An Evening Up Close with Chief Minister of Penang
Equatorial Hotel, Bukit Jambul, Penang
31 May 2018
Good evening and thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to join us at this event - An Evening Up Close with Chief Minister of Penang tonight. I am pleased to join the business community and state agencies in Penang in this dinner organized by InvestPenang, the State’s investment promotion arm. Also, I hope that everyone present will be able to get updates on the initiatives of the State and to take the opportunity to get to know each other better and network amongst ourselves.
The outcome of GE14 was unprecedented and unexpected. Not only did Pakatan Harapan retain state government, the coalition (Pakatan Harapan) and its allies had also secured 122 or 55% of the 222 parliamentary seats, enabling them to form the Federal government for a fresh 5-year term. The change process which started 10 years ago in Penang and Selangor set examples to the rest of Malaysia that an alternate government based on principles of C-A-T can bring prosper to the rakyat. Thank you for giving us the vote of confidence.
Penang’s robust growth and investment records
Based on Department of Statistics latest data, Penang achieved manufacturing GDP growth of 5.7% in 2017, outperforming our performance of 4.2% in 2016. In terms of services GDP, the state achieved 5.6% growth. All of these achievements are testament of the economic contribution by the multinational companies, local large companies, small and medium enterprises and the State’s dedicated talents. I look forward to working with all stakeholders to continue to propel our twin engines of growth – the manufacturing and services sectors – towards higher value creation and sustainable growth.
Investments and re-investments remain an important trajectory of growth for Penang. It is not difficult to literally get a view of Penang’s industrial success – one will just need to stand at the lobby of this hotel and look out through the glass panel. We are able to see the dynamism of the Bayan Lepas Industrial Park and may even get a glimpse of the emerging Batu Kawan Industrial Park. The job creation, knowledge transfer, residual intelligence and multiplier effect of investments and expansion in Penang’s industry is immense and the spillover effect is large.
In terms of the Global Business Services sector, realizing the increasing needs for MSC office spaces, and with the encouraging demand for the GBS@Mayang, PDC and InvestPenang are working on plans for more MSC status spaces and the announcements on this is expected to be made soon.
The AT Kearney Foreign Direct Investment Index 2018 also indicated that the Asia Pacific region is among the most preferred location of choice for FDI. Penang expects to partake in attracting more investment flow and to continue our efforts to become the preferred destination of choice for investors. After all, in 2017, Penang recorded the largest FDI inflow of MIDA approved manufacturing FDI among states in Malaysia, valued at RM8.5 billion.
In 2017, Penang is also the second top recipient of total manufacturing investment among states valued at RM10.8 billon. Domestic investment also grew steadily by 92% year-on-year to reach RM2.3 billion in 2017. Thank you for making Penang your growth and investment destination.
Penang Transport Master Plan, flood mitigation projects and affordable housing as first 100 days priorities
After the swearing-in ceremony as the fifth Chief Minister of Penang, I made a statement that the first 100 days priorities are to begin our negotiation with the Federal government on the Penang Transport Master Plan, flood mitigation projects and affordable housing. It is important that in the spirit of ‘I Love Penang’, the fruits of growth in Penang must be inclusive and enjoyed by all segments of the society. All these projects will serve as an important continuity to our existing initiatives to make Penang as an international and intelligent city. It is important to continue to attract and retain bright talents to serve the companies in Penang, besides catalyzing continued growth of the State’s economy.
Talent will remain as Penang’s greatest asset. As such, the State government will continue to increase our initiatives to nurture the interest of our young generation in STEM, besides working closely with the Federal government in the issues of education. This will ensure that our new supply of talent will be future-ready to adapt to the needs of the industry, capitalizing also on the 45-year residual intelligence in Penang’s manufacturing industry. The Penang state government has already allocated RM75 million to the Centre of Excellence (COEs) of @CAT Penang (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics and Technology), Penang Skill Development Centre (PSDC), Penang Science Cluster (PSC), Karpal Singh Penang Learning Centre (KSPLC), Tech Dome Penang (TDP), and Penang Digital Library (PDL).
For 10 years my predecessor YB Lim Guan Eng led a government which was business and investor friendly. Our state agencies were credited for their professionalism, speed and business acumen that secured many investments and high impact projects that propelled the state into new technology.
Under my governance, the state government will continue this momentum to develop Penang into new area of entrepreneurship. Once again, I wish to thank everyone present tonight. To our Muslim friends, Selamat Menunaikan Ibadah Puasa in this Holy Month of Ramadan. Thank you and have a pleasant evening.
Before leaving the stage, I would also wish to take the opportunity to introduce some members of the new EXCO line-up. They are some of the key persons whose portfolio will be closely related to the business community.