Union Street, George Town, Penang

Union Street, George Town

Union Street, within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a narrow street that links Penang Street to the west and Beach Street to the east. It is part of the city's historic commercial centre.

Union Street sign, George Town, Penang

A bilingual Union Street sign, featuring its Arabic name.

Union Street was laid out in the early 19th. century and once formed the southern boundaries of a police precint centred at the current State Assembly Building.


Union Street was created in the early 19th. century to commemorate the 1800 Acts of Union that formally united the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into a single political entity - the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

The street was also known by the Chinese as Po Leh Au in Hokkien and Poli Si Hau in Cantonese, meaning 'the road behind the police station'. Both terms referred to the Central Police Station that once occupied the land around where the State Assembly Building now stands.


Union Street was laid out in the early 19th. century, soon after the four major streets of George Town - Light Street, Beach Street, Pitt Street and Chulia Street - were created. It was named after the Acts of Union signed in 1800 between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland; this formalised the political union of both kingdoms in a single entity named the United Kingdom.

The Central Police Station, which bordered Union Street, Beach Street and Light Street, was built in the mid-19th. century. A police precint gradually grew within the area with the addition of a police barracks, the Police Office (now the Immigration Department Building) and a fire engine garage.

Logan Building, Beach Street, George Town, Penang (1913)

The Logan Building at the junction between Union Street and Beach Street, pictured here in 1913.

As the adjoining Beach Street grew in importance as the commercial centre of George Town in the late 19th. century, banks and retail establishments - in the form of the Logan Building - began to spill into Union Street as well.

Notable Landmark

Logan Heritage Building


  • Maybank
    • Country of Origin : Malaysia


  • D'Dapor Restaurant
  • Kareem Pasembur Stall
  • Tea Garden Cafe

Political Representation

Penang State Government

N.26 Padang Kota State Assemblyman : Chow Kon Yeow (Democratic Action Party)

Malaysian Federal Parliament

P.049 Tanjong Member of Parliament : Ng Wei Aik (Democratic Action Party)


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