The island’s history as a trading port for the British East India company brought in many workers and traders from all over the world. In addition to the major races – Chinese, Malay and Indian, there is also a sizeable community of Eurasian and Siamese communities in Penang. They brought along with them their respective beliefs and rituals.

 The state has practised religious tolerance from then till now with its diverse places of worship, some of which are built very close to each other. The perfect example is Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, also known as the Street of Harmony where the Kapitan Keling Mosque, Goddess of Mercy Temple, St. George's Church and Sri Maha Mariamman Temple all sit within walking distance.