years ago. At the summit of the 776 ft-high hill there once sat a village, for whose villagers the steps had been built. The waterfall near the summit has dried up since the plantation of rubber trees.

The ruins of the steps are now covered by forest vegetation and soil, and there remain only some stone structures to indicate the position of the old pathway, which ends at the beach near Batu Musang jetty.

Batu Musang Jetty[edit]

The Batu Musang jetty was once used by tongkang (junks) to transport quarry stones from nearby hills to build George Town. A new jetty was built around 2004, connecting a boat service to Pulau Aman.

Club Beach[edit]

The short strip of beach at Batu Kawan was once popularly known as the Club beach. There was a clubhouse frequented by Europeans who worked and lived on the island, where they danced and dined at night. The clubhouse is long gone, and locals refer to it as Batu Musang beach. The only structure now in the vicinity of this secluded beach is the newly built Batu Musang jetty.

Batu Kawan Kampung[edit]

Around the kampung (village), there are several age-old bullock-powered stone grinders that were used in the past to crush sugar cane to extract the juice. Though the grinding stones are missing, the granite bases of the contraptions remain intact.

Education[edit]

Primary School[edit]

  • Sekolah Kebangsaan Batu Kawan

Secondary School[edit]

  • Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Batu Kawan

Tertiary Institutions[edit]

University of Hull is proposing to set up its branch campus in Batu Kawan. This project would be undertaken by PKT Logistics Group Sdn. Bhd. The campus is one of the components of PKT's One Auto Hub in Batu Kawan, which incorporates automotive logistics facilities, warehouse, hotel, pavilion, jetty, mangrove walk or animal sanctuary. It will be the first international university in Seberang Perai and the second in Penang. Construction will commence next year and is student intake is to be expected in 2017. The branch campus will focus on Engineering, Law, Accountancy and Logistics. [5]

Kolej Damansara Utama (KDU) University will be established in Batu Kawan, offering courses in engineering, accounting, information technology and hospitality. [6]

The education hub in Batu Kawan is planned to support Penang Development Corporation's (PDC) policy to promote and sell land to attract catalyst projects particularly on education and services to complement the rapid development of industrial and housing sectors in Batu Kawan. [7]

Sports and recreation[edit]

Batu Kawan Stadium[edit]

Batu Kawan Stadium, also known as the Penang state stadium, is a multi-purpose stadium which has a capacity of 40,000, which makes the stadium the largest in Penang. The stadium is built specifically for the 8th Sukma Games which is held in 2000.

Golf[edit]

There is a project underway to build what is expected to be the most expensive mixed-development golf project in the state. This is a cooperative project with Korean investors. It is expected to be completed in 2013.[8]

Biodiversity[edit]

Of minor biological note is the comment that cobras of Batu Kawan, separated from the mainland by a small waterway, have a unique marking on the hood.[citation needed]

Future Developments[edit]

IKEA, a popular home furnishing store is planned to be open at a proposed shopping mall in Batu Kawan, which is to be developed by Ikano Pte Ltd. It will be located near the Penang Second Bridge and will be the first Malaysian IKEA store in Penang and outside Klang Valley. Construction to expected to commence in 2015 and to be completed in another 5 years. [9] [10]

References[edit]