Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


Welcome to the Pearl of the Orient!

I am delighted to welcome the Danish Ambassador and delegation to our island state.

Ambassador Nicolai was in Penang for EU Day in November 2013 where the Embassy showcased the Copenhagen Solutions Exhibition at Universiti Sains Malaysia. I remember being surprised by Copenhagen’s ambition of being carbon neutral by 2025, if it was at all possible!

And now, almost 3 years later, we have officers from the Copenhagen Municipality itself here to present and share with us about the climate projects that some of us have seen from that exhibition, and to, hopefully, update on the their carbon neutral plans.

I look forward to hearing these ideas and plans which Copenhagen Municipality has been working on the past years, and also look for opportunities to adapt them in our beautiful state.

Along with Copenhagen, I understand that there are six Danish companies who will share their experience on working with the Copenhagen Municipality on successful climate projects.

Our vision is for Penang is to become an international and intelligent state – one that educates and nurtures talent; one that promotes and rewards diligence, expertise and entrepreneurship; one that is liveable by being clean, green, safe and healthy; and one that practices integrity, justice and people-centric governance.

When we started governing the state in 2008, we recognize the importance of joining the global trend and efforts in making our community cleaner and greener, apart from an industrialized manufacturing hub, Penang must reposition ourselves as a green state to that we can improve Penang’s liveability and the quality of life.

To succeed amidst the environmental challenges, there is a need to change the paradigm of development to sustainable development. The Penang State Government has recognized this and has stated its intention of being the first green state in Malaysia. Amongst the operational thrusts are to reduce the environmental impact of our activities through recycling and the reduction of use of plastics and polystyrene containers, Car Free Day every Sunday in parts of George Town, to improve the living conditions of Penang through a cleaner and greener campaign as well as a sustainable and effective public transport system vision. This vision of a green Penang will bring benefits to the people, the environment and ultimately for business.

Penang became the first and so far the only state in Malaysian history to launch a state-wide campaign to reduce plastic bag consumption. On 1 January 2011, Penang has implemented “Everyday is No Free Plastic Bags”.

Used banners have been collected to turn into shopping bags. The state government also works with private sector and place food converters in markets such as Bagan Ajam and Bayan Baru. Starting 2013, public are encouraged to bring their own containers to the state open houses.

On 1st of June this year, we have marked another milestone with the implementation of Waste Segregation at Source Policy in our quest to make Penang the first green state of Malaysia. We are proud to achieve the highest recycling rate of 32% in 2015, which exceeds both the current national recycling rate of 10.5% and the national target of 22% recycling rate and that only by 2020. Penang hopes to achieve the international benchmark of 40% recycling rate and that can only be achieved by successfully implementing the Separation at Source Programme. We have also banned shark fins at all State Government functions and all EXCO members have pledged not to take shark fins in their meals.

In order to further promote our green policies and facilitate all the green initiatives in Penang, we established the Penang Green Council (PGC) in 2011. PGC seeks to enable, empower and enrich all stakeholders to practice sustainable development that protects the environment and quality of life. In Malaysia, only Penang have a set of government driven incentive schemes that provides a platform for schools, business or private sectors that are genuinely promoting sustainable living to showcase their green products, services and technologies, and house-to-house education for the communities.

We acknowledge there are lots of work to be done and more challenges to be overcome. However, I believe if we perform our respective parts, we will achieve our vision within the stipulated time.

In closing, I wish to express my gratitude to Ambassador Nicolai and all the delegates from Denmark for visiting Penang and sharing your climate ideas with us.

I hope the Penang delegates will remember some of the inspiring sharing and evocative environmental messages shared today. Let us make Penang a cleaner, greener, safer, healthier and happier state!

I declare this seminar open.

Thank you.

Grand Opening Of Iconic Hotel, Penang

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

At The Grand Opening Of Iconic Hotel, Penang

08 September 2016 At 7pm

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Iconic Group of Companies for the grand opening of Iconic Hotel today. I believe with the opening of this hotel, the hotel industry standard in Seberang Perai in Penang will be elevated to a new level.

There have been many new hotels in Seberang Perai since we took over in 2008, such as Aroma in Butterworth, The Light in Seberang Jaya and Ixora in Prai.

Iconic Hotel Penang is a 4 star premier business hotel with 195 rooms. The rooms has a total of 3 different unique design, 2 Food & Beverage outlets, meeting and convention facilities and other leisure facilities such as gymnasium, swimming pool, sauna and many others.

The hotel has open for business since June 2016. The total investment cost is RM60 million. With the opening of the hotel at this very vibrant Icon City which was also developed by Iconic Group of Companies, and with the continuous growth of many global MNC here, Penang will now be one of the most attractive place to stay, visit and invest in.

Once again, congratulations to Iconic Group Of Companies, leads by its’ Chairman, Dato’ Tan Kean Tet on your successful opening.

Thank you.

Annual Luncheon Dialogue of MICCI

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech By Penang Chief Minister YAB Lim Guan Eng
At Annual Luncheon Dialogue of MICCI

on 8th September 2016 at Equatorial Hotel


Development vs Environment : Can we achieve a Balance?

A very tough and hyper-sensitive subject. Everyone wants a better lifestyle, higher income, a roof over their heads and the list goes on. But the real question is “What are they willing to sacrifice to achieve this?”. Not everything we do today that is to save for tomorrow has to be controlled by the government. There are many things that you yourself can control in your everyday life that will contribute to that of your children and grandchildren. And I’m not talking about material wealth.

How many of you present own a car? Maybe 2 cars? And how many of you present here today have used public transport in Penang in the last 6 months? 1 year? So what are all of us here today doing about reducing our carbon footprint?

Penang’s efforts for a “Cleaner, Greener, Healthier and Safer Penang” comes to nought without all of us putting an effort. Recycling is not only collecting the old newspapers, bottles, plastic containers, etc.. It is how we re-use them or recycle them into something usable.

Coming back to the topic of the day. The Penang State Government has achieved some milestones since 2008 in making Penang among the top 10 city or island in many areas. These are accolades that we have achieved by working together and complementing each other. But we now have to plan for the future as well. We need to develop Penang for our future generations such that they will look back and say thank you for the effort as we are doing today to our forefathers, who invested in Penang in the years gone by such that today Penang is a thriving business hub.

Development brings more jobs. More jobs means more people. More people means need for more homes, This in turn means there should be a higher economic growth for the state. Very good. But then again if there are more people how do they get from point A to point B with out transport. Not all of us have the luxury of working from home. So then we have the problem of connectivity. If everyone drives then the roads are going to be continually congested. We’ll have traffic jams 24 / 7.

It is for this reason that the Penang State Government has proposed the Transport Master Plan, which covers the Penang Transport Master Plan, Bayan Lepas LRT, Pan Island Link (PIL) and Penang South Reclamation (PSR). The PSR is basically to be able to raise funds so as to be able to pay for the 1st 3 projects. We can’t have one without the other.

The plans are all ready and will be submitted for approval at Federal level. Once approval is obtained there will be a Public Display and objection period. There will also be public consultation. Currently the online poll indicates strong support for this project. The PTMP blueprint are plans for the next 3 years, it may be changed or expanded according to the situation.

Penang’s challenges for these projects is ‘lack of good quality land’.

But what is the State Government doing to ensure that a balance is maintained, such that development does not encroach and “eat away” our environment?

We may have found the balance by emphasizing Penang as an on entrepreneurial and welfare state. The entrepreneurial and welfare state model is only possible because we record annual budget surpluses through clean administration. Penang’s CAT administration of Competency, Accountability and Transparency has allowed annual budget surpluses and our reserves to increase from RM850 million to nearly RM1.6 billion in 8 years. Penang’s government debt has been reduced by 90% to only RM69 million – the lowest in Malaysia. We also have one of the lowest income inequality with Gini coefficient at only 0.37 compared to the national average of 0.40 as at 2014. Further Penang’s unemployment rate of 1.5% offers many job opportunities.

We are taking baby steps right now. Remember that 59 years since independence all of us happily went about our daily lives without a care of what would happen to the trees or animals around us. Suddenly we have awoken from our slumber and are now aware that we need green to grow. We need our flora and fauna to sustain the environment. We need to control the carbon footprint we leave. Or our world as it is today, or when we were growing up will be no more. We’ll have something like what we see in the Mad max movies –devastation.

How are we going to achieve this. How is Penang State Government going to achieve this? Well Rome was built in a day. Remember when we implemented no plastics bag – oh the hue and cry over it. But now most Penangites have adapted. Visitors to State are also aware of it. Other states have followed suit. We have planted trees and when we need to widen roads we have uprooted and transplanted trees in other areas so they can continue to thrive. We encourage household to separate their waste. We have built a water treatment plant, which has shown improvement in the quality of water surrounding the island. We are working to resuscitate our rivers, especially Sungai Pinang and Sungai Emas.

On 1st of June this year, we have marked another milestone with the implementation of Waste Segregation at Source Policy in our quest to make Penang the first green state of Malaysia. We are proud to achieve the highest recycling rate of 32% in 2015, which exceeds both the current national recycling rate of 10.5% and the national target of 22% recycling rate and that only by 2020. Penang hopes to achieve the international benchmark of 40% recycling rate by 2020 and that can only be achieved by successfully implementing the Separation at Source Programme.
In line with the State Government’s implementation of Waste Segregation At Source Policy, remember we can only be an international and intelligent city when Penang is a green state.

In our quest to make Penang the first green state of Malaysia, Penang is the first state to ban free plastic bags at shopping centers, ban polystrene boxes and achieve the highest recycling rate of 32% in 2015.

We are trying. Are you?

We are definitely not going to please everyone but we aim to please the majority. Whether we achieve a balance is questionable but we are definitely trying to.