About Bukit Mertajam
Bukit Mertajam is a busy center where the Seberang Perai Municipal Council is located within the Central Seberang Perai District. Bukit Mertajam is part of the Hindu-Buddhist Bujang Valley civilization. Bukit Mertajam only came about as its own town in the 19th century. Because of its agricultural background, from spices to sugar, this paved the way for the development of Province Wellesley. It is home to around 13,000 residents, as of 2010. It used to be an agricultural town but now has become a transportation hub because of the railway connects Bukit Mertajam and Port of Penang. Railways are a major part in this city. Commodities and products come from all different places, such as rubber and tin. It gets its name from the Mertajam Hill which means "Pointed Hill" in Malay.
The Charm of Bukit Mertajam
1. The rise of an economic hub from agri-land The town of Bukit Mertajam existed after the conquest of the region by the British East India Company in 1800. Before the British invasion, the land had been occupied by Malaya and Siamese farmers. The British promoted the production of spices throughout the newly acquired territories of Wellesley Province (now Seberang Perai). Chinese settlers of Hakka origin, moved to Bukit Mertajam and these migrants opened spice plantations at the foot of Mertajam Hill and also engaged in the production of granite. Sugar plantations were established south of the town in the mid-19th century. Public facilities, such as schools, a magistrate's court and hospitals were built, and eventually, Bukit Mertajam was chosen by the authorities of the Straits Settlements as the administrative center of the Wellesley District of the Central Province.
2. Thoroughfares and train stations Jalan Pasar and Jalan Kulim are two main thoroughfares in Bukit Mertajam. In contrast, both the North – South Expressway and the Federal Route 1 pass through Bukit Mertajam, connecting the city to the rest of the Peninsula of Malaysia. Rapid Penang has been the second public transport company, next to Rapid KL, established by Prasarana Malaysia, a company owned by the federal government of Malaysia to manage urban public transport. Rapid Penang's Congestion Alleviation Transport (CAT) is a free transit service within Bukit Mertajam. Cityliner also runs an additional bus route from Bukit Mertajam to Butterworth. Bukit Mertajam Railway Station also offers intercity rail transport to other major cities and towns along the western Peninsula of Malaysia, as well as to the Woodlands of Singapore.
3. The future as a smart city The Committee of Women, Family Development, and Gender Inclusiveness chairman, Chong Eng, stated that Bukit Mertajam is set to be the first smart city in the state. This would take place August 2020 and the transformation will be led by BM Digital Initiative. It would also include a Smart City application accessible through the PenangReach platform. The creation of this transformation was to offer residents a green and smart environment conducive to a higher quality of life. This costs RM500,000 and is led by the company Smartviro. One of the major breakthroughs of the project is to make technology and data available to the public, such as information about environmental quality, waste management, floods, soil, traffic, parking, security, and transportation.
Bukit Mertajam Tourist Spots
1. Cherok Tokun Nature Park This is the town's natural reserve forest. If you like cardio and having a slow walk in the natural world, this is a spot for you. Check the weather forecast before you walk uphill, and also carry an umbrella to shield yourself from sunlight and wild monkeys. It's easy to burn calories if you manage to reach the second pit stop after 35-40 minutes of slow walk from the car park. There is a pool near the car park as well, so you can enjoy a refreshing dip in cold mountain water. If you get hungry, there is a cafe that opens in the morning and the food is reasonably priced.
2. St. Anne’s Church Bukit Mertajam has quite the Catholic following and at the center of its celebrations is St. Anne's Church. The church was built in 1888. It consists of both an old and new chapel, completed in 2002. St. Anne's feast celebrations happen in July so it's best to visit then. It occurs for 10 days and includes a candlelight procession and culminates with a concert at the church grounds. Aside for the feast day festivities, St. Anne is also popular for Novena celebrations.
3. Kek Lok Si Kek Lok Si is also known as the Heavenly Temple, Pure Land Temple, Temple of Supreme Bliss, and Temple of Paradise. Located in Air Itam, Penang, it is the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia. This is one of the pilgrimage sites for Buddhists all over Southeast Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines. Among the collection of temples, the pagoda of Rama IV, also named the Pagoda of 10,000 Buddhas, stands at seven stories. It is surrounded by 10,000 alabaster and bronze statues of Buddha. It also boasts of a 120 feet tall statue of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy. The site where it is located was chosen by Beow as a spiritual location, facing the sea.