Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
FMM Dinner with CM & Corporate Leaders
On 8 April 2017, 7.30pm
Equatorial Hotel, Penang
Good evening! Congratulations for celebrating FMM Penang Branch’s 47th anniversary!
Besides being the voice for the manufacturing sector, the FMM Penang Branch is also very active in organising corporate social responsibility programmes. They have just finished their FMM CEO Forum 2017 earlier today and I saw a big crowd of participants including students from the University and various schools and colleges. Well done FMM Penang Branch for nurturing the young minds for a better Penang.
From this CEO Forum, a sum of RM100,000.00 is donated to the Penang Future Foundation for deserving underprivileged students. On behalf of the State Government, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to FMM Penang’s sponsors.
The Penang state government will continue efforts to establish Penang as an entrepreneurial state and also the first ‘welfare state’ where we can enjoy both economic advancement and prosperity, without the poor getting poorer and be left behind by investing in infrastructure to overcome the triple challenges of traffic congestion, affordable housing and flash floods. We are also building human talent by investing in education as well as sharing out the fruits of economic prosperity. This is Penang’s road map towards unity and prosperity – an entrepreneurial and welfare state. We can only be an international and intelligent city if Penang is a liveable city that is clean, green, safe and healthy. Penang has amongst the highest GDP per capita in the country and we also implement a form of universal basic income. We top up the household income of any families who receive less than RM790 per month. More than RM412 million has been given out as cash aid to 1.7 million Penangites since 2008.
The state has also recorded a total investment, including both FDI and domestic investment, amounting to RM59.2 billion from 2008 to 2016 which is a 73.3% increase from the RM 34.2 billion recorded in the similar 9 year period from 1999 – 2007. This shows the success of our aim to become an entrepreneurial state within eight years. Penang’s ambition to become an international and intelligent city is also aided by the vision of an entrepreneurial state with a ‘balanced society’. We recognise the need to adopt more holistic development strategies where ideas, private investment and public infrastructure come together in partnership to produce an economically dynamic place that is also more liveable, more sustainable and more inclusive.
As Penang moves towards 2020, the state government will continue to play its role in creating an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship in all sectors of the economy can flourish. We will collaborate with the private sector on any initiative to support the innovators who want to create the next Malaysian business. Our role is to remove the barriers, facilitate growth, and to support the creativity of Malaysians.
The State Government is working hard with the relevant government agencies to ensure that Penang continues to enjoy the FDI from various countries and at the same time, encourage local investments. Moreover, claims that foreign investors are leaving or Foreign Direct Investments(FDIs) no longer interested in coming to Penang is absolutely untrue. Figures from MIDA from 2008-2016 reveal that Penang came out third in Malaysia for FDIs, with RM 41,554 million, losing out only to Johor’s RM 55,751 million and Sarawak’s RM 48,371 million.
I echo the message from the Chairman of FMM Penang Branch that manufacturing companies must strive to move up the value chain instead of continuing with the traditional assemble and production. Today’s manufacturers, especially the SMEs must embrace new technologies and focus on design, research and development to bring their businesses to the next level.
Ladies & Gentlemen, a new technology park is being developed in Batu Kawan to house SMEs in the automation industry. The park is estimated to cost some RM63 million and will be developed by Penang Automation Cluster Sdn Bhd. It is scheduled to complete in the second half of 2019 and would accommodate 18 SMEs. The will bring the SMEs in the automation industry to the next level.
Under the Penang Transport Master Plan which is the future engine of growth, the Penang South Reclamation Scheme will reclaim 4,500 acres of land off the south coast of the Island. From this, a large plot of reclaimed land will be dedicated to a high-tech manufacturing and R&D cluster.
Ladies and gentlemen, before I end my speech, I would like to congratulate FMM Penang Branch on its 47th anniversary.