Signing Ceremony between Penang Development Corporation (PDC) & Paramount Corporation Berhad (PCB)
at KDU College Penang, Tuesday March 25, 2014 at 9.00am
Speech by YAB Mr Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang
I am pleased to be here this morning to witness the auspicious occasion of the signing of the purchase and development agreement for 30 acres of land in Bandar Cassia between PDC and Paramount Corporation.
The 30 acres development include10 acres for the development of KDU University College (parcel 1) and 20 acres for the development of mixed development (Parcel 2).
This signing marks another significant milestone for Penang – it is an important step towards building Penang’s university metropolis in Batu Kawan, whereby a university metropolis is a master-planned township anchored by educational institutions, creating a live-and-learn, work-and-play integrated township.
The entire university college and mixed developments on the 30 acres of land are expected to be completed within 10 years from the date of Agreement. Notwithstanding that, the KDU University College is to be developed and completed within 5 years from the date of agreement.
This development is in line with the State and PDC’s aspirations to promote and sell land to attract marquee projects and international brands to Bandar Cassia, Batu Kawan. PDC’s master plan for Batu Kawan has incorporated services that will provide synergy and convergence to the rapid industrial development there, for example Shopping Outlets like IKEA and Spring Designer Village and Theme Park are all in the pipeline. Further to that, we have planned for over 11,800 Affordable Houses for the people in Batu Kawan, to be build in phases over the years.
The location of KDU University Campus at Bandar Cassia Batu Kawan, the newest and largest township on the mainland of Penang State, is part of our education hub in Batu Kawan with many other universities continuing to set up their campuses here. Faculty students can collaborate with the industries operating at the nearby Batu Kawan Industrial Park, to arrange for internships and to undertake joint research projects.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now in an exciting stage of Penang’s economic development into an intelligent and international city. The State Government and PDC has recently launched the project ‘ Preparing Penang as a BPO-ITO hub for the future’, whereby the hub will comprise 74 acres of BPO Park in Bayan Lepas, 7 acres BPO Prime in Bayan Baru and 100,000 sq ft of Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) in heritage building right in the heritage enclave of George Town.
Attracting quality universities is part of our efforts towards improving the quality of education to build and retrain human talent. The Malaysian education system has suffered immensely during the last few decades according to Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) results, not only has Malaysian students fallen further behind, students in advanced states such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Malaysian students even lose out to Thailand and Vietnam in science and maths! Our students are now a shocking 3 years behind students in South Korea, Shanghai and Singapore. Unless we take immediate steps to reverse this precipitous decline, Malaysian students’ standards will only fall further. As a result, the Penang state government has decided to adopt a 3-prong approach to improve education quality in Penang :
1. Annual allocation of funds to schools
2. Attracting top universities including vocational schools that adopt the German model
3. Establishing Penang Learning Centers that focuses on STEM teaching in Science, Technology, English and Maths.
The successes in our efforts have resulted in today’s signing ceremony with KDU University Campus to be set up in Batu Kawan. KDU will be offering facilities inclusive of a comprehensive range of academic, sports and recreational facilities, creating a live and learn, work and play environment that stimulates and promotes learning.
I am pleased to note that KDU will be offering programmes inclusive of hospitality, culinary and tourism, engineering, information systems, business, law, accounting, mass communications, design and English, with a strong focus on skills development and entrepreneurship.
Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion I wish to thank Paramount Corporation and PDC for the successful planning of this educational and development project. Indeed this purchase of land and establishment of the KDU Campus by Paramount Corporation in Batu Kawan, is again a vote of confidence for Penang and a boost to making Province Wellesley (Seberang Perai) a hub for investments, education and services.