The Crowd Economy Conference (CEC) @ Penang

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

at The Crowd Economy Conference (CEC) @ Penang

St. Giles Wembley, George Town, Penang

9 March 2017



Introduction: Penang’s Participation in the Digital and Disruptive Economy

Good morning. I wish to thank the organisers of Crowd Economy Conference (CEC) @ Penang – the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) and collaborative partner investPenang for organizing and inviting me to speak and officiate at this event today. You are in the right place – Penang is No. 2 among the top 17 best places to visit for 2017 CNN early this year and listed as amongst one of the top 8 islands in the world to explore before you die by Yahoo Travel.

It is indeed apt for Penang to be chosen to host this conference. In the recently announced Malaysia Investment Performance 2016 by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) last week, Penang received the second largest investments of Global Establishments for Services after Kuala Lumpur with a value of RM4.1 billion.

Penang’s vision to attract more Global Business Services (GBS), and to move into high value manufacturing with Industry 4.0 focusing on e-commerce, cloud computing, Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics as well as to encourage start-ups in the State is growing from strength-to-strength. Our CAT start-up center at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee are some of the new initiatives – more on that later.

The Disruptive Trends of Crowd Economy

The continuous and rapid advancement in digital technology has enabled businesses and corporations to innovate and create new business models comprising of new methods and approaches. With connectivity to the Internet, we are no longer just Malaysian Citizen, but are part of the global citizens (or Netizens). We must understand what is the crowd economy.

The key traits of crowd-economy include requirement for fast delivery and immediate results with better predictions, enabled from having direct access to the relevant crowd. With crowd economy approach, business owners and corporations can get faster results and are able to take immediate and informed management decision. This would surely benefit corporations through cost savings, better client management and increase in productivity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The ‘Future of Jobs’ report published by The World Economic Forum (WEF) in January 2016 highlighted that the technology trend behind Crowd Economy, which is known as ‘Crowdsourcing; the sharing economy’, is one of the top 10 major industry trend. The report identified industry sectors such as professional and financial services which will experience the most impact from this disruptive trend.

Crowdsourcing: the sharing economy

Crowdsourcing becomes increasingly important as it enables new form of digital workforce and resources to be engaged by governments, businesses as well as public, on an on-demand basis, or on a short-term or free-time basis. Businesses can also engage ‘crowd’ to validate certain product ideas which could lead the crowd to back the idea and give fund (crowdfunding) as a manifestation of market validation.

The crowdsourcing approach, which is the crux of today’s conference, offers the opportunities to address some of the existing challenges faced by corporations.

I understand some of today’s players are start-ups. I hope to see more tech start-ups in Penang to also come on-board and venture into crowdsourcing models and platforms. In October 2015, Penang launched the @CAT (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics & Technology) at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, in CBD Heritage Zone of George Town.

This RM 20 million initiative, overseen by InvestPenang, provides a platform for technopreneurs to “accelerate” their business from ideas to market. Particularly popular with the Gen Ys, this program has attracted designers and creators in software, apps, digital creative art and IoT devices.

InvestPenang is also enhancing the branding and promotion of @CAT, and has recently appointed a new Programme Director, Mr Howie Chang, a successful entrepreneur who founded The Commissioned, Building Hello Howie, Ayuh Bina, and was Director of Redmart, leading online supermarket site in Singapore. With his 15 years’ experience in Singapore and active support to the start-up community building, his involvement will boost the start-up ecosystem in Penang.

Closing Remark

In closing, I would like to thank MDeC for making this conference possible, Mr Siddhartha Raja from the World Bank, New York, who will share information regarding this new disruptive trend, and also other speakers from MDeC,, investPenang and @CAT Penang.

Thank you

Penang in Asia Lecture Series: Affirmative Action in Malaysia - Who Gains? Who Loses?

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Speech by Chief Minister Of Penang

Penang in Asia Lecture Series: Affirmative Action in Malaysia - Who Gains? Who Loses?

2 MARCH 2017

Affirmative Action Works When It Does Not Adversely Affect Freedom Or Equal Opportunity, Meritocracy Or Pursuit Of Excellence Or Fighting Corruption

We are often told that hard work will bring success and change destiny. The underlying assumption is that outcome is directly related to efforts. The reality is however much more complicated than that. Parents all know that how important it is to give their children a good head start. Environment plays a tremendous role in our life chance. Social scientists call it structural constraints, which individuals may not be able to overcome on their alone, no matter how hard they work. Competitive edges are inheritable and accumulative. How likely is a kid from inland Sarawak with no internet access and no one in family ever attended university to beat Subang Jaya professionals’ kids growing up with ipads to do medicine or architecture in top university? To positively discriminate in favour of marginalised groups so that they may have a more level playing field to compete is Affirmative Action.

There are at least two broad arguments for Affirmative Action.

The first is based on enlightened self-interest. If the marginalised in the society are forever marginalised, they may choose to disrupt the entire socio-political and economic system. It may take the form of a revolution or a riot. But, even if it is a just an electoral revolt, it can be no less disastrous. Look at the Brexit in the UK. Look at the election of President Donald Trump in the US. Besides cultural factors, the unexpected outcomes were driven much by economic discontent. People who stand to lose or gain little from globalisation voted in the hope to halt the loss of jobs and to reverse to the good old days where they didn’t have to face competition from people culturally different from them, home or abroad.

The second argument for Affirmative Action is rooted in solidarity. The idea that we should care for our fellow humans and ensure that everyone can live a dignified and fulfilled life. And it is morally wrong that some members of society are forever condemned in poverty or backwardness, no matter what the causes are.

As the idea of human rights grow, we recognise more forms of marginalisation beyond poverty and more categorisation warranting affirmative action beyond ethnicity. Today, a common form of affirmative action measure implemented or advocated for is the minimum 30% target for women in decision-making positions. Here in Penang, we are proud to have women holding the positions of state legal advisor, secretary of state legislative assembly and presidents of both city and municipal councils. At the Penang legislative assembly, women make up 15%, higher than 10.8% in the federal parliament but we are of course not complacent -- We hope to achieve soon the 30% target.

Before we go further on Affirmative Action, it is important to remember this is not the only method to correct inequality. The alternative – sometime also complement to Affirmative Action -- is often forgotten is the welfare state, where social goods like health, education, transportation and housing are provided cheaply and inclusively so that the poor may escape the poverty trap.

We wish to transform Penang into an entrepreneurial and welfare state, where we can enjoy both economic advancement and prosperity, without the poor getting poorer and be left behind. Penang has amongst the highest GDP per capita in the country and we also implement a form of universal basic income. We top up the household income of any families who receive less than RM790 per month.

The debates on affirmative action unfortunately has been stifled by two obstacles.

First, positions on affirmative action are often almost by default linked to one’s ethno-religious category. When the issue is raised, it is common for all sides to trade claims of marginalisation and complaints of discrimination by others. While the official justification for affirmative action in Malaysia is often based on preservation of social harmony and political stability, some quarters deliberately frame it as a permanent nativist privilege, making it even less universal.

Second, the myth that Malaysia is unique and not comparable to other countries. This myth prevents cross-national learning. The realities are (1) most countries in the world are actually plural society and Malaysia is not the most complicated one; (2) affirmative action is applied in many countries – not only affirmative action for women and disabled people is commonly found, even identity-based affirmative action can be found from countries as diverse as India, South Africa, United States, Sri Lanka and China.

We at the Penang Govermment are social democrats. We believe in solidarity. We believe in inclusion. Hence, we believe in affirmative action. We are sick of egregious corruption or crony capitalism disguised as affirmative action. We want affirmative action to work, not to be abused. We want affirmative action to empower, not to control, citizens. We need new lens to look at affirmative action, lens that are free from our communal bias and see empowerment of all marginalised members of our society a national agenda, not communal agenda of Malays, Chinese, Indians, Sabahans or Sarawakians. We need new languages like human rights to articulate and frame issues related to affirmative action to break free from the communal paradigm.

Finally affirmative action should not be an obstacle towards freedom or equal opportunity or meritocracy or establishing integrity or pursuit of excellence. If it does, then affirmative action has failed – that is not affirmative action but inflicting punishment or discrimination. The Scandinavian countries are good examples of affirmative action helping the poor, weak, dispossessed and marginalised without affecting freedom or equal opportunity, meritocracy or pursuit of excellence or fighting corruption.

It is in this light I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Judge Navi Pillay for accepting our invitation to share with us here her insights on affirmative action and human rights, drawing from experiences in her home nation South Africa and other jurisdictions. Before serving as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 – 2014, she worked as a lawyer, and subsequently was appointed as a High Court judge.

I am sure we will all be enlightened by Judge Pillay’s lecture and the panel discussion with her and our three distinguished panellists. When do we need affirmative action? When should affirmative action give way to more effective or inclusive policies? What are the policy domains suitable for affirmative action? Besides ethnicity and gender, what categorisation may be suitable to introduce affirmative action?

For friends who remain sceptical of universal solidarity, allow me to repeat US President Roosevelt’s reminder that we are all inter-dependent, ““This country will not be a permanently good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a reasonably good place for all of us to live in.”

Thank you.

Majlis penyampaian Cek Peruntukan Bantuan Kewangan Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang Kepada Sekolah-Sekolah Tamil Dan Tadika Di Sekolah Tamil, 2017

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Ucapan Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang

Sempena Majlis penyampaian Cek Peruntukan Bantuan Kewangan Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang

Kepada Sekolah-Sekolah Tamil Dan Tadika Di Sekolah Tamil, 2017

2 Mac 2017 (Auditorium A, Komtar)


Saya berasa sangat gembira berjumpa dengan anda semua sekali lagi dalam Majlis Penyampaian Cek ini. Majlis Penyampaian Cek ini adalah majlis yang kesembilan. Berbeza daripada tahun-tahun lepas kali ini penyampaian cek kepada sekolah Tamil dan tadika diadakan bersama. Kami telah memulakannya pada 2009 dan meneruskannya sehingga ke tahun ini. Saya berjanji di sini bahawa Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang di bawah pimpinan saya akan terus membantu pendidikan dan sekolah-sekolah Tamil di negeri ini selagi kami mentadbir negeri ini.

Harus dingat bahawa dalam lapan tahun ini penambahbaikan struktur fizikal dan kemudahan sekolah Tamil adalah amat ketara, penambahbaikan seperti berikut telah dilakukan di sekolah-sekolah Tamil:

a) Mengatasi kekurangan bilik darjah dengan membina bilik darjah bahru
b) Membina Dewan Terbuka di 8 buah sekolah
c) Membina Makmal Komputer di 12 buah sekolah
d) Memastikan bahawa semua sekolah mempunyai kemudahan tandas moden
e) Menambahbaik keadaan dan kemudahan bilik guru dan guru besar
f) Menambah baik perpustakaan
g) Memasang kemudahan 21st Century Classroom di 3 buah sekolah

Pendek kata, pihak kami telah membantu memperbaiki infrastruktur di sekolah-sekolah Tamil Pulau Pinang sehinggakan sekolah-sekolah ini dikatakan sebagai yang terbaik dari segi kemudahan fizikal di seluruh negara.

Misi kami tidak terhad kepada peningktan kemudahan infrastruktur sahaja malahan mentranformasikan sekolah-sekolah Tamil untuk menghadapi cabaran abad ke-21. Demi memastikan bahawa kanak-kanak di sekolah Tamil dapat menikmati perkembangan ICT ini kami telah membekalkan SWIPE (Smart Wireless Interactive Presentation & Education System) di beberapa buah sekolah sejak dua tahun lalu. Alat ini mempermudahkan penyampaian maklumat dan juga dapat mengawasi dan mengawal murid-murid dari mana-mana sudut di bilik darjah.

Pada tahun lepas pula, kami telah membekalkan kemudahan 21st Century Classroom di 3 buah sekolah, iaitu SJKT Mak Mandin, SJKT Bukit Mertajam dan SJKT Sungai Ara. Pada tahun ini kami bercadang untuk memperluaskan kemudahan itu kepada semua sekolah.

Di samping itu, sejak 2012 Kerajaan Negeri sedang memperuntukkan RM100 ribu setiap tahun untuk membantu menguruskan tadika dengan lebih baik dan meningkatkan kualiti kemudahan di tadika. Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang adalah satu-satunya Kerajaan Negeri yang bantu tadika Bahasa Tamil.

Kini sampai pula masa yang ditunggu-tunggu, iaitu pengumuman jumlah peruntukan bagi tahun ini. Dengan bangganya saya ingin mengumumkan bahawa jumlah wang yang diperuntukkan bagi tahun ini ialah seperti berikut:

1) Bagi Sekolah-Sekolah Tamil – RM1.75 juta
2) Bagi Tadika - RM100,000.00
3) Bagi Tabung Khas Jawatankuasa Khas Sekolah-Sekolah Tamil – RM100,000.00 untuk kerja pengurusan, penilaian peperiksaan dan pengelolaan sekolah dan murid sekolah Tamil.

Jumlah peruntukan yang telah diperuntukkan kepada Sekolah-Sekolah Tamil sejak tahun 2009 adalah sebanyak RM15, 416, 000 dan kepada Tadika Tamil sejak tahun 2012 sebanyak RM550, 000.Sementara itu, jumlah peruntukan yang diberikan untuk Tabung Khas Jawatankuasa Khas Sekolah-Sekolah Tamil sejak tahun 2012 adalah sebanyak RM536, 000. Ini menjadikan keseluruhan peruntukan yang diberikan adalah sebanyak
RM16, 502, 000.

Sebelum mengakhiri ucapan saya biar saya merakamkan terima kasih kepada Dato’ Dr. Anba, Dato’ Rajoo, En. Anil, En. Sathis dan Cik. Fatimah kerana sumbangan mereka kepada sekolah-sekolah Tamil di negeri ini melalui Jawatankuasa Khas Sekolah-Sekolah Tamil. Saya berharap mereka akan terus membantu Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang mencapai impiannya untuk meningkatkan taraf akademik sekolah-sekolah Tamil di Pulau Pinang.

Sekian, terima kasih.