Penang Future Foundation Dinner

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
Penang Future Foundation Dinner
8 September 2017, Suffolk House


Invited guests

The evening ahead of us marks the State Government’s continuous commitment through the Penang Future Foundation scholarship programme, in providing outstanding and deserving Malaysian students with financial support to pursue their tertiary education locally. As Chairman of the PFF Selection Committee, it is my utmost pleasure to note that PFF continues to make a difference in the lives of its 190 scholars from the 2015 and 2016 batches.

Following the recently completed 2017 Selection Process and the PFF Bootcamp, which was attended by 148 scholars, I foresee more exciting times and programmes lined-up for our scholarship recipients. In 2016, PFF organised a half-day seminar and luncheon for the scholars. In 2017, we progressed to a 2 day-1 night bootcamp held in the last week of August for all scholars to engage with each other. So while the State Government remains grateful for the generous contribution of RM40 million from the Penang Turf Club, we remain in constant search for funding. It is my hope that key industry players will step forward with their generosity and contribute towards making PFF, a sustainable scholarship programme for gifted and deserving students.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In expanding this select community of minds and talents, I have also been informed by the Selection Committee that for the 2017 batch, 29 students have been chosen to receive the Mutiara Scholar award and another 88 students selected for the Penang Scholar award. The introduction of these two distinct scholarship awards marks a departure from PFF’s earlier years but the objective remains the same - to provide assistance for those with poor financial background and to encourage the academic high-flyers to maintain strong academic performance.

Coming from diverse backgrounds and different fields of studies, PFF scholars are expected to be part of the Penang talent pool upon their graduation for one reason - Penang pulls its weight and puts its stamp solely on the strength of its people. Ever mindful of Malaysia’s increasing ‘brain drain’, the State’s ultimate aim lies in transforming Penang into a talent hub. For this purpose, we recognize that the human talent must be appreciated, nurtured and utilized to its fullest potential. Hence, Penang Future Foundation is designed not only to provide our youths with ladders of opportunity and escalators to mobility but also as a bridge that links together, our future leaders and Penang’s continuous, unimpeded progress for years to come.

Ladies & gentlemen,

Penang offers Malaysians a unique window of what Malaysia can be through an administration that practices CAT governance and clean leadership, filled with ideals of serving the people as well as upholding principles that uplift human dignity and values that give equal opportunity to live in prosperity and peace. Penang has recorded annual surpluses since 2008, this new Penang State Government has more than 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 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!

Such financial successes were achieved despite Penang spending RM3,077 million in infrastructure and development works in Penang since 2008. Such development is the reason why you see a new and livable Penang being transformed before you. We want to do more, to make Penang an international and intelligent city that is clean, green, safe and healthy. We are awaiting for you to return to the island and make Penang your home.

Ladies & gentlemen,

Penang Future Foundation would remain merely as a vision if not for the cohesive support and effort by many parties. Consisting of distinguished individuals, this dinner seeks to recognise the commitment undertaken by the Selection Committee members, as well as the co-interviewers who had taken the time off your busy schedules and supported the State Government in this important initiative. We thank especially the hardworking Secretariat members of the Penang Future Foundation, particularly Ms. Eunice Ch’ng.

Last but not least, I offer my heartiest congratulations to five PFF Scholars present here who have successfully graduated;

(a) Mr. Chin Sie Chian, Bachelor of Science (Computer Studies) with First Class Honours from Northumbria University;

(b) Ms. Lim Shin Yee, Bachelor of Science (Financial Mathematics) with Distinction from Universiti Malaysia Terengganu;

(c) Ms. Theam Xi Jin, Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours from International Medical University Malaysia;

(d) Mr. Wong Wei Kai, Bachelor of Science (Construction Management) with Merit from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman; and

(e) Mr. Yeong You Loong, Bachelor of Optometry with Honours from Segi University.

We are very proud of your achievements. With every opportunity given to you to flourish and grow as capable individuals, I trust you will continue to excel and perform your role in making Penang better.

Thank you.



Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri




I am very pleased to be here to launch the Thai Festival 2017 in Penang which starts today until Sunday, 10th September. The Royal Thai Consulate-General has once again brought “Thailand” to Penang in front of us and I would like to welcome all the Thai participants to our beautiful Penang.

This year is auspicious as it also marks the “60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Thailand”. It is also an eventful year for Penang to mark the 60th anniversary with Penang having the honour to receive Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in July and playing host to the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra this past Monday. And it is fitting that we conclude the anniversary celebration with the Thai Festival that strenghthens the bond of friendship and cultural ties between both countries.

Once again, Penangites will be able to enjoy various kind of authentic Thai foods and fruits and a variety of high quality Thai halal products. There will also be Thai cultural dances performed daily.

Penang’s endeavour to become a cosmopolitan international city that embraces modernity while retaining its old world charm and traditions of various cultures has indeed been augmented substantially by Thai culture and contribution of the Thai people in Penang.

I am certain that during these coming days our Thai guests will enjoy being in Penang as much as the Penangites enjoy all the Thainess presented here.

I wish the Thai Festival 2017 a great success!

Thank you.

At Inauguration of UST Global’s New Facility Bayan Lepas

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

At Inauguration of UST Global’s New Facility Bayan Lepas, Penang

7 September 2017


Good morning.

I am pleased to be present today to officiate the inauguration of UST Global’s new facility in their journey of growth in Penang. Since commencing operation in 2011 in Penang, this IT solutions multinational has grown from strength to strength.

Penang as UST Global’s Technology Centre of Excellence in Malaysia

UST Global plays a major role in the Global Business Services ecosystem in Penang with a total strength of more than 900 employees currently. The company is still expanding and is expected to grow to a company with 2,000 staff in Penang by 2020. I was informed that their first facility at GBS@Mayang can no longer support the company’s growing needs which has led to the need to expand to this new facility.

Penang is truly the destination of choice for US companies such as UST Global which is offering digital technology services and engineering research, design and development. The investment by a US company proves untrue allegations by certain irresponsible parties that American investment is not coming to Penang. We have a vibrant and established ecosystem with over 300 multinational corporations and 3,000 highly competent local supply chain vendors to support the ecosystem of the industry. More importantly, building on our residual intelligence accumulated over more than 40 years of industrialization, we have a pool of skilled and knowledge based workers.

In our efforts to partake in the Industrial 4.0 revolution, revolving around interaction of machines, cloud computing and Internet of Things, Penang has invested RM 60 million in several scientific projects, such as @CAT Penang (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics and Technology), Penang Science Cluster (PSC), Karpal Singh Penang Learning Centre (KSPLC), Tech Dome Penang (TDP), and Penang Digital Library (PDL). We also have Malaysia’s best skill training and retraining center, Penang Skill and Development Center (PSDC). It is a coherent and synergistic strategy to spearhead STEM, in line with our plan to establish Penang as the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Science and Technology. All our efforts in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning and experience will surely benefit tech-based companies in Penang, and ensure a continuous flow of talent pool. While Data is king, to Penang Talent is everything.

Accelerating Penang’s Growth – GBS as Catalyst towards a High-income and a Knowledge-based Economy

Within the period of 12 years, since Penang has been awarded the MSC Malaysia Cybercity Status in year 2005, Penang Cybercity initiative has also created over 200 MSC status companies and a total of more than 10,000 high value jobs. Penang is proud that Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), in their Malaysia Investment Performance 2016 listed Penang with the second largest investments for Global Establishments for Services or ‘Principal Hub’ with an investment value of RM4.1 billion, after Kuala Lumpur.
Penang continues to be a preferred investment location of choice for GBS companies. Apart from more than 250 MSC status companies operating in Penang, latest GBS investments from Oct 2016 – July 2017 into the State include Celestica, Luxoft, Swarovski and Teleperformance. Penang is an excellent location for GBS and CoE for investors such as UST Global and the State will continue to support and enhance the eco-system, in tandem with the bright prospect of such industry where Malaysia’s GBS is expected to see a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10-15% from 2016-2020.

Closing Remark

The decision by UST Global to set up in Penang once again demonstrates the success of Penang as an attractive destination for GBS investments - good governance, efficient logistics hub, competent supply chain, excellent communication infrastructure, conducive business parks and building as well as availability of skilled talent and of course, all happening in an international and intelligent city.

I wish to once again congratulate UST Global and look forward to your continuous growth here in Penang.

Thank you.