PENANG FUTURE FOUNDATION Launching Ceremony
1 April 2015
THE RIGHT HONOURABLE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
MR. LIM GUAN ENG
 A very warm welcome to each of you. Against the onset of increasing expenditures and tightening of wallets for the man on the street, it is disheartening to admit that a child’s pursuit of tertiary studies will become an insurmountable concern for many families.
 On that note, it is my distinct pleasure to announce the launch of our very own Penang Future Foundation (“PFF”). PFF is a scholarship program made possible by generous donations from private sectors and donors, including the Penang Turf Club. The scholarships are awarded by the Penang State Government to outstanding and deserving Malaysian youths to pursue their undergraduate studies in selected fields, at reputable institutions of higher learning in Malaysia.
 Despite being the second smallest state in Malaysia, the Penang State Government –
(a) fully embraces the importance of inspiring and allowing our young Malaysian scholars, regardless of race, religion and gender, provided that they are below 25 years of age, to equip themselves with higher education;
(b) aims to provide our youths, with priority be given to Penangites and those from single, low to middle-income families, with ladders of opportunity and escalators to mobility as a foundation for a better future;
(c) is thoroughly committed in exploring initiatives and creating opportunities to stem the tide of brain drain currently plaguing our nation; and
(d) seeks to nurture Penang as a talent hub, by requiring the PFF sponsored scholars to work in Penang after successful completion of studies. This objective is critical in our vision to transform Penang into an international and intelligent city.
 Penang faces scarce or hardly any natural resources. Our economic prosperity and material success depend solely on our ability to build, retain, attract and utilise human talent. In short, Penang prospers or withers by our wits and wits alone.
 To continue sustainable economic prosperity requires higher productivity growth. Innovation is the key driver for future development. We must establish creative or innovation clusters. Penang has the ‘3Ts’ of talent, technology and tolerance of new ideas to nurture creative clusters.
 Talent requires our human resources to be skilled and knowledgeable, regardless whether they are from wealthy or poor backgrounds. The PFF aims to provide the capacity to train bright and promising talents for all Malaysians, particularly Penangites, regardless of race, religion, rich or poor.
 The State’s vision for a more prosperous Penang however, relies on the support and commitment from the individuals and parties forming the backbone of PFF –
(a) the Accounts Committee which is headed by the State Finance Officer in managing the fund;
(b) the Selection Committee in which I’m assisted by the following personalities –
(i) Y. Bhg. Dato' Seri Nazir Ariff;
(ii) Y. Bhg. Dato' Daisy Ooi;
(iii) Mr. Koon Yew Yin;
(iv) Mr. P. Ramakrishnan; and
(v) Ms. Loo Lee Lian;
(c) select industry leaders and members of the academia who will further support the Selection Committee in granting the scholarship awards; and
(d) Penang CAT Centre which operates as PFF’s Secretariat.
 I highly encourage our young Malaysians seeking to further their studies to visit PFF’s website, www.penangfuturefoundation.my. Interested applicants will get to know more information on the scholarship, including the eligibility requirements, fields of study offered and timelines involved. Scholarship holders will be required to serve in Penang for a stated period depending on the tuition fees awarded. The online application will be made available from 9th to 30 April 2015.
 In the meantime, I sincerely hope many more corporate players will step forward and contribute towards PFF as all monetary contributions will be tax-exempted. It is worth emphasising that the cornerstone of Malaysia’s future is made of how well we synergise our present resources. With more financial support, I trust PFF will consider extending our scholarship program in the near future for overseas admissions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
 Penang is already known as a location of choice for investors and tourists as well as a habitat of choice for a livable and sustainable environment. Let Penang also be known for our commitment towards maximizing human potential and optimizing opportunity amongst Malaysians for a better future.
 To win the future, society must invest in education. Today, we shape our future by investing in excellence and opportunity.