Batu Uban is a neighbourhood on the east central part of Penang Island. It centres on a hillock bordered by the Bayan Lepas Expressway on the coast and Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah to the west. The traditional Malay village of Batu Uban still exists and is said to be one of the earliest settlements in Penang, pre-dating the arrival of Francis Light.
Today Batu Uban is characterised by the soaring apartments and condominiums, namely Sunny Ville, N-Park and E-Park.
The settlement of Batu Uban predates the arrival of Captain Francis Light in Penang. Batu Uban is said to have been founded by Haji Mohammad Salleh, also called Nakhoda Intan, who came from Pagar Ruyong in Minangkabau. He was granted permission from the Sultan of Kedah to establish a settlement there in 1734.1 In 1749, the Sultan of Kedah awarded 100 acres of land to a Minangkabau trader-warrior, Dato' Jenaton, who had business interests on both sides of the Straits of Malacca (then known as the Malay Sea), in return for Dato' Jenaton having thwarted a Siamese invasion.
Batu Uban is one only pocket of beachfront on the eastern coast of Penang Island that is not covered by mangrove swamp. A Minangkabau settlement is believed to have sprouted up in the area. It received an influx of traders from Arabia towards the mid 18th century, but was already in decline after the demise of Dato' Jenaton in 1789. While remains of Malay settlements remain in Batu Uban and Sungai Gelugor, many of the Malays and traders moved north to resettle in the newly-established George Town, in places that became present-day Malay Street and Acheen Street.
E-Park Condominium, Batu Uban (22 September, 2009)
The old Batu Uban mosque (22 September, 2009)
The Batu Uban Malay village is close to the bus stop at Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah while the high rise apartments are a distance of about 250 meters from it. Rapid Penang Bus No. 301, 303 and 304 pass by along the road. Batu Uban is 8.3 km from Magazine Circus, making it of moderate distance from the city centre.
Due to it being surrounded by major roads, it is easy to go from Batu Uban to elsewhere in Penang. The Penang Bridge is just a short distance away. However, this proximity to major roads also work against it during rush hour, when the traffic jam entering Penang Bridge can create a deadlock around Batu Uban.
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