PDC to breathe new life into Komtar


Komtar, Penang’s prime shopping centre in the 1980s and 1990s, has lost its appeal over the years. And the only thing keeping Komtar alive is the fact that it houses the administrative offices of the Penang government and the chief minister, aside from the Urban Transformation Centre (UTC).

Penang Development Corporation (PDC) chief executive officer Datuk Aziz Bakar said they had just appointed a consultant to relook at the whole development in Komtar to breathe new life into the building.

He said they were looking at rezoning the building to see what activities should be brought into Komtar.

“This is the effort that is being made, and in three months time, we should be able to get the proposal from the consultant.

“We will have engagement sessions with the tenants to involve everyone as some of the units are privately owned. Not 100 per cent of the units belong to PDC,” he said when asked on PDC’s efforts to spruce up its old buildings, among which is Komtar.

He was met at the launch of PDC Strategic Plan 2024-2028, Sustainability Initiative and PDC GoDigital by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow yesterday.

Such a move, Aziz said, would be good to ensure everyone could share his or her ideas to breathe new life to Komtar.

Komtar or the Tun Abdul Razak Complex was completed back in 1985. At the time, Komtar Tower, which stands at 231.7 metres (760 ft), was the second tallest building in Asia and the tallest in Southeast Asia.

The main complex was built between 1974 and 1986, at an initial cost of RM279.5 million (equivalent to RM642.5 million in 2023).

Plans for a civic and commercial complex within central George Town were first proposed by the state government in 1962 and were approved in 1969 by the then chief minister Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu. It was implemented by the PDC in 1972.

The complex was seen as ahead of its time, and was the largest urban regeneration project in Malaysian history.

With Komtar being just a few metres from the planned location of the light rail transit (LRT) station, it is hoped that the project will facilitate the arrival of more visitors to the state’s most iconic building.

Source: NST Online

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