Penang Heritage Tip :: Supreme Court Buildings

Address: Lebuh Farquhar, Georgetown.

Penang Supreme Court Building is another magnificient neo-Palladin architecture built in 1903 to replace the original courthouse which was constructed on the same site in 1809. It located on a land plot that intersects Lebuh Light, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling and Lebuh Farquhar. It currently houses the Penang High Court.

The Supreme Court building was designed by the engineers of the Public Works Department headed by John Henry McCallum, the Surveyor-General of the Straits Settlements, based in Singapore. The total cost of construction was 206,678 Straits Dollars.

The Penang Supreme Court underwent renovation and expansion with a 3-storey wing was added to it. In addition, the State Government provided a piece of land across the street for additional space. Within the grounds of the Penang Supreme Court is the Logan Monument, which was also moved to the new space across the street.

About James Richardson Logan, the man who coined the name ‘Indonesia’ in the 19th century, lies buried in the Protestant cemetery in Penang.

Logan was born in Berwickshire, Scotland, in 1819 and studied law in Edinburgh. Arriving in Malaya when he was just 20, he was later viewed by segments of the non-European local communities as a champion of their rights. He was editor of the Penang Gazette and the 27-volume Journal of the Indian Archipelago and Eastern Asia, which were also called Logan’s Journals. The Logan Memorial (pic above) describes him as “an erudite and skillful lawyer, an eminent scientific ethnologist and he has founded a literature for these settlements…” He died of malaria in 1869 – a passing the Memorial describes as a “public calamity”.

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GPS Coordinates: 5°25’13.60″N 100°20’22.55″E Geotag Icon Show on map