Speech by Chief Minister of Penang, YAB Chow Kon Yeow
At The Opening of Penang’s Aidilfitri Celebration 2018
23 June 2018 @ Jalan Padang Kota Lama
What an honour it is to be here at our Padang Kota Lama to celebrate Hari Raya with everyone, where we can indulge in some of Penang’s most sumptuous food. Our very own Penang Esplanade, set by the waterfront in the heart of George Town is a major venue for celebrations and cultural performances, surrounded by Penang’s famous attractions, street food and heritage. Tonight, we celebrate Hari Raya with food and family amidst our heritage surroundings. One to be mentioned – I hear that we also have selections of traditional Hari Raya goodies here today.
Tourism being one of the largest contributors to Penang’s economy, Penang upkeep ourselves continuously to be one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Penang’s world-famous street food has placed our city on the global culinary map, and it has won us numerous awards from renown international publications. In 2017, CNN, for the second time, listed our Penang Assam Laksa 7th place in its list of the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods. And in 2016, CNN also listed Penang’s Assam Laksa as one of the 8 World’s Hottest Street Foods. At the World Street Food Congress last year, two of Penang’s street food – Char Koay Teow and Nasi Kandar made it into the World Street Food Top 50 list. This illustrates Penang’s high-ranking reputation amongst the world’s finest culinary cultures.
2018 is a significant year for Penang. It marks our 10th year anniversary of being awarded the UNESCO World Heritage City status. Already a city where excitements and festivities never end, Penang continues to have celebrations in George Town, as well as around Penang, including the mainland. To commemorate 10 years of being a UNESCO World Heritage City, the upcoming Heritage Celebrations will be celebrated on an even bigger scale. So, be sure not to miss out this 7th July!
Statistics on our airport arrivals have shown a promising double-digit growth in the first quarter of this year. I foresee that this number will soar higher with the increased number of direct flights to Penang. Only this year, we have gotten new direct flights from five cities, namely Hanoi, Phuket, Doha, Banda Acheh and Jakarta. On top of these, four airlines have also increased their flight frequencies to Penang. This evidently and instantaneously shows a favourable feedback on Penang’s tourism status.
Now back to today’s celebration, Selamat Hari Raya everyone, let’s feast on and indulge in all the food, workshops and entertainment we’ve prepared for you this evening.
Don’t forget, we’ll be celebrating for another day at the Butterworth