Bayan Baru (GPS: 5.32621, 100.29225), (Traditional/Simplified Chinese: 峇央峇魯; Pinyin: Bāyāng Bālǔ) is a township located in Bayan Lepas, Penang. It was established by the Penang Development Corporation in the mid-1970's on what was once paddy fields.
17 April, 2016 The Star (Calls to adjust LRT line) reports Bayan Baru Community Hawkers Association chairman Ooi Teong Eng urging that the proposed Bayan Lepas LRT line pass through inner Bayan Baru for the benefit of hawkers and business complexes located there.
High-rise development in Bayan Baru (10 july, 2015)
About Bayan Baru
In the earlier years of Bayan Baru's development, the township was prone to floods - there was a joke back then that purchasing a house in Bayan Baru also includes a sampan. The area that Bayan Baru presently occupies was formerly paddy fields. Before that, it was wetlands. It was fed by two main rivers, Sungai Ara and Sungai Relau (which itself comprises more than one stream). During rainy season, these rivers expand. If this coincided with a high tide, a flood would occur.
Over the decades, improved drainage has reduced the possibility of major floods. The mitigation programme included canalising Sungai Ara and Sungai Relau, which are channeled to flow into Sungai Keluang before emptying into the sea. Flash floods still do occur during heavy downpours. These are caused mainly by blocked drains.
It is also worth nothing that the Bayan Baru area was once planned by the British to be a town called Jamestown, to replace George Town. That plan did not materialise, of course, but you can read about it in the Historical Plan to Relocate George Town.
Bayan Baru is one of the most rapidly developed townships in Penang. This is to a large part the direct result of its proximity to the Bayan Lepas Free Industrial Zone, which is a source of employment for a good many people in Penang. The shift in population south, out of George Town and towards Bayan Baru and its immediate neighborhoods, brought with it mixed blessings. The main road, now called Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, has been expanded a few times, and now includes the Bayan Lepas Elevated Highway. New shopping malls have also been built in Bayan Baru and its immediate neighborhood. On the other hand, the growth in population has also introduced traffic congestions and jams, something foreign to the area a decade or two ago. Being caught in traffic jam is now a twice daily occurence, at every rush hour.
Aerial view of Bayan Baru (3 April, 2017)
Amenities of Bayan Baru
Not counting those in Jalan Tengah and surrounding neighbourhoods, the only school in Bayan Baru is SK Bayan Baru, along Lorong Mahsuri 7. Petrol stations in Bayan Baru include the Shell along Jalan Mayang Pasir and the Petronas along Jalan Bahagia. The Bayan Baru Market is the only market in the area.
Going to Bayan Baru
Several Rapid Penang buses pass through the Bayan Baru area including 302, 304, 305, 307, 308, 401 and 502.
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