THE PENANG BRIDGE is a 13.5 km long bridge stretching from Seberang Prai on the mainland to Gelugor on the island, this is one of many architectural wonder in Malaysia and was officially opened in September 1988, offering a beautiful view of the open sea, ships and a sprawling coastline.
Penang has a very rich culture, crowned as the "Pearl of the Orient, - a tourists' favourite. Being one of the most heavily invested States in Malaysia by foreign investors, you can find big IT names with state-of-the-art manufacturing plants locate here. (Dell, Compaq, Motorola, HP, Gateway 2000, Seagates and even your "Intel inside" CPUs most likely originate here, just to name a few).
It was officially opened by our visionary Prime Minister, Dato' Dr. Mahathir in 1985. It ranks as the longest bridge in Asia and 5th largest in the world. The Penang Bridge costs RM 800 million and took 5 years to build. Before the bridge was built, people depended upon ferry services to cross the Penang Straits.
It was messy. The enormous number of people using the ferry service was difficult to handle, numbering up to about tens of thousand at any given time. Thus, creating congestions at the ferry terminal. OLD structures at the jetty terminal could not handle this kind of load, and it collapsed. 32 people lost their lives and a thousand others injured. A Royal Enquiry was set up to investigate the cause of this tragedy. Thereafter, new guidelines and measures were imposed to ensure the safety of current users. This incident remains as one of the most horrendous tragedy in the peaceful country of Malaysia.
--Report by Mr Foo Kok Kin (The Penang Tragedy at the Jetty)
In the jetty tragedy on July 31, 1988, 32 people were killed while about 1,700 others were injured when the passenger platform of the top deck of the ferry terminal they were standing on collapsed.