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Suburb of George Town
Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese 牛汝莪
 • Hokkien gû jú ngô͘
 • Tamil குளுகோர்
Skyline of Gelugor
Coordinates: 5°22′8.76″N 100°18′34.92″E / 5.3691000°N 100.3097000°E / 5.3691000; 100.3097000Coordinates: 5°22′8.76″N 100°18′34.92″E / 5.3691000°N 100.3097000°E / 5.3691000; 100.3097000
Country  Malaysia
State  Penang
District Northeast Penang Island
City Seal of George Town.svg George Town
 • Local government Penang Island City Council
 • Mayor of Penang Island Yew Tung Seang
 • Seri Delima State assemblyman Syerleena Abdul Rashid (DAP)
 • Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament Ramkarpal Singh (DAP)
Time zone UTC+8 (MST)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed
Postal code 11700

Gelugor is a southern suburb of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Named after a plant species, Gelugor lies along the eastern seaboard of Penang Island, between Jelutong and Sungai Dua, and nearly 5 km (3.1 mi) south of the city centre.

Gelugor had been populated as early as the late 18th century by Malay fishermen who arrived here from Sumatra.[1] The area was then cleared for agricultural plantations by David Brown, a partner of Captain Francis Light.

Urbanisation of the area began in earnest in the 1960s, when residential estates were established within the area. Gelugor gradually turned into a suburb of George Town, helped by its strategic location right in the middle between George Town proper and Bayan Lepas to the south. In 1969, Universiti Sains Malaysia was founded at Gelugor and is now one of the top Malaysian public universities.

In recent decades, Gelugor has assumed increased importance. In addition to hosting Penang Island's first university, the Penang Bridge, completed in 1985, was Penang's first cross-strait bridge, linking Gelugor with the Malay Peninsula.


Gelugor was named after Garcinia atroviridis, known in Malay as asam gelugor.[2] Widely endemic in the Malay Peninsula, this species is especially cultivated on Penang Island for its medicinal properties.

An 1818 painting of the view overlooking George Town and Gelugor.
A residential neighbourhood at Gelugor


Gelugor was one of the first areas of Penang Island to be inhabited. Fishermen had moved into the area from Sumatra in the 18th century, predating Captain Francis Light's founding of Penang Island in 1786.[1] They settled around the mouth of the Gelugor River (Malay: Sungai Gelugor) and Bukit Gelugor.

Soon after Light came ashore in what is now George Town in 1786, his Scottish partner, David Brown, cleared the jungles around Gelugor to make way for agricultural purposes, including spice and coconut plantations.[3] Brown also brought in labourers from India to work in the estates. He eventually became the largest landowner on Penang Island in the early 19th century.

Up until the end of World War II, Gelugor remained a rural area. Prior to the war, the British Army converted one of David Brown's houses into the Glugor Barracks, to be renamed later as Minden Barracks.[3] The army camp was occupied by the Imperial Japanese Army during the war. It was again put in use during the Malayan Emergency and the Indonesian Confrontation, before being closed for good in 1971 following the withdrawal of all British armed forces from Southeast Asia.

The development of residential estates at Gelugor began in the 1960s, originally to house civil servants. Also in the 1960s, a proposal to establish Penang's first university was mooted. Eventually, the Penang University (Malay: Universiti Pulau Pinang) was founded in 1969, before being relocated to the former Minden Barracks in 1971. The university has since been renamed Universiti Sains Malaysia, now one of the foremost public universities in Malaysia.

In 1985, the Penang Bridge that connects Gelugor with the Malay Peninsula was completed. The bridge has indirectly boosted urbanisation at Gelugor, which also lies right between George Town proper and the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone.


The Penang Bridge runs between Gelugor and Perai on the Malay Peninsula.

Gelugor is directly linked to Seberang Perai, the mainland halve of Penang, via the 13.5 km (8.4 mi)-long Penang Bridge. Upon its completion in 1985, the bridge was the longest in Southeast Asia; that title has since been passed on to the Second Penang Bridge further south. Nonetheless, the Penang Bridge remains a heavily used road link between Penang Island and the mainland, due to the higher toll charges on the longer Second Penang Bridge, and the older bridge's closer proximity to both George Town and Butterworth.[4]

Within the suburb, Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah serves as the main thoroughfare.[5] In recent years, much of the pan-island and incoming traffic from the Penang Bridge have been diverted to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, which runs along Gelugor's coastline as well.

Rapid Penang buses 11, 13, 102, 206, 301, 302, 303, 304, 401 and AT (Airport Transit) serve the residents of the suburb, by connecting Gelugor with George Town to the north and other destinations on Penang Island, such as the Penang International Airport, Batu Lanchang, Air Itam, Tanjung Bungah and Balik Pulau.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

In addition, a cycling lane has been installed along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway as part of the move to encourage cycling as a form of alternative transportation.[16] This 12.5 km (7.8 mi)-long cycling lane extends from George Town proper towards Queensbay Mall, south of the Penang Bridge.


The main campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia is situated within Gelugor.

A total of three primary schools and two high schools are located within Gelugor. These national schools are listed as follows.

Primary schools

  • SRK Sungai Gelugor[17]
  • SRK Bukit Gelugor[18]
  • SRK Minden Height[19]

High schools

  • SMK Bukit Gambir[20]
  • SMK Datuk Hj. Mohamed Nor Ahmad[21]

Gelugor is home to one of the top Malaysian public universities, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM). It was ranked fifth within Malaysia by the QS World University Rankings as of 2016.[22] USM is also the only university in Malaysia to be accorded the APEX University status by the Malaysian federal government and one of the handful autonomous universities nationwide.[23][24]

In addition, a teachers' training institution run by the Malaysian federal government, Institut Pendidikan Guru Pulau Pinang, is situated within Gelugor as well.[25]


Udini Square, the newest shopping mall at Gelugor

The sole shopping mall within Gelugor is Udini Square, which was opened in 2015. The mall, anchored by two sporting good chains, specialises in household hardware and sporting equipment. Udini Square is also complemented by a Tesco store located opposite the mall; the two adjacent shopping complexes are connected via an overhead pedestrian bridge.[26][27]

Another commercial complex, named e-Gate, is situated next to both Udini Square and the Tesco outlet, facing the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.[28] This complex houses a number of high-end eateries and electronics stores, such as Subway and OldTown White Coffee.[29][30]


Arte S, the third tallest skyscraper in Penang, is situated within Gelugor.
Gelugor Power Plant

Tenaga Nasional, Malaysia's main electric utility firm, operates a power plant at the coast of Gelugor.[31] Running primarily on oil, the Gelugor Power Station generates 398MW of electricity.[32]

The newly created Light neighbourhood at the coast of Gelugor contains a linear park equipped with a cycling track.[33] Individual marinas have also been built within this seafront residential neighbourhood.[34]

Future developments at Gelugor include the construction of a mixed-commercial and residential waterfront precinct, named The Light City.[35][36] This project, a joint venture by Malaysia's IJM Land Berhad and Singapore's Perennial Real Estate Holdings, comprises a shopping mall and what will be Penang's largest convention centre, as well as luxury hotels and residential units.



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  4. ^ Tan, Anthony. "More motorists using Penang Bridge than second link - Community | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
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  17. ^ "SK SG GELUGOR - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  18. ^ "SK BUKIT GELUGOR - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  19. ^ "SK MINDEN HEIGHT - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  20. ^ "SMK BUKIT GAMBIR - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  21. ^ "SMK DATUK HJ. MOHAMED NOR AHMAD - PULAU PINANG - Carian Sekolah Malaysia". (in Malay). Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  22. ^ "QS World University Rankings 2016". Top Universities. 2016-08-25. Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  23. ^ Kulasagaran, Priya. "Four more local universities - UM, UKM, USM, UPM - granted autonomy - Nation | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  24. ^ "USM | Universiti Sains Malaysia - APEX Status". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  25. ^ "Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Pulau Pinang". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  26. ^ "Tesco Stores (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  27. ^ II, Administrator. "Udini Square is Now Opened!". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  28. ^ "e-Gate, Gelugor | Propwall". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  29. ^ "Locations | - Malaysia (English)". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  30. ^ "Oldtown | Location". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  31. ^ "Gelugor Gas Power Plant". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  32. ^ "Modelling Electricity Generation in Malaysia using IMEM: Initial Results" (PDF). Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. 
  33. ^ "THE LIGHT Waterfront Penang wins Silver FIABCI Award". Malaysia Premier Property and Real Estate Portal. Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  34. ^ "Home sweet home amid man-made marine marvel - Community | The Star Online". Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  35. ^ hermes (2017-05-10). "Perennial, Malaysian firm unveil Penang waterfront project". The Straits Times. Retrieved 2017-05-19. 
  36. ^ "IJM Perennial unveils its RM4.5b Penang waterfront development". 2017-05-09. Retrieved 2017-05-19.