The Greater Penang / Penang Megalopolis area includes George Town and its surrounding townships (19 January, 2011)
The Greater Penang or Penang Megalopolis refers to the area covering the metropolitan area of George Town and its adjacent metropolitan areas. Both Greater Penang and Penang Megalopolis mean the same thing, referring to the chain of towns and suburbs that form the total developed area of the city. This is similar to Greater London, which surrounds the City of London and the City of Westminster.
The term Greater Penang was introduced in reference to the Greater Penang Masterplan, an initiative of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. The plan was well received by the state government of Lim Guan Eng, who issued a statement on 2 April 2011 that it is in line with the state government's vision of creating an international and intelligent city.
Penang State has just celebrated its highest ever recorded inflow of investment totalling RM12.2 billion, the highest in Malaysia. The government of Mr Lim was quick to credit the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Perhaps in reflection of this thawing of the often icy relationship - or perhaps it's just another pre-election gimmick - the prime minister announced that RM17.5 billion will be earmarked for Penang State under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
Among the projects under the Greater Penang Masterplan include improving the current Penang Bridge, the Second Penang Bridge, the Penang International Airport, improvement to Penang Port, the electrified double track of the railway through Penang State, and the construction of the Juru-Sungai Dua Bypass.
The position of Penang as the regional hub for northern Malaysia is vital as it is the third highest contributor to the country in terms of Gross Domestic Product after Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. This is remarkable considering its limited size.
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