SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT THE 30TH INTERNATIONAL BABA NYONYA CONFERENCE PENANG 2017
ON 25TH NOVEMBER 2017
A very pleasant evening I bid to the delegates of the 30th International Baba Nyonya Conference Penang 2017!
On behalf of the State Government of Penang, it’s my pleasure to welcome all the Babas and Nyonyas from across the globe to the opening of the 30th International Baba Nyonya Conference hosted by Penang this year.
I understand that after a hiatus of almost 6 years, the wheel has come full circle as the state chinese (penang) association gears up for yet another conference with a difference.
By creating connections and celebrating communities of Peranakan for at least 6 centuries, the Babas and Nyonyas of this century have encapsulated a heritage and culture that is imbued with traditional chinese values that shape and mould the new generations of Babas and Nyonyas.
The great number of delegates from Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand as well as other states in Malaysia is testimony of the necessity to preserve and enhance a culture by engaging interactively with eminent speakers on all things Peranakan, to promote their rich and glorious heritage.
Penang is indeed ideal to showcase the contributions of the local Peranakan community, from your signature Peranakan delicacies and dishes to the unforgettable Peranakan Museum. Further, the organisers led by Dato Dr Tan Gin Soon has chosen the newly refurbished RM200 million new Komtar to hold your conference.
The Komtar tower has undergone great transformation. Now it is an iconic location that is a one stop destination of indoor attractions and theme park. I am delighted to see that the organizing committee has included a tour of the many attractions in Komtar like the rainbow skywalk and observatory deck on the top 68th floor Komtar represents our hope for the future.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Penang has also topped the national list with total approved investments of RM7.7 billion in the manufacturing sector for the first half of 2017, it is also more than the RM4.3 billion investments recorded for the whole of 2016. Penang’s 1H 2017 total approved manufacturing investments contributed to 45% of the total RM17 billion investments approved nationwide. For the 9 1/2 years period between 2008- June 2017, Penang recorded an investment of RM 67 billion, a 81.6% increase compared to the previous 10 years period between 1998 to 2007 of RM 37 billion.
Furthermore, tourism has grown together with new hotels opening and higher occupancy rates. Penang was the highest contributor in the country for the new tourism tax (imposed at RM10 per international tourists) implemented on 1 September 2017, collecting RM241,460 in one month, even higher than Kuala Lumpur. This indicates that there were more international tourists in Penang than in Kuala Lumpur.
The number of passengers at the Penang International Airport(PIA) hit 6.7 million passengers in 2016, exceeding the capacity of 6.5 million passengers, earlier than the expected full capacity by four years. This year, the number of passengers is expected to hit 7.1 million passengers.
In closing, I wish you all have a blessed and fun filled stay in penang.