Gentrification alert! Developer snaps up some 200 George Town properties


Anil Netto

Kopitiam operator Wang Teng Kok, who specialises in chicken rice, is not a happy man. He has until 30 November 2016 to vacate his well patronised coffee-shop premises fronting Penang Road.

Teng Kok, who employs 10 workers, is currently paying RM3,500 in monthly rental for the shoplot. His two-year tenancy agreement expired on 31 August 2016.

The shop he operates from, along with 25 others at Penang Road and Bertam Lane, has been sold by the landlord to companies affiliated to World Class Land, in his case WCL (Bertam L) Sdn Bhd.

World Class Land is the property arm of Singapore’s Aspial Corporation Ltd, which started out as a traditional jeweller. The firm has property development projects and investments in Singapore, Australia and Malaysia.

“We are deeply concerned that ONE company (regardless of foreign or local) is uprooting a great number of families and gutting a number of heritage buildings in George Town,” says George Town Heritage Action founder Mark Lay.