SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT PENANG INTERNATIONAL SCIENCE FAIR 2017
ON 11 NOVEMBER 2017
I am very happy to be here today to open the Penang International Science Fair 2017.
The Penang International Science Fair (PISF) is a collaboration between the Penang State Government and the industries that form the backbone of the Penang Science Cluster (PSC). It is organized as part of the PSC’s mission of “Inspiring Innovation”, which focuses on developing young minds and exposing them to science and engineering through a unique, stimulating and innovative experience.
This is truly a unique event in Malaysia – attracting so much public interest that it has to be held in a sports stadium. Many high tech companies are participating to showcase and explain the science and technology behind their products through fun and hands-on workshops. And we have many communities in Penang participating as well to share their passion and encourage our young.
In this year’s Science Fair, we have probably the largest number of workshops in the world over 2 days! We have over 25,000 workshop slots from over 50 types for students to experience and have fun learning. This is the way science should be learnt – through hands-on experiments!
In conjunction with PISF, we have an interesting MakerFest event, powered by #mydigitalmaker, an initiative of MDEC. There are 7 exciting competitions in robotics, mobile apps and software coding. MakerFest will also showcase hobbyists and makers who will be proudly sharing their creations, as well as an Educator’s network, where teachers can attend special workshops to help them educate students for the digital economy.
All in all, we expect 60,000 visitors to this year’s PISF. Total expenses for this event is RM500,000 excluding the cost of exhibitor booths and product displays spent by the companies.
I would like to thank Penang Science Cluster who have successfully organized 5 international sized and quality science fairs here in Penang since 2009, and this coming Science Fair will be the largest ever.
PSC, as you all know by now, is a Private, Public, Partnership; set up as a non-profit, tax-exempt, organisation, with strong support from the Penang State Government and the MNCs in Penang.
I must thank the Pillar companies of Penang Science Cluster, the multi-nationals, local companies and institutions that have come together year after year to make Penang International Science Fair a roaring success. PSC’s Pillar multi-national companies are normally competitors for human talent, but they come together through the Penang Science Cluster for a common good – to educate our next generation and build a pipeline of world-class talent needed for continued growth in Penang.
One of the most important role of any government is to create a bright future for our young, and prepare the young for the future ahead. The Penang State Government is doing exactly that by promoting Penang as a centre of excellence for STEM education and creating the talent pool ready for Industry 4.0.
To this end, I am happy to announce that the State Government has allocated RM2 million in 2018 to enable 118,000 or 50% of primary and secondary school students in 3 years time in Penang to learn coding, hands-on, the Penang Science Cluster way. Over longer time, we hope to hit 100% of students in Penang.
The State Government has also allocated RM10.8 million for expansion of Penang Digital Library (II), the only 24hr library in Malaysia, to be ready by end 2018.
This is on top of the RM20 million spent for Penang Science Cluster, RM28 million Penang Tech Dome, the RM6 million Karpal Singh Learning Centre teaching STEM but also the RM6 million German Dual Vocational Training (GDVT) – the first German learning whilst working curriculum. We need to build human talent and public infrastructure to help Penang become an international and intelligent city.
We hope that the PISF will give us a bounce after enduring the worst storm and floods in Penang's history. Let us all bounce back together for Penang!
LIM GUAN ENG