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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Balik Pulau on Wiki

The single paragraph on "Balik Pulau" at the biggest (online) encyclopaedia on earth - WikiPedia has grown into six paragraphs today, yay!:
"Balik Pulau (literally meaning back of the island) is a town in Penang, Malaysia. Durians and other kinds of fruits are planted there. Balik Pulau is famous for its durian plantations which include the 'ang heh' (meaning red prawns) and 'holo' (meaning gourd like) variety. The area was affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Balik Pulau is also one of the thirteen parliamentary constituencies in Penang, possibly the largest in land size, stretching about half of Penang Island, from Batu Feringhi (famous for modern resorts and beaches) at its north to Teluk Kumbar (traditionally a fishing village but now a booming town close to Bayan Lepas) at its south. Its current Member of Parliament (MP) is YB Yusmadi Yusoff from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), having won his March 2008 general election bid, a historic win for a member of an opposition party, as well as for several other parliamentary constituencies and state governmentship of Penang that also surprising fell to opposition power. All three Members of State Legislative Assembly (ADUN) for Balik Pulau regions of Bayan Lepas, Pulau Betong and Teluk Bahang however continued to be held by members of the National Front (BN) coalition party. Chief advisor of PKR, the controversial Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is currently seeking a comeback into Malaysia's political scene had also hinted in February 2008 that he may contest in Balik Pulau in a possible re-election in May 2008, which he however did not as of June 2008.

Modern Balik Pulau is a self-sufficient township, serving the greater Southwest District (Daerah Barat Daya), one of the five districts in the state of Penang with basic municipal facilities including a hospital, a police headquarters, a fire station, a post office (postcode: 11000), a TNB power station, a TM telecommunications station, a PBA water authority office, a district judicial court, an Islamic Syariah court, a district land office, a government-owned Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN), a sports complex, a bus station and a new big wet market complex and food court (opened in December 2007 to replace the much smaller older market located less than 500 metres away), all within a 5-minute driving distance from its three-junction town centre (an subtown area called "Kongsi").

Balik Pulau is also home to several schools and higher learning institutions. Among the secondary schools located around Balik Pulau are SK Kongsi, SK Balik Pulau, SK Genting, SK Pulau Betong and Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM). Its higher learning institutions include Kolej Kemahiran MARA (KKM), Kolej Teknologi Pulau (KTP) and there is also a Tourism University being developed near its western coast of Pantai Acheh.

Commerce-wise, the town has several major banks (Ambank, Maybank and CIMB), many restaurants including at least three Indian-Muslim Nasi Kandar outlets operating around the clock (24x7: one at Kongsi (Bharvin), one at Taman Indah (Habeeb Mohamed) and another (Bharvin) at Simpang Empat), a 24-hour convenience shop (7-eleven), at least three petrol stations (two Petronas and one Shell), several clinics and various types of shops supporting its local residents numbering around 50,000 (or 38,610 qualified voters as of March 2008), many of whom however commute daily to towns like Ayer Itam, Georgetown and Bayan Lepas to work. Broadband Internet connectivity is available from TMNET (DSL), and all major mobile providers (3G and GPRS Edge).

Besides great food and breathtaking sightings (from the three major roads connecting the town to other parts of the island), another attraction for visitors include its remote beaches at Pantai Pasir Panjang at its south and Pantai Kerechut at its north, two rather clean and normally quite beaches. Pantai Pasir Panjang which is located near the tiny Pulau Betong island, had witness the terrible tsunami that happened in 2004. The beach also hosts the White Resort Camp, which is the National Service Training Centre ("Pusat Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN)") for selected secondary school graduates."

Wanna help me expand and improve it into a more useful piece? Handle this editing priviledge with care...

We need some decent translation into Bahasa Melayu too, which is only about three short paragraphs at the moment:

Balik Pulau merupakan sebuah bandar yang terletak di Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Durian dan buah pala ditanam di kawasan ini. Balik Pulau terkenal dengan penanaman durian. Kawasan ini juga menerima kesan daripada kejadian Gempa bumi 26 Disember 2004. Terdapat beberapa sekolah rendah di Balik Pulau termasuk Sekolah Rendah Chong Teik.

Balik Pulau juga terkenal sebagai "The Village Behind The Island". Ini kerana ia juga merupakan namanya jika diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Inggeris. Terdapat beberapa sekolah menengah dan sekolah rendah di Balik Pulau. Ini termasuk SK Kongsi, SK Balik Pulau, SK Genting, SK Pulau Betong, dan sebagainya.

Terdapat satu lokasi yang sama taraf kepopularannya dengan durian iaitu Pantai Pasir Panjang. Pantai ini menerima tempias ombak tsunami pada 2004. White Resort iaitu sebuah kem Pusat Latihan Khidmat Negara turut terdapat di sini. Resort ini menjadi pusat latihan kepada pelajar selepas menamatkan alam persekolahan.


With regards to where Balik Pulau is located at and how big the area is (per elaboration in the Wikipedia article), Barisan Nasional Pulau Pinang has posted a nice electoral map for the entire state of Penang - you won't missed the left-most/west-most region in brown color:


It's worth noting too that since my first article written over a year ago, the number of online resources on this little town of ours has also grown significantly to more than double at 115,000 webpages based on Google Search and over 300,000 webpages using Yahoo! Search. The number of images or videos seems to have not grown at all though -- we need more sharings of local productions! (There has got to be a lot more than 700 photos capturing this beautiful town of over 50,000 residents)

Don't know where to upload? Try some of these free services:-
  1. Google PicasaWeb
  2. Yahoo! Flickr
  3. YouTube (for video)
  4. SlideShare.net (for presentations)
  5. Facebook (everything while networking, socially)
When uploading, be sure to tag your media with "balikpulau" or "balik pulau"!

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