Speech by Chief Minster of Penang
Farewell German Ambassador, E&O, 9 June 2017
Ladies and gentlemen,
I’m delighted to be here this evening to honor the Ambassador for his time here in Malaysia representing Germany.
You can be proud of your achievements as Ambassador during your time since your appointment in August 2013. The relationship between Germany and Malaysia - and of course especially between Germany and Penang - are strong, and has become even stronger, broader, deeper. Indeed, German investments play a significant role in the development of Penang as Malaysia's most dynamic manufacturing hub as well as the introduction of a German dual vocational training programme, now called Meister Programme “Trained in Malaysia but made in Germany”.
Relations - whether economic or cultural - between Germany and Penang go back even longer than the establishment of the diplomatic relations in 1957, as the island has been home to many German merchants, traders and missionaries more then 200 years ago.
Germans left a deep impact on Penang's heritage, which can be seen till today in many old German trading buildings along Weld Quay or Beach Street. One of Penang's most famous buildings of worship - the Kapitan Keling Mosque - was designed by a German-Eurasian architect named Neubronner in the moghul-style domed mosque which embellishes Pitt Street until today.
The Malaysian-German Society was founded in 1962 - which in fact is a successor of the old Deutsche Vereinigung (pronounce: DEU-TSHE FAIR-EY-NIGUNG) which was founded in the 19th century - is still a place in Penang, where Germans and Malaysians strive for mutual understanding and strengthening the friendship of our two countries.
Malaysia has for many years been Germany’s principal trading partner among the ASEAN countries and in 2016, bilateral trade was worth almost RM58 billion. Meanwhile, manufacturing investments by Germany in Penang was valued at RM 404 million in 2016 (ranked third highest FDI into Penang in 2016), an increase of 67% from RM242 million recorded in 2015. Germany’s principal imports from Malaysia are electrical and electronic goods, machinery, instruments and technical devices - mainly produced in Penang!
Ambassador Michael, all things said, your support, dedication, and friendship towards Penang was and is indeed incredible and on behalf of the state government and the people of Penang. You symbolized both Gesinnungsethik (Pronounce: Ghe-Sin-Nungs-Ae-tick) (the ethic of conviction) and Verantwortungsethik (Pronounce: Fair-Unt-Wor-Tungs-Ae-Tick) (the ethic of responsibility), principally the tension between Utopian romanticism and practicality as stated by Max Weber in his classic 'Politics as a Vocation'.
An idealist but not a foolish one who wants to see things get done. Truly you will be missed. This was all meant to be and I’m sure you’ll continue to be a strong and great friend of Penang. I wish you all the best for you and your family's future in your next posting overseas.