In additional to this list of public holidays you can find the 2016 Malaysia School Holiday calendar here. National and Penang Holidays are highlighted for your convenience.
||New Year’s Day
||National except Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Terenganu
||Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan’s Birthday
||Sultan of Kedah’s birthday
||Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Johor, Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Penang, Selangor
||Federal Territory Day
||KL, Labuan, Putrajaya
||Chinese New Year
||Chinese New Year 2nd day
||Installation Anniversary of Sultan of Terengganu
||Sultan of Johor’s birthday
||Declaration of Melaka as Historical City
||Sultan of Terengganu’s birthday
||Israk and Mukraj
||Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Perlis
||Sultan of Pahang Hol
||Tuanku Raja of Perlis’ birthday
||Kaamatan Harvest Festival
||Kaamatan Harvest Festival
||Gawai Dayak Festival
||Gawai Dayak Festival
||SPB Yang di Pertuan Agong’s birthday
||Johor, Kedah, Melaka
||Hari Nuzul Al-Quran
||Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Penang, Selangor, Terengganu
||Hari Raya Puasa
||Hari Raya Puasa 2nd day
||Anniversary of declaraion of Penang as World Heritage Site
||Yang di-Pertua of Penang’s Birthday
||National Day or Independence Day
||Yang di-Pertua of Sarawak’s birthday
||Hari Raya Qurban
||Hari Raya Qurban 2nd day
||Kedah, Kelantan, Perlis, Terengganu
||Yang di-Pertua of Sabah’s birthday
||Awal Muharram 1435 Hijrah (Islamic New Year)
||Yang di-Pertua of Melaka’s birthday
||Sultan of Pahang’s birthday
||National execpt Sarawak
||Hari Hol Almarhum Sultan Iskandar
||Sultan of Kelantan’s birthday
||Sultan of Perak’s birthday
||Sultan of Selangor’s birthday
Some dates are subject to change. Replacement public holidays are for when the actual holiday lands on a Sunday, the next weekday is given as a replacement holiday.
Calendar, Holidays Tags:
The Ministry of Education released the 2016 Malaysia School Holiday Calendar. These should be pretty definitive, but please note that these dates can change. This list plus the public holidays calendar should help you in your travel planning. Also note that the International Schools in Penang or Kuala Lumpur do not follow the Malaysia School calendar. You will have to find the calendar on your school’s website.
Four states in the country, specifically Kedah, Johor, Kelantan and Terengganu start all these holidays one day early and end one day early. These dates refer to when the rest of the states, like Penang, will have their school holidays.
Calendar, Holidays Tags:
Once again, I’m revisiting an old post from years ago. Times change and things improve. Years ago I wrote about paying for the different parking tickets downtown. Since that time, the City Council of Penang Island, started a new scratch-off parking coupon system. (Recently the City Council’s Malay acronym changed from MPPP to MBPP because of a status upgrade from a municipality to a city). When the new parking ticket system went into effect, the payment window was only in Georgetown, in KOMTAR. Now, the tickets do list other payment options, like mailing in a check. What it doesn’t list is the online payment options. So here they are for your information. Read more…
Years ago, early in my time here in Penang, I wrote an article about tipping in Penang. In summary, I put together a case for why I don’t leave a tip at every restaurant I visit when I go out to eat. I think back to those days and wonder if I made the right call, and gave the right advice here on this blog. So this time around, I’m going to put forward some of my thoughts on the subject and perhaps amend my recommendation.
Penang Pesta Dragon Boat Race 2015
An exhilarating sport as steeped in history as it is in skill, dragon boat racing is one of Penang’s most
fascinating experiences. Dating back more than 2000 years, the modern import of this time-honoured
tradition sees sports enthusiasts and onlookers alike visit Penang each year to see these incredible
vessels take to the seas.
One of the island’s most anticipated events, the Penang Pesta Dragon Boat Race invites teams from
all over the world to battle it out at the Teluk Bahang Dam. This year, the two-day event drew a record
number of participants, welcoming nearly 40 teams to the island for a weekend of competitive events and cultural celebrations.
With crews hailing from China, Singapore, Thailand and beyond, this year’s event saw Penang burst to life with hundreds of participants from a myriad of countries. From the Royal Malaysia Police to the Canadian Dragons, each team put their best foot forward, training up to four hours per day in order to claim the top spot out on the water.
Despite an impressive display of power, speed and endurance by all teams across seven racing categories, the winning title of the Penang Pesta Dragon Boat Race 2015 was awarded to the Macau Selection Team, who crossed the finish line at high-speed as drums pounded in the background. In second place, Penang’s very own Pacific West Dragon Boat Club followed close behind, culminating in a thrilling finish to yet another successful event.
This post was written by the good folks at the Park Royal Penang Resort. I received no compensation for so I can recommend the Park Royal without feeling slimy.
Want to experience the races for yourself in the New Year? Plan a stay at PARKROYAL Penang Resort during the 37th Penang International Dragon Boat Festival. Boasting an enviable, seaside location in Batu Feringghi, PARKROYAL’s comfortable and convenient accommodation puts the best of the island – and the races – at your doorstep.
If you’re looking to explore the opportunities of making Penang your next home, you’ve probably heard about the amazing reasons why a foreign expatriate should consider Living in Penang. However, you will definitely want to know more and compare the various personal banking products and services that are available to you.
So whether you’re looking for a bank with a global reach, to have easy access to ATMs, or looking for personal financing options to help you explore the sights and sounds of Penang, we’ve compiled some of the best choices for you in this quick guide to banking for foreign expatriates in Penang.
First up, we’ll take a look at the foreign and multinational banks, followed by our choice of the best local banks to help you get your personal finances in order when you first arrive in Penang.
The Foreign and Multinational Banks
Citibank is part of the Citigroup and offers global banking services for foreign expatriates in more than 160 countries worldwide. There are over 11 Citibank branches in Malaysia, and Citibank is the only foreign bank to be rated AAA for 15 years in a row. In Penang itself, Citibank’s main branch is located on Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah, Penang and they also have another branch which is located in Bukit Tengah, Seberang Prai.
HSBC bank is one of the largest banking groups in the world, and HSBC Malaysia is also the largest foreign bank in Malaysia with over 40 branches nationwide. HSBC also has a network of over 6,100 offices in 72 countries across the world. If you are looking for Sharia-compliant banking services, HSBC also offers Islamic banking services via HSBC Amanah.
In Penang, HSBC has three branches with its main branch located on Downing Street being one of the oldest bank branches in the country.
Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered is also one of the oldest foreign banks in Malaysia and its first branch opened its doors in 1875 in Penang, on Beach Street. Today, Standard Chartered has three branches in Penang with over 40 branches located nationwide in Malaysia. For Islamic banking services, you can also choose to open an account with their subsidiary, Standard Chartered Saadiq Berhad.
The Local and Regional Banks
Maybank is Malaysia’s largest financial services group and is the fourth largest bank in Southeast Asia. It has a global network of 2,200 offices in over 20 countries and in Malaysia; Maybank has over 400 branches with 2,600 ATMs and self-service terminals across the country. In Penang, Maybank has over 32 branches and over 90 ATMs across the island and Butterworth.
CIMB Bank is one of the largest banking groups in Southeast Asia and has over 1,080 offices across the ASEAN region with more than 290 branches, plus over 2,200 ATMs and self-service terminals in Malaysia. CIMB also operates in 17 global markets and there are over 30 branches and 59 ATMs for CIMB Bank in Penang.
Public Bank is one of the largest banks in Malaysia, with over 180 branches and 1,800 ATMs and self-service terminals. Public Bank’s presence in Penang is spread out over 21 branches and more than 50 ATMs across the state.
There also other banks that offer their services in Penang, such as UOB, OCBC, Scotiabank, Kuwait Finance House and the Bank of China that you may want to consider during your time here in Penang.
Online and Mobile Banking
If you’re not keen on having to brave the seemingly endless queues at the bank, online or mobile banking is a great alternative that gives you the option of hassle-free banking at your convenience.
In Malaysia, there are over 18.8 million online banking (31 banks) and 6.6 mobile banking (13 banks) subscribers* who enjoy the convenience of banking on the go or from the privacy of their homes via the Internet.
The number of online banking subscribers in Malaysia has grown over 90% in the last five years and the banks in Malaysia have made it even easier for you to settle your bills, transfer funds and apply for credit cards and personal loans online.
*Source: Bank Negara Malaysia: “Malaysia’s Payment Statistics – Internet Banking and Mobile Banking Subscribers”
Whatever your final choice might be, we’re confident that you’ll come to enjoy the amazing lifestyle that only Penang can offer you in Southeast Asia. Selamat datang and enjoy your stay!
This guest post by Michael Vincent Mislos. Find him on twitter @mmichaels_21
I was lucky enough to be asked to talk about Living in Penang on the latest episode of The Expat Chat Podcast. Hosts Tony and Leanne find expats around the world and asks them about their experiences living overseas. I’ve subscribed to the podcast and have a lot fun listening to the stories from around the world. I really enjoyed getting to know them over coffee and hope to see them again in Penang.
Expat Talk Tags:
Date: 29th August 2015
Time: 10:00am to 3:00pm( book launch first)
Place: Jonathan Yun Sculptural Jewellery
152 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling
What do tapirs, tales and trinkets have in common? When Jonathan Yun, anestablished sculptural jeweller, and Patricia Chew- a children’s author – come together, their combined synergy results in an unusual blend of their individual talents. The end result is tapir tales by Patricia and trinkets created by Jonathan, which are wearable and affordable.
If you wish to find out how this comes about, join them and Precious Page Resources, Patricia’s publisher and event organiser during this event at the Georgetown Festival. Let Jonathan kick start the event by fascinating you with how jewellers work with transforming a piece of metal into a beautiful piece of work. Jonathan will also surprise you with his unusual range of tapir jewellery which he designed specially for sale at this event. These limited edition pieces are ones which you would cherish for years to come.
After this, Patricia will give you a preview of the highlights of her third book, “The Mystery of the Missing Tapirs” during a short storytelling session. Meet the delightful characters from her book and share their laughter and woes as they solve the mystery of the missing tapirs in Evergreen Forest. Then the official launch of her book will take place where she will be on hand to sign her books.
Note: Patricia’s book is published by Precious Page Resources and will be distributed to major and independent bookstores throughout Malaysia and Singapore. For more information on her other books, please contact Precious Pages Resources www.preciouspages.com.my . For more information on Jonathan’s jewellery, please visit his website at www.jonathanjewelry.com, www.facebook.com/JonathanYunJewelry
The author Patricia Chew.
She is the authoress of 2 children’s books, “Tony Tapir and Friends” published in 2010 and its sequel, “The Quest for the Great Pearl,” published in 2012. “Tony Tapir and Friends” has been reviewed in various magazines like the Straits Times “Little Red Dot”, “What’s Up” newspaper for children and Mediacorp’s “Animal Planet.”
Her second book launched on 13.01.13 in Penang Times Square was reviewed again by Mediacorp’s “Animal Planet” and SPH’s “Young Parents” where it was featured alongside the children’s book by ex-President Nathan of Singapore. The authoress was featured with her two books in Malaysia’s “Taman Ria Disney” magazine in June this year.
Formerly admitted as a Solicitor in England & Wales and as an Advocate & Solicitor in Singapore, she is no longer practising, but writes children’s books and tells stories in schools, malls and wherever the opportunity arises. The authoress is enthusiastic about sharing her passion for these endangered animals and wants to put a smile back on the faces of the readers as they enter into the enchanted world of these animals.
For more information, contact Patricia Chew at [email protected]
About the Artist
Jonathan Yun is a jeweler/artist based in Penang, Malaysia. He graduated from RMIT Australia majoring in fine metals. He has won several international jewelry awards and had participated in various exhibitions. Nature has been one of his passions and he is a certified divemaster as well as a fern collector.
Jonathan works mainly in silver as he finds the soft patina of silver fascinating and alluring. He works from his studio where each piece of jewelry is painstakingly sculpted out in jewelers wax and then casted out in sterling silver. Then the piece is hand finished and polished to reflect its beauty.
The arts are a big part of Penang life. There’s galleries aplenty and the street art is world famous. Film buffs will also be pleased to know that films are a part of that tradition as well. In the next week there will be two film screenings that you want to know about.
Julian Cheah Film Week
Julian Cheah is the Hired Killer
Julian Cheah has become a good friend of mine in the last couple of years. He’s a writer, director and actor and native Penangite. I’m pleased to let you know that six of his films will be screened at PenangPAC at Straits Quay next week. 21 -26 July.
Here’s Julian in his own words:
The films are: Prince Of The City, The Hired Killer, Infected Paradise, Wild Justice, Killer Clown and art film Penyesalan Tak Berakhir (The Never-Ending Regret). Admission is FREE for everyone as this is not a profit-making event but intimate Q & A chatting sessions between people and me and the sharing of my emotions and experiences in the industry, where some can criticise my work and my presence in the field and I can assert my reasons for doing the films which I choose to do. A definite topic will be the stereotypical and sometimes disrespectful way that Asian men are depicted even today in modern Hollywood and how filmmakers can make a difference to this situation. The timing of the screening week coincides with my friend and film colleague Rod Manikam being in town so I look forward to having him joining me.
Movie Posters, stills and behind the scenes pictures can be found on the Julian Cheah Pictures Facebook page. Dates of the screenings can be found on that facebook page as well.
Red Dot Cinema
Red Dot Cinema promotes independent short films from Asia and screens them around the region. They are kicking off their latest Asia tour in Penang on 18 July 2015 at the Chai Diam Ma a local cafe on Queen Street in Georgetown. This is a great opportunity to help raise awareness of Asian independent films and promote Asian cultures.
Tickets are RM 20 and can be purchased on line at http://reddotcinemapenang.peatix.com/
The 15th day of Chinese New Year is called Chap Goh Meh, also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day. It is a big deal here in Penang with events all over including a big gathering at the Esplanade in George Town hosted by the Penang State Government. Read more about what the holiday is about in last year’s post. Also visit the curated photo blog Living in Penang illustrated to see images from Instagram of the Chap Goh Meh celebrations. Find out why young singles are throwing mandarin oranges into the sea. This year I want to share one of the traditional dishes eaten during Chap Goh Meh, Bubur Cha Cha.
Bubur Cha Cha is the name for a Nyonya dish that is sometimes confused with a similar dish called Pengat. It is a sweet dessert that is said to make the new year sweeter. The Cha Cha is supposed to sound like ‘che che’ which in Hokkien means ‘prosperity’ or ‘abundence’.
This is a dish to be shared, so serve it to friends and neighbors today. It is also the last day to hand out those red envelopes. Children should be getting their last bit of loot before the river runs dry.
Bubur Cha Cha recipe
- 1 cup cubed sweet potato – the orange variety – because orange is the color of Chap Goh Meh
- 1 cup cubed yam, yellow and purple for more colors.
- 100 g pearl sago
- coconut milk
- 2 to 3 pandan leaves, tied in a knot
- Boil Sago Pearls on their own in water until they are soft and translucent. This should take about 15 minutes
- Steam the yam and sweet potato. They should get soft but not mushy. If you don’t have a steamer, sprinkle with water and microwave for 10 minutes.
- Bring 1 cup of water and 1/2 a cup of sugar to a boil.
- Drop to a simmer and add the pandan leaves.
- Add 1 cup of coconut milk and simmer for 4 minutes.
- Remove pandan.
- Add steamed sweet potato and yam, stir to coat.
- Serve over a heaping spoonful of sago pearls.