Welcome to Penang, Malaysia


The state of Penang on Malaysia's north-west coast lies at the crossroads of Asia's major civilizations and has sparked visitors' imaginations for centuries. From awe-inspiring architecture, non-stop shopping, and mouth-watering cuisine, Penang is an authentic taste of the real Asia, where laid-back charm is woven into a tapestry of culture, heritage and natural beauty.

A perfect blend of East and West, Penang has accepted modernity gracefully while maintaining the heritage and tradition. This wonderful state in Malaysia is situated on the northwest coast of the Malaysian Peninsula and is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia. Penang is the second smallest state in the country with the capital of the state being George Town.

Penang has it all: rich history, fun beaches, beautiful resorts, diverse culture and delicious food. Every year, thousands of visitors come here to experience the unique cultural heritage and scenery. It is also a very cosmopolitan city, perhaps the second busiest in the country after Kuala Lumpur.

The island occupies an area of 285 square kilometres. The state also encompasses Province Wellesley (Seberang Perai), a strip on the mainland. The island is separated from the mainland by a channel three kilometres wide at the narrowest point. The Penang Bridge (13.5km) - completed in August 1985, Penang Second Bridge (24km) - completed in March 2014 as well as Ferry services link the island to the mainland.

Quick Facts

  • Penang gets its name from the Malay word Pulau Pinang, which means island of the areca nut palm.
  • Penang is one of the thirteen states of Malaysia and comprises an island and strip of island on the mainland called Seberang Perai.
  • Penang was the first British outpost in South-East Asia, founded in 1786 by Captain Francis Light.
  • George Town was bestowed the rank of a city by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 January 1957.
  • Penang is the only Malaysian state offering FREE state-wide WIFI with 1,550 hotspots to date.
  • Penang's population of just over 1.5 million people includes Malays, Chinese, Indians, Thais, Burmese, Eurasians, Japanese, Koreans and various expatriate groups.
  • Penang's capital, George Town was inscribed onto UNESCO's World Heritage List on 7 July 2008.

Climate, Language & Religion


Penang enjoys a year-round tropical rainforest climate which is warm and sunny, along with plentiful rainfall, especially during the southwest monsoon from April to September. The climate is very much dictated by the surrounding sea and the wind system.


The common languages/dialects of Penang, depending on social classes, social circles, and ethnic backgrounds are English, Mandarin, Malay, Penang Hokkien and Tamil. Mandarin, which is taught in Chinese-medium schools in the state, is also increasingly spoken.

Penang Hokkien is a variant of Minnan and is widely spoken by a substantial proportion of the Penang populace who are descendants of early Chinese settlers. It bears strong resemblance to the language spoken by Chinese living in the Indonesian city of Medan and is based on the Minnan dialect of Zhangzhou prefecture in Fujian province, China. It incorporates a large number of loanwords from Malay and English. Many Penangites who are not ethnically Chinese are also able to speak in Hokkien, including some Penang non-Chinese police officers who undergo Hokkien language courses. Most Penang Hokkien speakers are not literate in Hokkien but instead read and write in standard (Mandarin) Chinese, English and/or Malay.

English is a working language widely used in business and commerce, and is also the language of instruction of Science and Mathematics in schools. English used in an official or formal context is predominantly British English with some American influences. Spoken English, as in the rest of Malaysia, is often in the form of Manglish (Malaysian colloquial English).

Other languages (Chinese dialects), including Cantonese and Hakka are also spoken in the state. Teochew is heard more in Seberang Perai than on Penang Island.


The official religion of Malaysia is Islam and the head of Islam is the Yang Dipertuan Agong, but other religions are freely practised. These are Buddhism, in the Theravada, Mahayana and increasingly also Vajrayana traditions, Taoism, Chinese folk religion, Hinduism, Catholicism, Protestantism (the largest denominations of which are the Methodists, Seventh-day Adventists, Anglican, Presbyterian and Baptists) and Sikhism- reflecting Penang's diverse ethnic and socio-cultural amalgamation.

There is also a small, but little-known, community of Jews in Penang, mainly along Jalan Zainal Abidin (formerly Jalan Yahudi or Jewish Street).


Source: myPenang

  Important Dates

31 July 2016

Extended Abstract Submission Deadline

15 August 2016

Extended Presenting Author Notification

3 October 2016

Extended Deadline for Early Bird Registration

27 September 2016

E-Poster Submission Deadline

7 October 2016

Congress Day