Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
Penang Yosakoi 2018
10 March, 2018
Selamat Petang, konnichiwa，Good evening, 大家下午好
First and foremost, I’d like to congratulate the Pink Hibiscus Club and City Council of Penang Island for once again, successfully organising the Penang Yosakoi 2018 for the fifth consecutive year. Penang Yosakoi is already featured in Wikipedia and is literally on the international map of Yosakoi events in the world. I’m confident that in another 5 years, this will be one of the the biggest Yosakoi events outside Japan and will put our proud city on the international stage for street dancing.
Penang is truly an international city, and so this year, on behalf of Penang State government, I would also like to welcome all our international participants from Singapore, Indonesia, UK and Japan who are here today to compete in the inaugural PYP Skateboard Open for the title of Champion Skateboarder. I understand that skateboarding is now an Olympic event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, so there may be a chance for our youths to visit Japan not as a tourist, but as an Olympian! May I wish you all the best of luck in the competition.
The number of Japanese expats settling down in Penang has increased over the years. Before we took over the state government in 2008, it was just about 1,500 people. Now it has doubled to some 3,000 people.
This is partly due to our efforts in making the state a cleaner, greener, safer and healthier place to reside, in line with the lifestyle in Japan. We also have everything Japanese here, having a total of 167 Japanese companies such as Toray, Ibiden, Honda, Sony, Toshiba, to restaurants, golf course and events such as Yosakoi, Bon Odori, Penang Anime Matsuri concert and more. Our youths are also very much into Japanese cosplay. Not to forget, we also have the Penang Japanese School in the state.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Last year, we celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Malaysia-Japan Diplomatic Relations. Penang as one of the top choices by the Japanese for investment and long stay programme, I am grateful to see the initiatives and support by the Japanese community in Penang, local residents and the students from as far as Johor, come together to promote friendship and cultural-exchange between Japan and Malaysia in our continued efforts to “Look East”, to bring out the best of both cultures in order to create a truly unique and international Penang culture. I believe that this is the whole objective of the Yosakoi, and I very much look forward to seeing the energetic and colourful dance and costumes to reflect the Friendship, Culture and Unity that is promoted by our Penang Council.
With this, I’d like to declare this year’s Penang Yosakoi Parade 2018 officially open.
Thank you. Terima Kasih, Domo arigato gozaimasu, 谢谢。