THE LAUNCHING CEREMONY OF THAI FESTIVAL 2015

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
DURING THE LAUNCHING CEREMONY
OF THAI FESTIVAL 2015
25 FEBRUARY 2015
PENANG TIMES SQUARE

First of all I would like to thank The Royal Thai Consulate of Penang, His Excellency Mr. Chongcharoen Devahastin Na Ayudhaya for inviting me to the launching of the Thai Festival, which started today 25th of February to 1st March 2015.

I have been informed that there are 70 vendors participating in this festival, with various kinds of authentic and high quality Thai foods including halal products from 5 Southern Provinces of Thailand. There will also be some cultural performances and martial arts demonstrations.

I believe Thai food and culture is very popular in Penang. There is also a sizeable Thai community living here, and this is due to the close relationship between Penang and Thailand that has lasted for more than a thousand years.

Today's event will help to nurture people to people relationships between Penang and Thailand. Penang is fast becoming a cultural and arts hub in Malaysia. Compared to 7 years ago, you now can many see may arts and culture-related events and activities happening in Penang, attracting visitors and locals alike. The George Town Festival and today's Thailand Festival is another one example.

I hope the Thai Festival can grow to be bigger in the years to come and contribute more to strengthening the relationship between Penang and Thailand.

Thank you again for inviting me and I wish your festival a great success.

MAPEX 2015

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

SPEECH BY THE HONORABLE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG, MAPEX 2015 AT G HOTEL ON 21ST FEBRUARY 2015, SATURDAY, 11AM

Thank you to REHDA Penang and Henry Butcher Penang, the organizers of Malaysia Property Exhibition (MAPEX) for once again inviting me to deliver a New Year message in conjunction with their event starting from today until this Tuesday.

The theme “A New Year, A New Home” is in line with the State Government’s efforts to ensure that genuine qualified first time buyers are able to own a home under our new housing rule which took effect from 1 February 2014. This ruling is intended to protect existing and emerging affordable housing stocks, curb speculation and assist the low-income group to have a roof over their heads.

According to the Malaysian House Price Index, Penang house price index has risen from 116.6 in the third quarter of 2003 to 218.2 by the third quarter of 2013. Penang has seen the rise in property prices which has doubled since 2003. House prices increased 8.6% annually while the average household income increased by 5.4%. This means, house prices increased faster than income which leave an affordability gap.

The State Government places great emphasis to help the low income group to own a home. The cost of living has risen and the impact of the GST implementation on 1 April this year on goods and services has already been felt by consumers since its announcement in 2013. That is the reason the state government has set up a RM 500 million affordable and Public Housing Fund to build 22,545 public and affordable housing units in all 5 districts of Penang.

We hope that the new integrated transportation system from now until 2030 under the RM 27 billion Penang Transport Master Plan will further boost the tourism industry in Penang. The plan includes components such as improved highway network, light rail transit (LRT), bus rapid transit (BRT), trams and new ferry services. An Electric Train Service (ETS) linking Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth will be operational in July 2015. A total of 10 new coach sets will be running in stages by January 2016. With this, we believe that the improved transportation system will provide further support to the overall property development in the region.

I am proud to say that all the efforts made by various organisations and the Penang people have seen the transformation of Penang into a vibrant city full of activities and festivals ranging from arts and culture to international entertainment and exhibitions. We are looking forward to the 1st phase completion of the RM 300 million Sub-terranean Penang International Conference and Exhibition Centre (SPICE) project in 2017 which will double the present capacity at the present PISA site. This will allow Penang to attract MICE segment of the tourism market, create business and employment opportunities that will spur the demand for the property market.

I want to congratulate REHDA and Henry Butcher Penang for successfully organizing this event and for their continuous generous support to the community, this time by contributing RM 20, 000 donations to charity.

 

THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF PENANG HOT AIR BALLOON FIESTA

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SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF PENANG HOT AIR BALLOON FIESTA
21 Feb 2015 at Penang Padang Polo

I wish you all a very good evening and thank you for being present here at Padang Polo to witness the Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. This event is part of the endless celebrations during the ‘Fabulous February Fiesta’ in Penang. With 15 big balloons from the world over floating freely in the air this weekend, we are kick starting the ‘Year of Festivals’. Visit Penang Year 2015 will showcase all our vibrant and exciting festivals including religious, cultural and arts, happening throughout the year.

We are especially excited to have the Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta that’s worth RM650,000 and organized and supported by the State for the first time. It is also the first hot air balloon festival held here all in the interest to give Penangites and our visitors a one-of-a-kind-experience! The success of this event will surely lead to an annual celebration with fun filled activities for all.

The Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is also organized with the cooperation of the Municipal Council of Penang Island (MPPP) and Penang Global Tourism, in collaboration with Tourism Malaysia. Its programming partners on the other hand are, AKA balloon Sdn Bhd, Today Lifestyle Marketing and ActifeStyle. And we are also delighted to have Fly FM as the official radio station.

Without further ado, ladies & gentlemen, in conjunction with Visit Penang Year – Year of Festivals, it gives me great pleasure to declare proudly, COME TO WHERE THE FREEDOM IS! And I hereby officially launch the Penang Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2015!

Thank you.