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Penang Perspective
My Island in The Sun Volume II

Author: Khor Cheang Kee
Illustrated with drawings by Khor Kok Kheng


Khor Cheang Kee worked for more than fifty years on the Penang Gazette (“the oldest English language newspaper East of Suez”), the pre-war Straits Echo, the post-war Straits Times and the New Straits Times, and The Star.

At one time or another, he was editor, sub-editor, features writer and administrator. His performance in all these capacities easily fell within the compass of his skills whatever he did, he did well. But it is writing that he has most enjoyed doing, and this enjoyment comes through in all the articles assembled in this volume.

These Penang Perspectives first saw print more than 30 years ago, but they still retain their pristine appeal. Taken together, they are one man’s sentimental journey along the happy highways of his beloved Penang. Those who read this book and join Khor Cheang Kee on his journey will find him a really good companion.

He was a humorous raconteur who could keep his listeners spellbound. He was a humanitarian, a teacher and an educator. There was always a lesson in what he said, yet a lesson conveyed gently and without dogma. He was well-known as much for his lively and impish wit as for the depth and breadth of his knowledge on public issues, customs, historical events, and education.

Contents of the book

Introduction to the second volume by Dr Michael Khor Kok Seng
by the Artist Khor Kok Kheng
Foreword to the first volume
by Tan Sri Lee Siew Yee
An introduction to Penang by Khor Cheang Kee

How not to see a film in Penang
Our crystal gazing professor
T-Cup mania: Just our cup of tea
Encounter with ugly Penangites
The end of the dream island?
Now the varsity guessing game begins
Getting a fair deal for all
What it’s like to be poor and ill
A little morale booster for Penang
Third Plan comes to Penang
In retreat, for a renewal of faith . . .
Checking in for a check-up
Pioneers who landed on a sandy beach
An agenda for the nation in serene setting
The Daimler, gharry and ricksha days
The super-city peeks out from the old Tanjong
Rugged ones from good old Penang
This is not the place for drug addicts
A “Rugged Libber” goes south
It’s the season to be married
From civil service to VC’s chair
Parking and “kedekuts” of Penang
Cuisine, then and now
Please don’t tax cars entering city
The Oon recipe for long life
Glimpses of life in the 1900’s
A case of too many women
Status symbol of the underworld
Less money for the Pesta
School clerks: Overworked and overlooked
Baba brides of 50 years ago
The councils are reborn
Don’t put people on display
Spare a thought for the dying . . .
Penang is not like this at all
When Ayer Itam was Penang’s unofficial ‘capital’
Horizontal view of Penang
What do you know about old Penang?
The high cost of marriages
Ups and downs with the Little Dragon
A time for new clothes, full larders and goodwill
Memories of a by-gone Penang
The Penang Man and his fancies . . .
A “wedding” that took the guests back in time
Penangites who leave and those who don’t
An old-timer returns to the scented air by George Peet
Ang Pow-red blossoms on a cool, green hill by George Peet
When the band struck up on the Esplanade . . .
Getting to the dinner on time
The Penang way that leads to happiness and contentment
For Mountain Maria, life began at 95
A kindly mother who founded a new dynasty . . .
Happy and secure under the matriarchs
A day in the life of the Tunku
The Tunku’s proudest and saddest moments . . .
Oh yes, we do have the worst road hogs
The human problem in rent control
It’s still Springtide with all the old-world charm
Kedekuts? Now to prove them wrong
A success story in local government
Scented intriguers of the night by George Peet
Window sight-seeing on the Ekspres
So will you help the help-all Foundation?
When the men of the sea tell their own story . . .
Come dream with me on the isle of dreams
Darker the skies, brighter the hopes
Now, for a look at the dark side . . .
When Chin Peng, pale and thin, left his hide-out

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