Jelutong is named after the tree Dyera costulata, which is now commercially grown for timber. There is presently no available documentation of how Jelutong in Penang got its name, other than the obvious, that the area has numerous Jelutong trees. The earliest settlers in Jelutong are the Malays and North Sumatrans. They created settlements along Sungai Pinang. Places such as Kampung Rawa trace its origin to the original settlers which arrived even earlier than Francis Light.
Location of sights along Jalan Jelutong on the map
Jelutong developed as a working class neighbourhood for George Town. In the mid 19th century, when the land there was newly cleared, Jelutong was farmland. This eventually was replaced by all forms of industries, many of which use the Sungai Pinang river as a waste disposal, making it one of the most polluted in the country. In recent years, the river will undergo rehabilitation, which hopefully will clean it up and make it a pristine waterway.
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