TechMentor Radio Telescope Program

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
In TechMentor Radio Telescope Program
on 13 October 2017

Good afternoon!

I am very happy to be here today to launch Penang Science Cluster’s TechMentor Radio Telescope Program. This is the exactly the type of program that makes me proud to be part of Penang.

Why do I say that?

This Radio Telescope program is put together by many parties working together to help inspire our next generation.

Firstly, our community of Penangites, volunteers brought together by their passion for astronomy and expertise in their respective fields. And, when I mean expertise, I really do mean experts, because in this team of volunteers, we have 7 PhDs! This group of volunteers worked together with interns from UTAR in Kampar to develop the hardware prototype, software program and testing. Once the prototype was proven functional, the team, aided by other volunteers from Industry, designed the final version suitable for our secondary school students.

That was just the hardware and software platform. In parallel to this, this team of volunteers, fueled only by coffee at Penang Science Café, developed the curriculum that allows secondary school students to start exploring the universe with optical astronomy followed by radio astronomy and then, enter the world of measurement with the construction of the Radio Telescope.

Many of you have frequently hear of me promoting PPP, Private-Public-Public-Partnership, working towards a common objective. It looks like in Penang Science Cluster Radio Telescope Program is the best example of PPP.

My appreciations also goes to Keysight Technologies for sponsoring the first 5 schools. Students in SMK Heng Ee, Chung Ling, St Xaviers, Penang Free School, and Phor Tay thanks Keysight Technologies for your sponsorship. I would like to encourage companies to sponsor more schools.

When the State Government started Penang Science Cluster together with industry captains 8 years ago, I expected good results from PSC. But I certainly did not expect the immense impact and diversity of programs that PSC has delivered promoting STEM in Penang.

With this, I would like to officially launch Penang Science Cluster’s TechMentor Radio Telescope Program.

Thank you.

Matta Fair September 2017

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

At Matta Fair September 2017 

13 October 2017

Straits Quay Convention Centre 


I am honoured to be with travel trade partners and guests to celebrate this opening of Malaysia’s favourite travel consumers fair, the MATTA Fair Penang 2017. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate MATTA President, Datuk Tan Kok Liang for being elected as MATTA President for the term 2017 – 2019, last July.

Tourism in Penang has grown tremendously as can be seen by the growth of both Penang Hill and the Penang International Airport (PIA). Before 2008, Penang Hill was carrying around 200,000 passengers yearly. This year we are expected to hit 1.7 million passengers. PIA was expected to reach its full capacity of 6.5 million passengers in 2020, but in 2016, this maximum capacity was exceeded at 6.7 million passengers. This year PIA is expected to witness 7.1 million passengers, needing an expansion of the PIA urgently.

With MATTA, Penang continues to be promoted domestic and internationally and ensure that Penang to be one of the top holiday destinations in Malaysia. MATTA Members have put out together exciting tour packages promoting Penang. MATTA recently had a successful fair at the national MATTA Fair September 2017 in Kuala Lumpur with over 100,000 visitors and RM205M sales turnover – Congratulations to Datuk Tan and team.

Each destination pride itself of offering varied and attractive product experiences. Penang is no exception offering new and exciting products, events and experience.

To visitors at the Fair, take advantage of the best price offers available for your year-end holidays, with friends and family. Once again, congratulations to MATTA and I hope that you will hold the Fair again next year, maybe a bigger Fair in Penang.

I wish you all a good MATTA Fair ahead – Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


13th October, 2017 on Friday (8AM)
E&O Hotel, Penang



Allow me first to extend a very warm welcome to all of you to this lovely island of Penang. I am pleased that ARTDO International, an organisation dedicated to developing human resources, promoting corporate leadership, nurturing and retaining talent, has chosen Penang for its annual conference this year. Your choice is indeed apt. Apart from its excellent infrastructure and conducive learning environment, Penang offers an excellent case study for successful talent and skills development.

The 44th ARTDO International Conference

I understand that the theme for this year’s ARTDO International Leadership and Talent Development Conference is “Transforming Leaders and Talents for a Better World”. Given the many challenges that business entities face, such as rapid technological advancements, changing labour hiring practices, and enhanced competition in markets for goods and skilled labour, corporate leaders need to continuously adapt, reform and transform their business corporations in order to stay ahead of the pack.

They need in particular to develop and strengthen capacity in nurturing and retaining talents that can spearhead their businesses’ innovative and creative capabilities, so essential for staying on and even pushing the production possibility frontier outwards. Talent development is and has always been a key factor in high performing organisations.

Relevant to Penang

I also find what you all plan to deliberate later today and over the next couple of days to be particularly relevant to Penang. Here is a state that is resource scarce, yet is able to transform its economy structurally to attain full employment and to be among the fastest growing in the country. Our per capita Gross Regional Product is also among the highest among all the states in the country.

We are also proud that Penang hosts the No.1 & No.2 single largest exporter in Malaysia, with Avago contributing RM20 billion of exports annually in 2017 or 2.3% of Malaysia's total exports and Broadcom contributing RM70 billion by 2018. Broadcom alone will contribute 8% of Malaysia total annual exports. The value of exports for Penang in Q1 2017 is RM52.9 billion an increase of 22% y-o-y compared to RM43.5 billion, largely contributed by E&E exports. Penang’s export contribution to the total national export is 23.5% and is expected to exceed 30% next year.

Good governance described as Competent, Accountable and Transparent (CAT) governance, clean leadership and the practice of open tenders in the award of contracts allows us to curb corruption and our ability, within the constraints faced, to continuously develop and upgrade our skilled workforce. Corruption-free good governance is reflected by our sterling financial performance. Penang has recorded annual surpluses since 2008, we have also doubled our asset reserves to RM1.8 billion and remarkably reduced our state debts by 90%! We have the lowest debts in the country at RM65 million as compared to the debt champion Pahang with RM3.1 billion, Sabah (RM2.8 billion), Kedah (RM2.7 billion), Sarawak (RM2.5 billion) and Kelantan (RM1.4 billion). If there is a gold medal for overall financial performance by a state, Penang would definitely have clinched it! This success in skills development has been achieved largely through our success in institution building and in harnessing collaboration between the different stakeholders.

For example, we have the Penang Skills Development Corporation (PSDC), the leading skills training centre in the country, where the State Government, industry and university are partners in designing and imparting skills that are relevant to the needs of industry. We have also set up the Penang Future Foundation, which has as its objective the granting of scholarships to young talented students from Penang. The condition is these scholarship recipients must return to work and live in Penang for 8 years upon completing their tertiary education.

Making Penang a livable city that is cleaner, greener, safer and healthier as well as being an international and intelligent city helps to attract young talents to choose Penang as their home. We are the 8th most livable city in Asia and most livable city in Malaysia according to ECA International. We intend to be better with world – class tourist attraction, bicycle lanes and a centre for art and culture.

However, our effort here is constrained by the larger socio-political environment which is determined by the social, economic and political policies of the Federal Government. To cultivate an interest in science and technology among our young, we have embarked scientific initiatives upon an initiative with industry to launch exciting and interesting science –based programmes. The State Government has spent RM68 million in STEM – related teaching facilities.

Skills shortage still a problem

Despite our progress in developing skills and talents, skills shortages remain a problem faced by the state economy. Over the years, Penang has moved from low value-added, high volume and low skilled manufacturing to high skilled, high value-added and knowledge-intensive manufacturing and services. To succeed in such a move along this value-added chain, we need a huge pool of skilled workers in design engineering and research and development (R&D).

In a way Penang is a victim of our own success. Penang is an industrial state with 95% of our GDP contributed by both the manufacturing and services sector has seen tremendous growth since 2008. Penang has recorded strong investment in manufacturing sector over last 9 years. For the 9-year period between 2008-2016, Penang recorded an investment of RM 59 billion, a 73% increase compared to the previous 9 years period between 1999 to 2007 of RM 34 billion. Penang has recorded employment growth of 15% from 121,511 jobs for the period from 1999 to 2007 to 139,133 jobs over the same period from 2008 to 2016.

Penang has also recorded a growth of 14.8% in medical tourists from 302,000 in 2015 to 347,000 in 2016. This has resulted in one of the lowest unemployment rate in Malaysia of 1.6%.

Bringing in highly skilled professionals and talents from overseas can be used as a temporary measure to overcome the skills shortages. This again is not within our ambit as both labour and immigration policies are under the control of the Federal Government.


Overall, continued human capital development is still of paramount importance in moving Penang along the trajectory towards a high income state. The State Government is committed to this development and is hence prepared to listen to constructive views on how to realise the goals of developing a huge pool of skills, nurturing talents and retaining them.

I would like to wish your conference every success and do hope that all of you, especially those of you from overseas, will have a very productive and enjoyable stay in Penang especially the UNESCO World Heritage City of George Town and the best street food in the world! I now have great pleasure in officially declaring open the 44th ARTDO International Conference on Leadership and Talent Development open.

Thank you.