Book Launch of Marcus Langdon’s “Penang

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


Speech by Y.A.B. Tuan Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang
Book Launch of Marcus Langdon’s “Penang: The Fourth Presidency of India, 1805 – 1830, Volume Two: Fire, Spice and Edifice”
On 7 November 2015

A very good afternoon to all of you. I am pleased to join you for the launch of the much awaited second volume of Marcus Langdon’s tetralogy “Penang: The Fourth Presidency of India”. I would like to commend the author, Mr. Marcus Langdon, for his remarkable endeavour in meticulously documenting the fascinating past of Penang. George Town World Heritage Incorporated is proud to be the sponsor and publisher of this exceptional work in our ongoing effort to preserve and conserve the invaluable heritage of this historic city.

A little over two centuries ago, the British East India Company made its foray into this part of the world in search of a port of call for trading ships sailing from West to East. Penang became a part of that colonial history when Captain Francis Light made his maiden landing on Penang in 1786.

The elevation of Penang to a Presidency of the British East India Company is testament that this island was once the stronghold of the British in this region. The abundant colonial buildings found along the streets of George Town confirm our glorious history and heritage. The momentous inscription of George Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 validates the exceptional cultural and architectural influence from the era of the Presidency, which has since been nurtured and flourished across two centuries.

For this reason the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to assist Penang to preserve, protect and promote George Town, especially developing the many buildings and sites in and around the waterfront areas. For AKTC to develop such a close interest in Penang is a recognition of the unique and outstanding universal values of George Town not only to Penang and Malaysia but also to all humanity. No wonder Lonely Planet celebrated Penang’s exceptionalism by listing Penang as the fourth most charismatic city in the world, the only city from ASEAN and No. 1 in Asia.

This important piece of work by Mr. Marcus Langdon is the second part of a four-book series which gives us great insight into Penang during the period of 1805 – 1830. It has been fastidiously researched and written by the author after years of peeling through layers of information, and connecting the scattered dots, to finally assemble a cohesive and valuable body of knowledge of the past. Indeed this academic tour de force is a labour of love by a distinguished researcher.

Through collaborations with individuals and organisations from diverse fields of expertise, GTWHI has published a significant collection of books and brochures on subjects concerning various forms of tangible and intangible heritage in George Town. As Chairman of GTWHI that is sponsoring the publication of this book, I am proud to note that the book we are launching today will be a remarkable addition to the bookshelf of those who share our fascination for Penang’s cultural roots and heritage.

In Penang, we are proud of our “C” “A” “T” policy. From our Competency Accountability and Transparency platform, we have further expanded to creating the CAT (Central Area Transit) Bus, the CAT (Career Assistance and Talent) Centre, and @CAT, the Accelerator for Creative Analytics Technology. To this list, I would like to add our Heritage CAT – the Cultural and Architectural Treasures of Penang!

The appreciation of the Cultural and Architectural Treasures in Penang goes hand in hand with Education. This is because people can only truly appreciate heritage after they understand and know the stories and meanings behind it. Only by understanding the past can one connect to the present to face the challenges of the future successfully together. Creating awareness and knowledge of heritage will help us to better conserve our heritage as a celebration of diversity. The Penang state government, together with ongoing public-private partnerships, will continue our unremitting effort to ensure that every aspect of our valuable heritage is safeguarded and then shared with the rest of the world, in line with our vision for George Town to be an intelligent and sustainable city that belongs to Penang, Malaysia, and all of humanity.

Before I end this speech, I would like to thank Mr. Marcus Langdon once again for his outstanding work, and my commendation to GTWHI for working towards elevating Penang’s prestige and performance above the rest.

Thank you.


Malaysian Hotels Association (Penang Chapter) Biennial Dinner

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


Speech by Y.A.B. Lim Guan Eng, Penang Chief Minister
On 6th November 2015 At Jen Hotel
Malaysian Hotels Association (Penang Chapter) Biennial Dinner

First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers for inviting me here tonight. I am indeed honoured to be here with you today, together with some of the top hoteliers in Penang as we celebrate the Malaysian Hotels Association (Penang Chapter) Biennial Dinner this year.

Since its inception in 1974, the Malaysian Association of Hotels has constantly strived to fulfil their vision of uniting hotels in Malaysia into one representative body, to encourage quality service, to keep abreast of the changing needs of the travelling public, to provide educational programmes related to the industry to its members and to promote international and domestic tourism.

Tourism is a significant contributor towards Penang’s economic growth, and Penang has always been a major tourist destination. Tourism and the services industry is one of the two main economic drivers for Penang. Making up 47% of Penang's GDP as compared to 48% for manufacturing in 2013, the services sector is expected to surpass the manufacturing sector over the next couple of years.

I have always been supportive of the hospitality and tourism industry not only because it is a major contributor towards Penang’s economic growth, but also because it is a continuous source of income and job opportunities for the people of Penang, especially the lower income groups. The Malaysian Association of Hotels – Penang Chapter with its 63 members to-date, has been contributing towards the tourism sector in Penang by bringing together some of the best people in the industry, uniting them and speaking collectively in one voice in order to continuously work together towards hospitality excellence.

Needless to say, Penang is also well known for our glorious food, CNNGo voted Penang one of Asia’s 10 greatest street food cities as well as Penang Laksa voted as World's No 7 most delicious food, and as a top culinary spot by Lonely Planet.

In 2008, Penang was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since then, we have benefited considerably from this prestigious status. Our talented and friendly people, good food and cultural heritage are our treasures that attract investors and tourists to Penang. Recently we were listed by Lonely Planet as the No.4 charismatic city in the world, beating out cities like Bombay, Manchester, Rotterdam and Rome!

Our vision is to transform Penang into an international and intelligent city. To make it a preferred location for investors, a destination of choice for tourists and a habitat of choice for Malaysians who desire sustainable living. I am confident that with support, collaboration and our model of a Public Private Partnership, Penang will be able to find its own way into becoming a city with plenty of opportunities for everyone.

According to statistic from Tourism Malaysia (base on Hotel Survey), Penang received 45.63% more hotel guests in 2014 compared to 2013, recording 6.85 million guests compared to 4.7 million in 2013. Despites the challenges of the economic downturn I am pleased that there are some hotels in Penang that has performed better than last year in term of hotel occupancy. On the whole our hotel occupancy may have dropped by nearly 10% but is still much better than other states' hotel occupancy that have dropped by more than 20%.

In 2015, Batu Ferringhi recorded the highest share of international visitors in Malaysia, at 67.8%, compared to Semporna (60.6%), Kuala Lumpur (57.5%), Langkawi (54.7 %) and Petaling Jaya (53.3%). Let us make Penang not only the destination of choice, but our hotels an iconic one until anyone coming to Malaysia would know or heard about our famous and world-class hotels in Penang.

In closing, please join me in taking this opportunity to thank and congratulate the Malaysian Association of Hotels and its members for bringing us together tonight, and let’s wish them a fruitful 2016 ahead. Make Penang proud! Thank you!


The World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2015

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri



Chief Minister's speech of welcome to the Gala Dinner, the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2015

I am very pleased and honoured to welcome you to Penang on the occasion of the World Conference on Drowning Prevention 2015.

The incidence of drowning is a global issue and the WHO World Drowning Report 2014 has indicated a world drowning figure of over 327,000 per year. This is a staggering figure and drowning is often underestimated. In Malaysia, for example, we have had approximately 700 annual drowning deaths over the past decade and this is too high. In essence, we agree with the statement by the Life Saving Society of Malaysia that each drowning is an accident that is preventable and avoidable.

We are pleased to have played a part in hosting this conference in Penang, Malaysia. Congratulation to Live Saving Society Malaysia. This conference over three days with global experts from over 50 countries will suggest concrete, implementable and viable measures to minimise the incidence of drowning under all circumstances. I am also pleased to note that the delegates present here represent the Commonwealth, the Royal National Lifeboat Institute and the Japanese Survival Course, will be having pre conference activities as well as post conference activities.

We welcome the decision by the International Life Saving Federation to award this conference to the Life Saving Society Malaysia in 2013 to be held here in Penang, Malaysia in 2015. We are proud to be associated with the ideals of the ILS and with the individuals within the organisation who can guide us, enlighten us and advise us regarding best practices in drowning prevention.

Since its inception in 1964, the Live Saving Society Malaysia has strived to promote awareness of water safety to all Malaysians, especially children. I hope that its proposal to the Malaysian authorities to form a Water Safety Council in the nation will come to fruition shortly.

Indeed, the fact that this Conference has brought together more than 450 participants from over 56 countries worldwide is nothing short of encouraging. It indicates that we are not isolated in our concerns regarding drowning.

I welcome you once again to our beautiful island of Penang. Apart from discussing the seriousness of drowning prevention, I hope you will have time to visit our city of George Town, a UNESCO heritage city, with a unique culture, architecture and with a great variety of cuisine. Have an enjoyable dinner and thank you once again.