Penang most liveable city in Malaysia

Penang has, for the first time, beaten Kuala Lumpur for two consecutive years as the country’s most liveable city, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said.

Quoting the annual ECA International Location Ratings research, Lim said Penang had maintained its position as Asia’s eighth most liveable city, while Kuala Lumpur had dropped from ninth to the 10th spot.

“We should feel proud — for the first time in history, we are number one in Malaysia for two years running.

“It’s not a fluke, it’s a fact,” Lim told a press conference in Komtar.

He said listed criteria for the ranking included quality of living, climate, health services, isolation, social network and leisure facilities, infrastructure and political tensions.

According to the survey, Singapore maintained its grip on the top spot and also retained its global ranking as the number one most liveable city in the world.

Kobe, Japan stayed at the second spot of Asia’s most liveable cities, followed by Hong Kong, Tokyo and Yokohama (tied at fourth), Taipei and Macau.

Seoul, that was ranked as Asia’s 10th most liveable city in 2011, edged Kuala Lumpur to tie with George Town in this year’s ranking.

ECA International, which carries out the location rating annually, is an international consulting firm that specialises in providing and developing solutions for the management and assignment of employees around the world.

Lim said Penang’s ranking as the nation’s most liveable city showed that protests against the state government that had taken place since the last general election were done by only a “small group of troublemakers.” - By The Star


April 24, 2012 at 11:00 AMCK

Not to mention the most jam packed road... And they forgot to mention the transportation sux! Haha

April 24, 2012 at 11:48 AMcondomana

As much as I condemn hooliganistic protests, we should allow space for the people to express their discontentments, but not blindly label such activities as "trouble making". Penang has been one of the most liveable cities in asia long before this new state gov, and luckily LGE did not claim credit for this, otherwise he would have got the massacre from our new BN head honcho in Penang...:)

April 24, 2012 at 12:31 PMJacquie

Please, Penang is NOT a City, it is an Island. get your fact straight !!!!!!!!!

April 24, 2012 at 12:44 PMcondomana

Hi Yunos,

And your point is..........??????

April 24, 2012 at 12:58 PMJacquie

Would u call Pulau Langkawi a city? Pulau Jerejak a city?

April 24, 2012 at 1:05 PMLittleOne

Am still trying to understand Yunos' point.

I have to give credit to this current administration for stacking up and doing lots of improvement to the state. Sad to say, the last administration (especially under the Bo Hoot's leadership), the state fell into disrepair and lack of political will to make things better for the people of Penang.

April 24, 2012 at 1:16 PMJacquie

if one can not diffferentiate between an Island n a city in English language one need take an English lesson. B specific to avoide misunderstandings.

April 24, 2012 at 1:57 PMtwyeow88

wrong. "Penang" is a state. not island, not city. you forgot about mainland. "Georgetown" is a city. "Penang Island" is an island.

back to school lah.

April 24, 2012 at 2:06 PMSCC33


So how about Hong Kong & Singapore?

Rather than stating the difference, please make your point clear, are you here to teach english or are you disputing Penang as most livable city in msia??

April 24, 2012 at 2:12 PMCK

Oh dear, now wanna dispute city and state pula...
What's wrong with calling Penang a city.... I think it sound more sedap...

Kids will be kids...

April 24, 2012 at 2:46 PMJacquie

Its like calling an apple a pear or a durian a jackfruit, LOL. I'll b in Penang Island in a few months, to do a feature on it.The review will b good n bad.

April 24, 2012 at 4:28 PMcondomana

Hi Yunos,

The good - nice cheap food, great beaches

The bad - very hostile property bloggers who will come in drove to attack you when you say things without a point.....:D

April 24, 2012 at 5:07 PMJacquie

Great beaches? A joke, Thailand has better beaches. U realy have not seen what great beaches looks like, that goes for miles, take a flight to Gold Coast, Qld. Australia; nice clean beaches, golden sand, u can fit a six lane highway on it. Now thats what I call great beach, my back yard is bigger than what u consider great beaches. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 24, 2012 at 6:56 PMCK

I kinda like your example :) Yes, there will be hostile kids around to attack you.... Let's hope we are not engaging with teenager wannabes... :)

April 24, 2012 at 7:20 PMLittleOne

Hopefully you can give some fair views about Penang. If you are from Utusan or the likes of it, you can go and "chiak sai". That's how Penang people greet trouble makers.

April 24, 2012 at 8:56 PMJacquie

Is this how most liveable state of Malaysia displayed their mentality to the world with ignorance n arrogant. (chiak sai means eat shit) foul launguage. No developed nation woild stoop so low.

April 24, 2012 at 9:39 PMfrogprince

Since there is an English teacher here, why don't we call Penang as most liveable place. Before he can get his fact straight, already started barking. twteoh is good to point out the English teacher's error that Penang is a state and not only island.
But in the end still do not understand why would we care whether it's an island, city or state as long as the existing government continue to improve and develop Penang CITY !!! ;)

April 24, 2012 at 9:48 PMPG kia

This article is about the most liveable city "in Malaysia". Of course there are more good places around the world. In fact we have gold coast (QB) and golden sand (BF) in Penang too :-) ... You name it!

April 24, 2012 at 11:25 PMC

Hi Yunos,

I realy (really) woild (would) avoide (avoid) such bad spellings before advising others to take English lessons.

April 24, 2012 at 11:32 PMtwyeow88

Yunos, despite all the ......, i still couldn't get what you are trying to tell us here. can you get to the point?

April 25, 2012 at 9:05 AMKhun

Yes, no doubt penang is the most livable city in malaysia, but we must not linger as "juara kampung". We got to strive to make it higher ranking in the world, competiting with Singapore, HK and so on. I have hope with Penang!

April 25, 2012 at 10:52 AMRonnie

@Yunos said...
Please, Penang is NOT a City, it is an Island. get your fact straight !!!!!!!!!
April 24, 2012 12:31 PM

You want fact? Here's the facts.

Is Hong Kong not a city? Is Singapore not a city? Is Japan not a city? They are all islands if you don't know that. You might be retarded enough to question me about Japan "You call that an island?" Yes, Japan is an island, which is also known as Archipelago. Oh, please google up if you don't know what it means.

And by all means, you can call Pulau Langkawi a city too, because it has reaches some extent of population and it runs its own autonomy, not to forget its International Airport that fly from/to international cities like Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore etc.

Maybe you don't need another English teacher, but please tell your mum to get you a Geography teacher instead.

Get a life, kid.

April 25, 2012 at 11:14 AMKEN

Give him a break guys...the kid is crying already...

April 25, 2012 at 12:47 PMChong

Hi Penangites,

this 'listing' is telling us that Penang is better to stay than KL for a citicen by 'international' view.

we know Penangites still love to stay in Penang , and KL guy love KL life style much than what they can get in Penang and look us as small town and stingy.

nevermind, as Penang born and live in penang, we love Penang and now Lim Guan Eng is definitely better than Koh Tsu Koon lo. who dare to challenge KTK is better than LGE with Penangites?

p/s: i work in KL and Penang and travel weekly.

April 25, 2012 at 3:29 PMcondomana

Hi Yunos,

See what I mean...:)

Hi All,

Penang has the advantage of being a secondary city in Malaysia. There are tremendous benefits not being the largest; less money making prospects means less people (all types of rojak people) will flock here, which means less people to fight for road space, school space etc. That results in more space to work & relax, to think and reflect, and to enjoy the various pleasures in life.

We probably don't need more jobs, but we need better quality jobs that demand highly specialized skills, and that's how we can raise our local GDP. A tertiary institution with high reputable international standard would definitely help in producing a work force with the right skills. I feel Penang has the ingradients (with it's historical high literacy rate) for the breakthrough, but LGE needs to know how to cook it. If he's not sure, can check with his friendly neighbor lah...;)

Having said all that, I think the thing that earned Penang the honour of the most liveable city in Malaysia, in the eyes of this ECA judge, is you can finally get a Whopper here!!.....:D..just kidding.

April 25, 2012 at 6:54 PMJacquie

Hi all, after spending two most wornderful weeks in Thailand, tracking over the forest, snorkeling, and diving we flew to Penang, for the famous cheap food, which we paid dearly by contracting salmonella, sick for three days. Prior to that we went to Kek Lok Si Temple, and were very disgusted how polluted the water in a tiny pond where the over crowded turtle are kept. The over head foot Bridge in Penang Rd. were very dirty and stank of urine and you have to watch where you walk as there were spits. A lot of make shift eateries at night and the area were crawling with big fat RATS. Drains are use as rubbish dump, there is no hygiene whats so ever. We were for ever reminded by the hotel staffs of bags snatchers. Went around the Island and it took less than 4hrs. with few stops, there were nothing wonderful or exciting about Penang to brag. The ferry terminal is shocking on both sides. By the seventh day we have had enough, left for Singapore, it was heaven on earth, VERY CLEAN, people are friendlier and very knowledgeable and well eduacated and no TRAFFIC JAM.Thumbs up to Singapore and Thailand for their wonderful and interesting places to see and do. We will most definitely be back to spend our money and time.

April 25, 2012 at 8:32 PMCK

My dear "bad choice",

As much as i tried to symphatise with your beautifully written story, your choice of ID tells me otherwise. "bad choice"? What a beautiful ID you had:). I am sure you have recovered from all the bad chapter above as your last sentence is still upbeat of coming back again.

I sincerely hope all will be well on your second trip here as I am betting such bad luck like contracting diseases and being sick for three days will not struck twice... Maybe you got the bugs in Thailand beautiful beaches?

However, someone in Kek Lok Si told me this is karma. So if you do more good deeds, maybe you will be blessed with a safer journey next time.

And yes, remember to watch out for snatch thieves the very next time also, these ppl have the abilities to identify nerds and I am very worried about your safety as a caring Penangites.

Lastly, where did you graduated from? drama school?

Yours Sincerely,

April 25, 2012 at 8:46 PMewelee

georgetown is not a city. thats why we dun hv mayor. if you want to know the reason, then ask koh tsu koon or those gerakan ppl.

April 25, 2012 at 8:48 PMRafael

Hi Bad Choice,
I have been in Penang since secondary school and now working here for the past 7 years. I have even purchase a house in Penang island. I have to agree with what you said. For the past 24 months I have been to Singapore 4 times (3 on own holidays and 1 on business trip). Regardless of the clean, better city to stay and etc, I only hope in the next 5 years Penang will have the same level of law in general like Singapore except the religion portion.
Anyway thanks for your comments. Let us penangites be ready for the next phase to achieve liveable city just like Singapore.

April 26, 2012 at 10:02 AMtwyeow88

if you have a lot of money, HK or S'pore is a better place to live, otherwise, penang will give you a better quality of life.

i am not sure you guys really hope that 1 day penang will be like HK or s'pore coz when i said property price in penang will move higher when a country progresses, many has already criticized. how would you feel if 1 day public housing is half a million at least, proton car is more than 100k, and we are surrounded by foreigners who live in big houses while we live in small flat in our home land?

April 26, 2012 at 2:50 PMAnonymous

10 Most Liveable Cities in Asia-Pacific 2012

Posted by Tommy Ooi on 4/18/12 • Categorized as Travel News

According to the latest Location Ratings for expatriate living conditions published by ECA International, Singapore is the most liveable city in the world for Asian expatriates.

A city’s livability is determined by 10 factors: climate and natural disasters, health risks and facilities, air pollution, goods and services, infrastructure, recreation, housing and utilities, education, personal security and, finally, socio-political tensions.

The survey covers 400 cities around the world, of which 49 are located in Asia-Pacific, and analyses a destination’s livability in order to help companies determine whether their employees will need additional “location allowances” when transferring to these cities, to “compensate for the adjustment employees and their families need to make,” explained Quane.
1. Singapore
2. Kobe
3. Hong Kong

Check Out : Must Visit Hong Kong Attractions
4. Tokyo
4. Yokohama
6. Taipei
7. Macau

Check out : Must Visit Macau Attractions
8. Georgetown
8. Seoul

Check out : Must Visit Seoul Attractions
10. Kuala Lumpur

April 26, 2012 at 4:46 PMAnonymous

@Yunos said...
Please, Penang is NOT a City, it is an Island. get your fact straight !!!!!!!!!
April 24, 2012 12:31 PM

You want fact? Here's the facts.

Is Hong Kong not a city? Is Singapore not a city? Is Japan not a city? They are all islands if you don't know that. You might be retarded enough to question me about Japan "You call that an island?" Yes, Japan is an island, which is also known as Archipelago. Oh, please google up if you don't know what it means.

And by all means, you can call Pulau Langkawi a city too, because it has reaches some extent of population and it runs its own autonomy, not to forget its International Airport that fly from/to international cities like Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore etc.

Maybe you don't need another English teacher, but please tell your mum to get you a Geography teacher instead.

Get a life, kid
Orang bangsat cakap besar mau banding dgn. negeri yg. mewah. Once a bandsat always a bangsat, tattoo for life. Thats the reason the Brits. tak hand over Malaya to penyangak. Buckle up its going to be a bumpy ride. What a doozy. Tanah Melayu will always be Tanah Melayu. Just like China belong to Chinese.Talk like bangsat, walk like bangsat, smells like bangsat,looks bangsat, must be bangsat.

April 26, 2012 at 8:55 PMfrogprince

@ Bad Choice: if Penang is so bad, why you stayed until 7th day before you have had enough? Pack your bags the first day lar.

April 27, 2012 at 2:31 AMPenang Fan

Let's not have ill feelings about bad choice blunt remarks. He has provided valuable feed back as to what some visitors perceived about Penang Island. Truth can be painful but it can also be good for Penang. Call it a rude awakening if you want but lets not rest in our laurel and tell the Penang authority to spruce up immediately. We need a cleaner and less traffic congestive in Penang. Let Penang be the cleanest state in Malaysia first then Asia follow that with the world.

If Singapore being a bigger island can do that we can too.

April 27, 2012 at 1:55 PMtwyeow88

most expat got "ah kong" pay, HK/S'pore sure "siok" lah. if "ka ki" pay, penang better lah.

maybe he also "ah kong" pay for him.

April 28, 2012 at 11:12 AMAudrey

Penang is not an island only. Penang is composed of of Penang island and Seberang Perai. Seberang Perai is in Penang, Bukit Mertajam is in Penang. Hope Yunos can get to know more about Penang before you feature it.

May 1, 2012 at 1:44 AMF C

Honestly, Penang would be a nice place to live in if it wasnt for the crazy property prices !
This used to be a "budget" place - everything was reasonably priced ... and only the locals enjoy it.
Yunos is right, Penang beaches suck if compared to Thailand, or even Langkawi..
KL and Singapore are "Cities" with a capital "C", while Penang is much smaller, with a little bit of a kampung feel to it.
But our traffic is not as hideous as Bangkok's or even KL's. However, Penang has no transport system (it's kapchai or car over here)
And our hawker food is pretty good and reasonably priced. I know it's a common problem for Penangites to have problems adapting to food when going to KL or Singapore for work or study. But we dont have chinese fine dining options like in Hong Kong or Singapore. (Actually, we also dont have any western fine dining options either)
so in a way, it takes a local to appreciate what Penang has got to offer.. maybe we've got a 'balanced' place - not too expensive, but not too cheap either ..

May 1, 2012 at 10:15 AMcondomana

Hi F C,

Different people would have a slightly different impression of Penang, but I think you have captured pretty much the essence of it.

MPPP should definitely do more in sprucing up the beach, as it is one of our most valuable natural assets. A seaside condo living is something the expats never (will never) get to enjoy living in KL; that's probably one of the reasons expats rank Penang as more liveable than KL, apart from other shortcomings of living in a big congested city like KL.

Take a quick glance at the cities that are ranked better than Penang, and I think we should feel very proud to be at 8th. As much as being proud, we should all take it as an encouragement to make Penang an even better place to live.

Spruce up our natural assets, set up world class infra, bring in quality jobs, there is still so much room to improve. Who said we can't be No.5? No.3?...LKY thought Spore was going to die of hunger when they got kicked out of Msia. And look what they are today!