OPENING CEREMONY OF THE GEORGE TOWN LITERARY FESTIVAL 2017

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SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE GEORGE TOWN LITERARY FESTIVAL 2017

24 November 2017
Majestic Theatre, Penang

 

Good evening and Selamat Datang Ke Pulau Pinang,

On behalf of the Penang State Government, I am delighted to extend a warm welcome to all of you to Penang, particularly the distinguished guests, writers, moderators and performers who have travelled from all over the world be a part of our literary festival. It is a great privilege for me on behalf of the Penang State Government to host and continue to sponsor the seventh edition of the George Town Literary Festival.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Since we first launched the first edition in 2011, the GTLF has aimed to encourage the literary arts to flourish freely in Penang – for writers and poets to share their words, and for audiences to be engaged and inspired. From its humble beginnings of only five participating writers in the first edition, the GTLF has traversed much territory to become the premier Malaysian literary festival.

Over the course of six years, the GTLF has hosted more than 200 writers, poets and performers from all around the world. In March this year, the GTLF was shortlisted by the London Book Fair for its International Excellence Awards 2017, putting the festival on the world map.

The GTLF 2017 continues push the boundaries of dialogue and discourse by providing a crucial space for writers and audiences to delve into some of society’s most pressing questions. This year’s theme – ‘Monsters and (Im)mortals’ – will challenge participants to venture into a world of myths and legends, to help us to understand how our past and present affect and inspire the stories of today and tomorrow.

Set in the heart of George Town, the GTLF continues to shed light on a rich history and vibrant heritage, celebrating a colourful and varied past in our many stories; of treachery and love, of betrayal and redemption, of loss and triumph.

Penang has always been a cultural melting pot – an intersection for history and trade, for intellectual discussions and the exchange of ideas. It is more evident than ever that there is a hunger and urgency for artistic expression. A city with no art or music, no literature or performing arts, no film or photography – has no soul.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The state government is committed to cultivating Penang as a centre for learning and appreciation, where we are encouraged to be proud of our heritage and history. We have always taken pride in the fact that the GTLF is the only literary festival in the country that is funded by and supported by a state government.

This world-class festival, which encourages discourse from the public in the spirit of freedom of expression, is only possible in Penang because of the state government’s commitment to championing the arts, culture and community engagement.

Furthermore we make no apologies for celebrating diversity and not interfering in your lifestyle – as attested by the State Government's continued support for events like Oktoberfest despite attracting strong criticisms. Penang will not be a state that bans this or that but live and let live.

The GTLF continues to have riveting conversations, provocations and panel discussions, a translators’ roundtable, a poetry marathon, book launches, performances, film screenings and writing workshops.

The three-day long programme will continue to expose Penangites to some of the finest literary minds in the world, to encourage the culture of reading and intellectual discourse – all of which are crucial in creating a cultured society that celebrates diversity in thought, literature and language.

I would like to thank and congratulate the team behind the George Town Literary Festival 2017 for producing this esteemed gathering. Last but not least, to all our guests, writers, performers and partners from Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States:

Selamat datang ke Pulau Pinang!

I hope you will come to love the charming George Town as much as we do.

MAJLIS PENYAMPAIAN BANTUAN PENDAFTARAN PELAJAR KE INSTITUSI PENGAJIAN TINGGI (IPT) BAGI KEMASUKAN SESI AKADEMIK 1 TAHUN 2017/2018 (IJAZAH SARJANA MUDA) DAERAH BARAT DAYA

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UCAPAN KETUA MENTERI PULAU PINANG

SEMPENA MAJLIS PENYAMPAIAN BANTUAN PENDAFTARAN PELAJAR

KE INSTITUSI PENGAJIAN TINGGI (IPT) BAGI KEMASUKAN SESI AKADEMIK 1 TAHUN 2017/2018 (IJAZAH SARJANA MUDA)

DAERAH BARAT DAYA

PADA 23 NOVEMBER 2017 (KHAMIS), 9.30 PAGI
DI BALAI RAKYAT PASAR AWAM, BALIK PULAU, PULAU PINANG

Sebagai pembuka bicara, ingin saya melahirkan rasa syukur kepada Tuhan kerana memberi peluang dan ruang untuk kita semua bertemu pada hari ini, bersempena dengan Majlis Penyampaian Cek Bantuan Pendaftaran Pelajar ke Institut Pengajian Tinggi (IPT) bagi Kemasukan Sesi Akademik 1 Tahun 2017/ 2018 (Ijazah Sarjana Muda).

Saya merakamkan setinggi tahniah kepada Saudara / Saudari di atas pemilihan Saudara / Saudari untuk menerima Bantuan Pendaftaran Pelajar Ke IPT bagi Tahun 2017 secara “one-off” sebanyak RM1,000 untuk penuntut IPT di Semenanjung Malaysia dan RM1,200 yang menuntut di Sabah dan Sarawak. Saya difahamkan bahawa pada hari ini seramai 278 orang pelajar daripada Daerah Barat Daya (DBD) akan menerima bantuan ini.

Bayaran “one-off” ini adalah yang tertinggi di Malaysia berbanding dengan negeri-negeri lain. Ia membuktikan komitmen Kerajaan Negeri terhadap pembangunan modal insan serta penghargaan kepada anda semua dalam usaha menambah bakat insan di Pulau Pinang.

Bantuan ini diberikan kepada semua pelajar di Pulau Pinang yang berjaya menerima tawaran pengajian di IPT. Bilangan penerima bantuan Pendaftaran Pelajar Ke IPT dari tahun 2008 hingga 2017 adalah seramai 21,661 orang pelajar melibatkan jumlah perbelanjaan sebanyak RM20,042,900.00 (Ringgit Malaysia Dua Puluh Juta Empat Puluh Dua Ribu dan Sembilan Ratus Sahaja).

Bagi Daerah Barat Daya sahaja, Kerajaan Negeri pada 2017 telah membelanjakan sebanyak RM385,000.00. Secara keseluruhannya bagi tempoh enam tahun kebelakangan ini, sebanyak RM 2.71 juta telah dibelanjakan bagi bantuan ini.

Tuan-tuan dan Puan-puan,

Kenaikan bayaran bantuan lebih dua (2) kali ganda ini dapat dilaksanakan atas tata kelola yang bersih dan urus tadbir Kerajaan berteraskan prinsip Urustadbir Cekap, Akauntabiliti dan Telus (CAT). Kepimpinan yang bersih, membolehkan Kerajaan Negeri menikmati lebihan bajet tahunan sejak tahun 2008 yang berjumlah RM578 juta secara terkumpul dari tahun 2008 hingga 2015, iaitu lebih daripada jumlah RM373 juta oleh Kerajaan Negeri lama selama 50 tahun dari 1957 hingga 2007. Rizab tunai pula meningkat lebih daripada RM1 bilion kepada RM1.8 bilion, dan hutang negeri telah dikurangkan sebanyak 90%. Pengurangan hutang Kerajaan Negeri sebanyak 90% merupakan rekod yang terbesar dalam sejarah Malaysia. Inilah dividen anti-rasuah yang dapat dinikmati oleh semua.

Bagi tempoh 9 1/2 tahun di antara 2008 hingga Jun 2017, Pulau Pinang telah mencatatkan pelaburan sebanyak RM67 bilion, peningkatan sebanyak 81.6% berbanding dengan tempoh 10 tahun sebelumnya, iaitu dari 1998 ke 2007, sebanyak RM 37 bilion. Pulau Pinang kembali menjadi juara pelaburan di Malaysia untuk separuh pertama 2017 apabila mencatatkan pelaburan RM7.7 billion jauh mendahului negeri yang menduduki tempat kedua sebanyak RM 2.9 billion. Pulau Pinang juga telah menongkah arus apabila jumlah pelaburan yang diluluskan telah meningkat daripada RM2.67 bilion pada tahun 2016 kepada RM7.7 bilion, iaitu peningkatan sebanyak 188%.

Sektor pelancongan juga telah berkembang dengan pembukaan hotel-hotel baru dan kadar penginapan yang lebih tinggi. Ini dapat dilihat dengan pertambahan kapasiti penumpang di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang (LTAPP) kepada 6.7 juta orang penumpang pada tahun 2016, melebihi kapasiti sepatutnya iaitu 6.5 juta orang penumpang. Ianya telah dicapai empat (4) tahun lebih awal daripada 6.5 juta orang penumpang yang dijangka pada 2020.

Sidang hadirin yang saya hormati,

Dalam pada itu, untuk membuktikan penekanan kita terhadap modal insan sebagai sumber ekonomi utama, Kerajaan Negeri akan terus memberi bayaran sebanyak RM1,000 secara “one-off” kepada pelajar-pelajar Pulau Pinang yang menyambung pelajaran di institusi pengajian tinggi tempatan di Semenanjung Malaysia termasuk AIMST; Wawasan Open University; TAR College; dan TAR University College, dan RM1,200 kepada pelajar yang melanjutkan pelajaran di Sabah dan Sarawak. Setakat ini 21,675 pelajar Pulau Pinang telah menikmatinya bersamaan dengan kos melebihi RM20 juta sejak 2008.

Sebagai lanjutan kepada komitmen kita terhadap peningkatan sumber manusia, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang berhasrat untuk mengumumkan bayaran “one-off” sebanyak RM300 kepada pelajar Pulau Pinang tahun pertama yang diterima masuk ke sekolah vokasional tempatan di Malaysia bermula tahun 2018. Sejumlah RM2 juta akan diperuntukkan.

Tuan-tuan dan Puan-puan yang saya hormati,

Sekali lagi, saya mengucapkan tahniah di atas pemilihan Saudara / Saudari untuk menerima Bantuan Pendaftaran Pelajar Ke IPT bagi Tahun 2017 dan berharap ianya menjadi penyuntik semangat kepada Saudara / Saudari dalam meneruskan pengajian ke peringkat yang lebih tinggi, dan juga untuk ingat kembali ke Pulau Pinang. Di samping itu, pencapaian anda dapat meringankan beban keluarga, memperbaiki kedudukan ekonomi sendiri dan keluarga serta membantu mentransformasikan Pulau Pinang sebagai sebuah negeri yang bertaraf antarabangsa dan pintar.

Di kesempatan ini, ingin saya menyampaikan sekalung penghargaan kepada warga Pejabat Daerah dan Tanah Daerah Barat Daya di atas kerjasama yang telah diberikan dalam menjayakan majlis ini, saban tahun. Akhir kata, saya, berserta barisan kepimpinan Kerajaan Negeri sekali lagi mengucapkan tahniah dan syabas kepada ibu bapa, waris dan kesemua mahasiswa serta mahasiswi yang amat bertuah kerana terpilih untuk melanjutkan pelajaran ke menara gading, dan sekali lagi bertuah kerana turut menerima bantuan kewangan ini, bagi meringankan bebanan kewangan yang dihadapi oleh ibu bapa serta waris para pelajar yang terlibat.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Green Pinang Awards Gala 2017

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Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

During Green Pinang Awards Gala 2017

on 22 November 2017 at Eastin Hotel


Good evening and welcome to the Green Pinang Awards Gala 2017.

Penang was hit by one of the worst floods in the state’s history on 4-5 November 2017. It was regrettable that we were unprepared to face the disaster due to heavy rainfall that was up to a record 372mm, a storm with the fiercest winds seen in Penang’s history blowing at 40 miles per hour (64kmph) and many areas in Northern Seberang Perai became flooded because of flood waters from Kedah.

The 15-hour storm on November 4 had paralysed the island state, triggering a mega flood and uprooted trees, claiming seven lives, 12,662 victims, involving 3,068 families were evacuated and many more were affected by the floods. We thanked the state departments, agencies, Federal Government, Malaysian Armed Forces, NGO, JKKK, private agencies and all Penang citizens who helped save Penang on 4 & 5 November. PGC staffs have also helped on the ground after the disaster.

What is important now is relief efforts to get Penang back on its feet. We have announced “Pulau Pinang Bangkit” special relief programme to ease the burden of flood affected victims in the state. Under the programme, each affected household would receive a one-off RM700 aid.

Additionally, Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) would be giving a 50% discount for domestic users for one cycle (two months), and a 25% discount for commercial users for one cycle (one month). Free replacement of state government documents such as land grant of victims who may have lost them in the flood. The 'Pulau Pinang Bangkit' programme would help more than 100,000 families and would cost the state government at least RM50 million.

10,000 volunteers took part in the Penang Bounce Back Volunteer Days on 11-12 Nov 2017 to help flood victims. Because of these volunteers, we achieved the unimaginable by bouncing back and cleaning up the state 100% in 10 days and almost 10,000 tonnes of garbage were collected. We continue to encourage those who are unaffected by the floods to help those affected in any manner they can. We sincerely thank all Malaysians and Penangites who stand united to help Penang in this time of crisis.

Whilst we have managed to conduct crisis management, there is much more to do on prevention. A better way is for the state government to try all efforts to ensure that Penangites are well informed and well prepared for any potentially adverse weather conditions. For this purpose, the state government will conduct a study on how data from meteorological services from other countries in the region could be compiled and used for alerts. This will involve foreign meteorological departments where countries that have indicated their willingness to assist include China, Britain and Japan, countries which are familiar with nature-related disasters.

Green Pinang Awards Gala this evening, continue to commend those who had made a difference in helping Penang to move toward sustainability either with good practices, promoting education awareness and introducing solutions that is economically viable.

I would like to congratulate the winners of Penang Green School Award, Penang Green Journalism Award, STEP by step Project and the 48 governmental and private offices that are certified as Penang Green Office this year. We hope that all government offices under state and the local governments will be certified by the end of 2018.
This evening, we are also presenting Penang Environmental Sustainability Award and Penang Environmental Stewardship Award. These two awards pay tribute to organisations and individuals for their significant and sustained commitment, dedication and leadership to improvise and conserve the environment. I would like to express our sincere gratitude to these projects’ advisory committees and panel judges. 

We see erratic weather patterns worldwide. Floods in Penang of this magnitude were never heard of before. In the wake of global climate change threats, overcoming environmental crisis and building the sustainability of Penang fall on everyone’s shoulders. Penang Green Council (PGC) is tasked to develop Penang Green Agenda (PGA). PGA is a two-year policy planning project which aims at formulating strategies which helps to meet future environmental challenges in Penang by incorporating United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and adapting and building resilient community in Penang by 2030.

Currently we are at the stage of conducting Penang Green Agenda Stakeholder Consultation Public Survey; this is a crucial point of PGA process, we care about your opinions in formulating the agenda for the future. The state government has also asked PGC to study how to harness the data from foreign meteorological departments so that we can issue alert earlier.

Lastly, we would also like to extend our appreciation to our working partners, co-organisers and sponsors: MBPP, MPSP, Mah Sing Group, Easten & Oriental Berhad, Continental Automotive Components Malaysia Sdn Bhd, PLB Eco Solutions Sdn Bhd, Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd, Amphenol TCS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, Koo Bros Production, Penfabric Sdn Bhd, Entopia by Penang Butterfly Farm, The Habitat Penang Hill, Social Entrepreneurs With Integrity Association (SEIA), Momento D Amor Studio, Khind-Mistral (M) Sdn. Bhd, Yin Photobooth and Green Cap Ventures (Moku-moku).

Thank you for your tireless efforts to realise Penang's vision of being the first green state in Malaysia. We strive to make Penang a sustainable and livable city that is cleaner, greener, safer, healthier and happier. 

Penang will bounce back! Bangkit Pulau Pinang!

Thank you!

Lim Guan Eng