I grew up in Penang. A colourful state with colourful people, but, within the rainbow we also have some weirdness - some good and some bad ones.
While I am glad that the Penang State Government is thinking out of the box, but I would like to throw caution towards the idea of having a tiger park. While many parties have given various reasons for disagreeing with the idea, but they missed one very important downside; Tiger meat and parts as food, aphrodisiac, tangkai dan sebagainya...
When I was a little boy, during an excursion to Balik Pulau, I chanced upon four Malaysian brothers sitting in a corner of the durian plantation plucking out the brains of a monkey (macaque actually) with chop sticks downing it with brandy. The poor mammal was still alive - eyes rolling, head stuck in a hole made at the centre of the round table while the rest of its body hanging beneath the table, in frantic motion.
They first shaved its head, used a chisel and meticulously carved the skull out an almost perfect square ... and down it while exclaiming “ Ho liou lo....Ho liou lo!”
I will not be surprised if by now some Penang kakis are already planning to market Tiger paw, Tiger meat, Tiger KuKu Chiou, Tiger tongue, Tiger blood, Tiger satay, Tiger Kut Teh etc inviting customers from near (Penang market) and far (as far as Beijing or Taiwan). Get it?
But let’s not kill the idea. Instead of thinking big with Tiger, think small ... how about 40 ha of herbs,spice and special plants like traditional South East Asian ubat-ubat tradisional... the herb and spice corner at Batu Feringgi for example is really cool to visit... make that BIGGER AND INTERNATIONAL.
My Tagline for Penang is - "Keep Penang as Penang, please"