The name Sungai Dua is because it is located between two rivers, and hence the name Sungai Dua (Two Rivers). It grew in population as a result of the opening of Universiti Sains Malaysia (Malaysian Science University) in 1969. The site of USM was originally the British military barracks and also served as the Japanese military campsite during World War II. The majority of early settlements were Chinese Hokkien. Most of the Chinese Hokkien then lived in kampungs (villages) and their standard of education were at the level of primary or secondary. Very few made it to tertiary education due to poverty. The first school ever established in Sungai Dua was the Keong Hoe School which was later moved upwards in the latter 80's.
The major influx of USM students from out of state and the rising population of Penang has contributed greatly to the expansion and growth of Sungai Dua.
Currently Sungai Dua is a developed town and houses numerous modern infrastructure and facilities. 24-hour food outlets and convenience stores are abundant and multi-story apartment complexes are on the rise in the area. Mega shopping outlet Tesco Extra (formerly Makro) opened its outlet on 21 May 2007 in Sungai Dua to cater to the needs of the ever-growing numbers of residents. Fast food outlets and modern culinary such as McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut and Baskin-Robbins have also opened stores in Sungai Dua.
Taman Pekaka is one of the residential areas located within Sungai Dua and encompasses a vast array of housing areas including terrace houses, apartments and flats. Taman Pekaka is well known throughout Penang Island as being one of the major housing areas in Sungai Dua and one of the oldest in the vicinity. The housing area is also a point of interest for the Malaysia Science University students.
The Penang Bridge, which is a 5-minute drive from the Sungai Dua, brings convenience to the residents to exit the Penang Island. The Sungai Dua is also adjacent to the major highway i.e. the Jelutong Expressway, linking the residents to major cities or to major transportation hubs such as the Weld Quay (Penang Ferry Service), the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal and the Penang International Airport.
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