Campbell Street is one of the popular streets in George Town and is accessible from Penang Road and a number of other smaller streets. The street was found to be named after the Penang Inspector General Sir George William Robert Campbell, who was also the acting Lieutenant-Governor of Penang between 1872 and 1873.
The street is called “Sin Kay” by the local Hokkiens meaning ‘new street’ and can also be referred to as ‘fresh chickens (another term for prostitutes in Hokkien)’. This is because back in the old days, the street was famous as a red light district which attracted newly arrived prostitutes from Macau port (consisted mostly of Cantonese migrants). However, during the mid 20th century, the street became an important shopping street for the locals looking to buy various items such as clothes, watches and shoes.