The Residency, Penang

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The Residency
Malay : Seri Mutiara
Seri Mutiara, George Town, Penang.jpg
Side façade of The Residency, as seen from outside the compound, with Penang Hill at the background.
The Residency, Penang is located in George Town
The Residency, Penang
Location within George Town
General information
TypeOfficial residence
AddressWestern Road, 10460 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Town or citySeal of George Town.svg George Town, Penang
Coordinates5°24′57″N 100°18′25″E / 5.415932°N 100.306916°E / 5.415932; 100.306916Coordinates: 5°24′57″N 100°18′25″E / 5.415932°N 100.306916°E / 5.415932; 100.306916
Current tenantsGovernor of Penang[1][2]
Construction started1888; 131 years ago (1888)[1]
Completed1890; 129 years ago (1890)[1][2]
OwnerGovernment of Penang
Design and construction
ArchitectMajor Sir Maurice Alexander Cameron[1]

The Residency (Malay: Seri Mutiara) in the city of George Town in Penang, Malaysia is the official residence of Penang's head of state, the Governor of Penang. Built by the British in 1888, the mansion formerly served as the official residence of the highest-ranking British officer in Penang right up to the Malayan independence in 1957.[1]

The grounds of The Residency, through which the Waterfall River flows, is home to several rare species of plants, such as a baobab tree (one of only three such trees in Penang), the Brazil nut, Indian ebony and the cannon-ball tree.[1][2]


The Residency in the 1910s
Journalists awaiting the arrival of the Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng, at The Residency on 9 April 2018 for the dissolution of the Penang State Legislative Assembly.[3]

The Residency, designed by a British Army engineer, Major Sir Maurice Alexander Cameron, was constructed in 1888.[1] The mansion took two years to complete and cost $48,000 (Straits dollar). Fittings and furnishing pushed the overall cost of the mansion to $81,000, and includes a manually-powered Indian punkah within its Banquet Hall.[1][2]

Upon its completion, The Residency became the official residence of the Governor of Penang, a role which it fulfills to this day.[1] Prior to the construction of The Residency, the highest ranking British administrators in Penang had resided along Northam Road, along the city's northern shoreline. The mansion's first occupant was A.M. Skinner, who served as the Resident Councillor of Penang between 1887 and 1897. As the Resident Councillor was also the chairman of the newly established Penang Botanic Gardens, a garden was created within the compound of The Residency, filled with native and rare species of tropical plants.

After the independence of Malaya in 1957, the position of the Governor of Penang was officially renamed in Malay as the Yang di-Pertua Negeri. Similarly, the residence, now a property of the Penang state government, has been officially renamed as Seri Mutiara, a reflection of Penang's fame as the Pearl of the Orient (Malay: Pulau Mutiara).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hockton, Keith (2012). Penang: An Inside Guide to Its Historic Homes, Buildings, Monuments and Parks. Kuala Lumpur: MPH Group Publishing. ISBN 9789674153038.
  2. ^ a b c d Khoo, Su Nin (2007). Streets of George Town, Penang. Penang: Areca Books. ISBN 978-983-9886-00-9.
  3. ^ "Penang legislative assembly officially dissolved tomorrow". 2018-04-09. Retrieved 2018-04-09.