Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
The Opening of Penang International Food Festival 2017
1 September 2017, 8.00pm @ Lebuh Pantai, George Town
First of all, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all of you to the opening of the second Penang Street Food Festival in 2017. Yes! We have brought this back for the second time this year, and this time, it is in conjunction with our 60th Merdeka Celebration.
Penang is world famous for two things… our delectable street food and those vibrant arts and cultural scenes that surrounds George Town. CNN, Trip Advisor and many travel publications has listed our street food as amongst the best, if not the best in the world.
We are widely known as one of Asia’s food capital. There are huge varieties of mouth-watering dishes originating from Penang, ranging from our very own Penang street food to Malay, Indian, Peranakan, Hainanese, Chinese cuisines, European and even Arabic. Penangites believe that the unique taste of these Penang flavours will make every meal in Penang a memorable one!
We are focused on preserving not just the delicious taste of our street food but also its heritage value by implementing the local cook ruling. This rule requiring only that Malaysians can cook street food is applicable to hawkers, not hotels or restaurants. Once cooked by foreign workers the taste is gone! Penang is intent on preserving the authentic taste and flavours of Penang street food- Ho Chiak!
Penang also provides an exciting and unique platform for the arts, heritage and culture. It’s quite apparent that the arts scene is flourishing in Penang with the growing number of arts societies and 15 art galleries, including an open-air art gallery and 20 museums. As our tagline says, “where the excitement never ends”.
One of the largest arts event in Asia is the month-long George Town Festival held in August every year. At the same time, the Penang Fun Experiences with Despicable Me3 is happening over at the mainland. Just next to it, there is the Butterworth Artwalk filled with murals of local creative talents which you must see.
Other latest attractions in Penang include the offer of Best deals at Penang’s premiere outlet Design Village, The Habitat Penang and Entopia Penang – a nature lover’s playground, Tech Dome Penang, The TOP at Komtar and for the adventurous – a fun-filled day at the Escape nature theme park.
The services sector, including tourism now contributes nearly 50 percent of the state’s GDP. According to figures released by Penang Global Tourism (PGT) and sourced from Malaysia Airports Berhad, the passenger traffic recorded in Penang was 6.03 million in 2014. 6.3 million in 2015 and to 6.7 million in 2016. For the first five months of 2017, passenger movements grew by 8.7%.
The Penang Street Food Festival aims to put Penang in the world map, with our much-loved Penang food. Famous street food around Penang including the mainland has been brought over here today and tomorrow. For this festival, we introduce the famous mee udang from Batu Ferringhi and Pulau Aman. The previous headline attraction, the famous daging harimau menangis- translated to "tiger crying over beef" will once again join us.
Lastly, my wish to everyone who joins us at the PSFF: May you have an unforgettable experience here in Penang. Don’t forget to join us for yet another exciting evening tomorrow and let us all witness the couple who made Malaysia proud, Avery Chin and Sylvia Lim challenge their own Guinness World Records of 19 changes in one minute. Their challenge will take place here tomorrow at 8pm. Now, “Jom Makan Holiao” “Let’s Chiak!” “Eat your heart's delight!”