March 24 1998

by Anita Matthews

Penang Insights, the brainchild of Asiatel Sdn. Bhd., was built in 1996 to generate hits and draw visitors to its web community, says graphic designer Chin Mun Woh.

Asiatel chose Penang because "the managers here are typically diehard Penangite who love their homeland and is willing to promote it using their own resources," says Chin, who designed the site with his partner Adrian Cheah.

"As the popularity of the site grew, Asiatel decided it needed an update and revamp, and gave us the job.

"Our initial solution was to boost content and embellish the site," he says, adding that additional content was sourced from a variety of books and magazines.

So what began as a 20-page website snowballed to 75 pages. The site was re-launched last October.

To differentiate the site from the typical tourist brochures regurgitated on the Net, Chin and Cheah decided to inject humour into the content.

"The humourous part was easy - we took the quirky qualities of the typical Penangite: rebellious,kedukut (stingy), their horrendous driving skills, fierce pride in their home state, etc, and played on that.

"By using the people of Penang as 'comic relief,' we've actually managed to enhance the site, making it more 'Penang'," says Chin.

To interact with visitors, provocative e-mail feedback to Why Penang is the Best and Why Penang Suckswas included in the site. And to complement these, happy visitors can e-mail to I want to Praise and disgusted ones can e-mail to I want to Complain.

The revamped site is a hit, clocking between 120,000 to 140,000 hits a month. It was also picked as a "Destination of The Month" in Microsoft's Expedia travel site.

Currently, the site does not generate income for Asiatel but plans are in the pipeline to make it self-sustaining by inviting corporate sponsorship.

Some of the nice things people say about this site.

Andrew Thompson, Dublin, Ireland
I'm coming to Penang on holiday later this month. I've looked at tens of sites on Malaysia but yours is very easily the best.
Your site is honest, comprehensive, well written and designed. Thanks for some great tips and inside knowledge. You make your home city come alive - a quality that is very rare on travel sites on the net.

Darren & Trish
I am off to Penang in 2 weeks for a 3 week stay.  Your web site has given me much information about all that is Penang.  You have made me very excited about the upcoming Trip.  I will even go as far to say as informative, if not more so, then the Lonely Planet guide.  I will bookmark this site and drop a line if anything I come across in Penang  I can share with the world.  Thank-you again great job.

M. Vorwald
We have enjoyed your web site, it is one of the best we've seen regarding Penang. We knew nothing about Penang and are researching it as there is a possibility that someone we know may have a temporary job placement there. Is there anything else we should know? (i.e. beaches, currency conversion to the Canadian dollar, safety of Penang etc.).

Khoo Salma Nasution,
Secretary, Penang Heritage Trust
Thank you for a lovely website for Penang. No wonder you score so many hits! . . . We appreciate the way you promote Penang's heritage.

Vincent Cheah
I've visited yr website. It's great & u've done a very good job. I'm from Penang but I'm currently working in a bank in KL.

I love eating hawkers' food whenever i go back to Penang. I'll compose a list of my fav. haunt for very good hawkers' food & mail it to u soon (they're not in yr list @ yr website).

Soo Kar Peng
Very Impressive ... should be linked to Penang Net as abassador of Our Island.

Sandy Healy
Visited your website while planning a trip to Malaysia that includes a few days at Penang. While hesitant at first to visit Penang (with the variety of sights to see in Malaysia and limited time), I am looking forward to my visit very much now! John Lyons writings were delightful to read - much better than the usual "my trip" ramblings one finds on the net. His comments on Penang hill have make me not want to miss it, even though it was one sight I might have passed up with limited time.

I especially enjoyed the humour in your sight. Very refreshing after so many business-like, marketing-style sights that one encounters on tourism sights.

Leonard Foo Pak Sooi
This is a very good effort. At least I thought your site is much much better than any current sites that focuses in Penang . . . I am comforted to see someone does care to provide a high content website for Penang.

Lucia Lai
I love your site! Simply marvellous! I am a Penangtite and have lots of foreign friends. I will sure recommend them this wonderful site of yours. There's so much to read and see - everything is extensively covered. Keep up the good work! Cheers!

May 9 1998

by Jessinta Tan

Penang: Tourists and locals can now know more about the Penang Museum and Art Gallery prior to their visits by surfing its website which was launched yesterday.

The website, launched by Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, is aimed at creating greater awareness about its setup and disseminate information on its activities and calendar of events.

The website address is museum.

Dr. Koh also launched the museum's inaugural issue of Penang Past & Present magazine.

Its editor Josephine Choo said the magazine featured multi-cultural and multi-ethnic characteristics of Penang which had fascinated visitors for a long time. "Through it, we can strengthen and expand the existing harmonious co-existence and understanding among the communities,"she said.

An initial 2,000 copies were published. Each copy is sold for RM10.00 at the museum.

Choo said the museum welcomed firms and organisations to advertise in the next issue in August, adding that readers could also contribute to the magazine. For details, contact the museum at 604-2613144.

Firstly, I must say what a great website this is. The articles about the infamous Penang drivers really made me chuckle!! I'll be a regular visitor to this website - if only to see the pictures of the food!!! I really miss those Malay cakes and desserts!!

Keep up the good work!

Gwyn Jenkins
Who ever wrote Penang Insight, Its' fantastic, informative and at last, honest. So many gloss over the bits that 'suck'. So who are you? Why?

Well me and a few friends here in Penang are looking at an alternative Penang, guide, tour, what ever, not sure yet, and are interested in what you do too. where are you based? etc. write and tell us more, Gwyn (yep an 'ang moh'- but the rest are true penangites , I've only got 3 years under my belt).

Hussein Rostum
I have just spent a good half hour perusing your web sight. It was a most informative and educational experience. Congratulations on a well thought-out and visually appealing entry. (only one minor comment - accommodation requires 2 m's). Keep up the good work.

Yeoh Hock Hin
Good job on Penang website.

Best website for Travel category for the month of May 1998

Now tell us what YOU think of this site
Underpaid & overworked, our designers, programmers and writers are in need of motivation. Chained to the desk with no inkling of what sunlight looks like, they can perform through malnutrition and torture, but when deprived of motivation, productivity is severely affected.

YOU are their only link to the outside world . . . e-mail them some nice words about this website so that they can have the strength to labour on.

Thank you for your cooperation.
( Constructive criticisms are especially welcomed ).

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Editorial and Design direction by Adrian Cheah and Chin Mun Woh of  C-square Sdn. Bhd.