From Penang to Bali, a new love?

I have been to Bali 4 times thus far. I love every trip and I would like to go again. It’s affordable enough, small enough to travel and yet big enough to have lots to see. It’s peaceful enough and I do not feel like it is an unsafe place or somewhere I feel every one is trying to cheat me. In short, Bali is great for holidays. However, when you ask me to choose between staying in Penang or Bali, there’s actually no comparison. One is far superior compared to the other, when you are talking about a city modern enough with great connections to other places and the world together with a UNESCO Heritage City and even it’s very own forest reserve within the island itself, it’s Penang.
Bali has all the attractions of a holiday home but Penang is definitely better when we are talking about a longer term stay, perhaps for retirement.  If you ask me whether Penang is my first choice, I am sorry it is not. However, when some foreigners give some excuses to say that Bali is going to be better than Penang in the near future, this is totally unjustified. As someone would argue, this is just a personal opinion. Since some foreigner has spoken, I should be allowed to reply, right? In fact, in an article in a local English online site, the foreigner actually posed a question of whether Penang is getting too developed and thus no longer suitable to live. He said he might consider moving to Bali. As long as he really do believe Bali is better, sure, why not? After all, I think he can sell his place in Penang and surely would be able to get a similar if not bigger place in Bali.
Seriously, I think Penang state government has yet to come up with a really good plan in terms of control of new developments, a concrete enough transportation master plan and even other issues such as building sufficient affordable homes which are in critical shortage due to the sudden price increase for the past few years. However, thus far, I think they are still doing well enough and can continue to improve if the citizens can continue to give rational and objective suggestions. This does not include stopping new developments just so that the existing home owners can enjoy their so-called promised low density lifestyle etc. Especially absurd would be some claims that new developments would destroy the environment and cause congestions etc and thus should be stopped totally. Rather, the focus should be on having regulations and policies and making sure the developers abide by them. There should be no special treatment to any developers and everything should be transparent and above the board. This would be my suggestion rather than any complaints or even threats. Making more noises amount to nothing because the other side can also make noise and suddenly it’s all about who’s louder instead of who’s right, objectively. Penang’s reputation as one of the most attractive and liveable islands in Asia was not awarded to Penang because it’s a natural island full of trees and flowers. It’s awarded because it has everything that people are looking for when considering a great place to stay. Happy choosing the place you want to stay.
written on 17 Jan 2015
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