Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

23rd April 2017



We welcome World Water Day 2017. In Penang, the State Government and PBAPP have always regarded water supply as an issue of primary concern. We are still the only Malaysian state to implement a “no rationing policy”, the success based on a 3-pronged approach:

1. Gazetting water catchment areas

A total of 62.9 sq. km of forestlands in Penang has been gazetted as water catchment areas. These lands are protected by law, so that they may ‘catch rainwater’ to fill Penang’s dams.

No logging or destructive land development is allowed in Penang’s water catchment areas. Not a single square inch of forest reserves have been touched! This measure is in line with a ‘Greener and Healthier Penang’, unlike some other states where hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests have been logged or cleared.

2. Consistently upgrading infrastructure

PBAPP has been consistently upgrading our water supply infrastructure to stay ahead of water demand. In 2016 alone, PBAPP invested a total of RM89.5 million in projects such as Package 12 of the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant, the Bukit Dumbar 2 Pumping Station, New Reservoirs in Jawi and additional water pipelines as well as the Federal Government's RM1.2 billion Mengkuang Dam Expansion Project.

3. Improving the capability of management

PBAPP has also been upgrading its performance and productivity based on the principles of Competency, Accountability and Transparency (CAT) to be an efficient, professional and corruption-free water supplier. Efficient water supply and water demand management is key together with management assuming full responsibility for any water rationing. This “heads will roll” policy has been effective in staving off water rationing.

Just 12 months ago, we fought hard to avoid a water shortage crisis in Penang during the Super El Niño phenomenon.

This brings us to another recent news report:

According to The Star on 14/4/2017, a new trail for timber lorries was found in the Ulu Muda Forest Reserve near Sik, and it is more than 15km long.

The report also states that a signboard at the base site showed that a permit had been issued by the Kedah Tengah district forestry officer. Another signboard stated that the licence holder is Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kedah.

According the latest statement by MADA Chairman Datuk Othman Aziz as published in Sinar Harian on 20/4/2017, logging in Ulu Muda Forest Reserve has reached a critical stage and water capacity level at the moment is left at only 50%. He also mentioned that because of the logging, water couldn't flow through the ground as its supposed to due to the lack of trees.

He further said that logging trails had been identified in Ulu Muda the nearest trail only 200m from the dam, meanwhile the farthest distance from the dam had been detected at 2.5km.

He also mentioned that uncontrolled illegal logging activities could bring massive damages to the dam as well as water catchment area.

In addition to that, he hopes relevant parties like the Forestry Department and Environmental Department will continue to monitor the activities and to inspect the logging activities in the area. He also mentioned that the Kedah state government ought to approach the Federal Government if they are faced with any obstacles from solving this issue.

Penang’s stand on logging in Ulu Muda water catchment area has been consistent and clear:

-Ban all logging in Ulu Muda.

-Gazette Ulu Muda as a water catchment area.

-Seek Federal compensation in lieu of the ‘forest premiums’ that Kedah has been receiving from logging companies

-Allocate a portion of the Federal funds to monitor and conserve Ulu Muda.

However, instead of seeking funding from the Federal Government to conserve Ulu Muda, Kedah continues to license logging in an area that it calls a “forest reserve.”

As such, Kedah is basically ‘gambling’ with water supply, not only for Kedah, but for Perlis and Penang as well.

What is at stake in this ‘gamble’?

-The lives and livelihoods of 4.05 million Malaysians in our 3 northern states.

-The business operations of thousands of companies that provide jobs and business opportunities in Perlis, Kedah and Penang.

-The combined national GDP contributions of Perlis, Kedah and Penang, which was estimated to be about RM105 billion in 2014.

It is imperative to stop Kedah from continuing to ‘gamble’ with the water supply of three northern states. If we run out of raw water, there will be a catastrophic water crisis in North Malaysia.

Meanwhile, according to The Star report, a new logging trail has been found in Ulu Muda. According to MADA web postings, the level of the Muda Dam was 60.3% on 1st January 2017 and has dropped to 34.5% on 17th April 2017.

The Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water, or KeTTHA, is in-charge of national affairs regarding water supply. The National Water Services Commission, or SPAN, was created to regulate water supply services in Malaysia.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, or NRE, is empowered to regulate raw water resources, forest management and environmental conservation.

The Penang State Government calls on the Federal Government to step in and stop logging in Ulu Muda now.

Thank You.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech By Chief Minister of Penang

Vasakhi Festival 2017 @ Vasakhi Open House 2017

On 22 April 2017, 7.00pm

I am very delighted to be with all of you for this joyous and glorious celebration, the Vasakhi Festival 2017.

What started out as a small celebration by the Sikh Community in Penang many years ago has now grown to be an important state level event. This is the 15th year the State Level Vasakhi Open House. I would like to congratulate the Sikh Community of Penang at large as well as the Persatuan Wadda Gurdwara Sahib Penang under the able leadership of Dato’ Balvinder Singh for making this event a success.

The State Government has always supported such efforts in order to enable the various ethnic groups to organize such events, so as to foster greater unity amongst Penangites whilst preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Penang.

Diversity is a great source of pride, a great source of creativity and if used as a uniting force it can transform into a source of economic prosperity. Penang must remain competitive and for that we need a highly productive and performing society. Not one that is divided by extremism, racism, intolerance and incompetence but united by universal values of mutual respect, peace, justice, freedom, integrity, human dignity and democracy.

Despite being a small community the Sikhs have contributed much towards the political, social and economical development of this nation. Our former National Chairman, Karpal Singh, is one towering Malaysian. This year also marks the third anniversary of a Son of Penang, the legendary YB Karpal Singh, fondly known as the Tiger of Jelutong.

A Very Happy Vasakhi to All of You and have a wonderful evening to the sound of the Punjabi drum or what is referred to as the DHOL, bangra, giddha and martial arts performances all the way from Punjab, India as well as the delicious Punjabi food.

Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Closing Speech by Penang Chief Minister cum Chairman of Penang Green Council

During Certificate Presentation Ceremony of Penang Green Idol 2017

on 22 April 2017 at 1st Avenue:

Good evening and Happy Earth day!

First of all, thank you for gracing our event today to celebrate Earth Day with us. Earth Day is observed by many countries on April 22 each year to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide. And we are no exception this day, every year, to demonstrate support to build a healthy, sustainable environment, address climate change, and protect the Earth for future generations.

This year, Earth Day coincides with the Final Round of Penang Green Idol Public Speaking Competition. This competition is a pre-event of the Penang International Green Carnival which will be held on 9 & 10 September 2017, we hope this learning platform equips the young with skills to speak persuasively and to listen to opinions on environmental issues and concerns, critically and constructively.

Congratulations to the young talents who made it to the Final!

The State Government has a vision to make Penang a “Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Healthier, and Happier” state. Since 2010, we have kicked start a series of environmental initiatives to promote resource efficiency such as free CAT BUS, No Free Plastic Bags Every day, total ban on polystyrene food containers, giving incentives to GBI certified buildings, building cycling lanes and introduce Link Bike sharing system, implementing Waste Segregation at Source policy.

We have achieved the highest recycling rate in the country of 32% as compared to the national average of 10.5% and hope to increase the current recycling rate from 32% to 40% by 2020. We had never allowed logging on permanent forest reserves, not a single square inch has been touched. Furthermore, we have planted more than 271,000 new trees in Penang since 2008.

Penang is the first state to oppose Nuclear power energy plants in Malaysia and we will continue to do so. Since 2010, the Federal government proposed building two mega nuclear power plants in Malaysia. We are worried that the Federal Government will sign contracts with nuclear power plant industry secretly again without the knowledge of the people.

It is unacceptable that the Government continues to keep the rakyat in the dark over its plan to build nuclear power plants. Given the latest development, we are deeply concern that the Government is pushing ahead to adopt this highly-controversial energy source as it continues to pay lip service to stakeholders' consultation.

Unlike Climate Change, 97% of climate scientists have concluded that human-caused climate change is happening. In general, scientists' disputes over the safety and sustainability of the nuclear power plants are unresolved. Safe and secure ultra-long-term storage of nuclear waste is still unresolved. Many developed countries such as Germany have gradually opted out nuclear power plants. Government's investment on energy efficiency and renewable energy is becoming more appealing and affordable than nuclear power plants alongside policies introduced by their governments.

On this special occasion, we would like to show our support and solidarity with the online petition relaunched by Malaysia Coalition Against Nuclear (MyCan), all the signatures that we collected will be submitted to Putrajaya together with the online petition of MyCan in the near future.

Lastly, congratulations to finalists, who will soon be crowned as Penang Green Idol, who will help converging effort to spread revolutionary ideas and raise awareness on climate change in PGC’s programmes and projects for the duration of one year. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our collaborator, Penang Gavel Club, the venue sponsor, 1st Avenue Mall and Koo Bros for partially sponsoring the video production.

I hope to see all of you in our next major annual event – Penang International Green Carnival 2017 in September!

Thank you.