Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


on 26th October 2017 6.30pm


Ladies and Gentlemen

1. It gives me great pleasure to speak to you all today at the conclusion of the Penang Hill BioBlitz 2017 in this unforgettable location, under the stars and surrounded by our 130-million year old rainforest on Penang Hill.

2. From all accounts, it is clear that this event has been a tremendous success, both in terms of enlisting the participation of so many accomplished scientists and experts from Malaysia and the United States, and in the new records and discoveries that will undoubtedly help give us a more complete picture of the biodiversity of Penang Hill.

3. I am also excited to hear how, with the participation of the team from Jason Learning, the wonders of the tropical rainforest of Penang Island are being shared through various digital learning platforms to over 3.5-million students around the world. This is in line with the Penang State Government’s Policy to promote S.T.E.M. 4.0 or Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Learning to prepare for the next industrial revolution or Industry 4.0.

4. Our common future depends on instilling a deep connection with the environment among future generations. I would like to thank Harry Cockrell and his family, and the management of the Habitat Penang Hill for investing RM35 million to establish The Habitat, and for their determination and commitment to realise the vision of creating world-class infrastructure to bring people back into the nature-loving forest.

5. I believe that The Habitat Penang Hill initiative is a fine example of a public-private partnership that has done the Penang people proud. We are creating a world class rainforest discovery centre which showcases nature and continues to draw local and international visitors, while playing an important role in environmental education within the community.

6. Penang Hill is unique as a rainforest site as it is located at the door step of a major population centre of 1.6-million people and also just 6km from a UNESCO World Heritage Site, our capital city of George Town.
7. I am excited to see that the new Canopy Walk is in the final stages of construction and look forward to returning to The Habitat again next month for the official opening.

8. Being able to experience this beautiful ancient 130 million year old rainforest is an incredibly humbling experience. It is a reminder that we humans are here but for a short time. These forests, which are brimming with life, are also vital to sustain human life. It is our duty to ensure that they endure for the benefit of current and future generations.

9. The Penang State Government has shown its commitment to this objective by protecting the forest of Penang Island within a complex of gazetted forest reserves, water-catchment areas and Penang National Park – which holds the record as the smallest national park in the world. Unlike many other states, Penang is the only state in Malaysia which has not cut a single square inch of permanent forest reserve.

10. We had never allowed logging on permanent forest reserves, the only state in Malaysia where not a single square inch has been touched since 2006. In comparison, Pahang, the biggest culprit, cut down 161,379 hectares, followed by Kelantan 157,919 hectares and Perak 74,032 hectares. And we have planted more than 271,000 new trees in Penang since 2008.

11. Even Penang was praised by Qatar Airways for our "magnificent natural scenery" as a factor why they choose Penang, when Qatar Group announced that they will be flying direct from Doha to Penang in February next year. And yet we are falsely accused of clearing hills when nothing is further from the truths. Penang is well on its way to be the first green state in Malaysia.

12. We are also proud to be preparing the nomination of the forests of Penang Hill as part of a UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Reserve. I would like to thank Mr. Cheok Lay Leng, General Manager of the Penang Hill Corporation (PHC) for leading the process which is conducted in collaboration with other government agencies and stakeholders. I would also like to thank The Habitat Foundation for its generous support in helping to fund the preparation of the dossier.

13. On behalf of the Penang State Government, I would like to register our sincere appreciation to all scientists and naturalists who have been part of the Penang Hill Bio Blitz 2017. I am certain that the discoveries from the top-to-bottom exploration of the forest over these past two weeks, which I am told is a world-first, will not only strengthen the nomination but provide insights into the forests of Penang Hill that will engage and inspire us all.

14. For those who are leaving to return to home countries, thank you for coming to Penang and we wish you a safe journey home. For those from Penang, thank you for your participation in the Penang Hill BioBlitz 2017 and to you also, a safe journey home.

15. Congratulations and thank you once again to the management of The Habitat Penang Hill and The Habitat Foundation for organizing a successful event.

Thank You and enjoy the rest of your evening.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


26th October 2017 at 5.00pm


Salam sejahtera dan selamat datang ke Majlis “Appreciation Day” Bukit Bendera.

1. First of all, I would like to thank the management of Penang Hill Corporation for inviting me to grace today’s event. It is an honour and a great pleasure to welcome all of you to Penang Hill for the occasion of “Penang Hill Appreciation Day 2017”. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Penang Hill Corporation for organising today’s event and for bringing together the government agencies, stakeholders and communities of Penang Hill to be gathered here on this lovely evening.

2. It is good to see all of you here today. I believe this event helps to foster strong relationships between government agencies, stakeholders and communities of Penang Hill for the betterment of our beloved Hill. We have come a long way since Penang Hill Corporation took over the management of Penang Hill facilities and funicular operations. This evening’s event, “Appreciation Day” is to recognize the efforts and support by all of you to Penang Hill Corporation all these years. Penang State government has continued to invest in Penang Hill each year. To recap, in October 2012 Penang Hill Corporation embarked on the Phase One project, to construct a retractable roof to provide shade to our visitors at the Lower Station and also to construct an elevated walkway (“El Walk”) at the Upper Station. This project costing RM 3.4 million was completed in August 2013.

In April 2015, RM 7.7 million was spent and successfully completed the Phase Two project where an observation deck comprising three tiers of viewing decks and the iconic Skywalk was built giving visitors an unobstructed panoramic view of Georgetown and Seberang Perai at 750 meters above sea level.

In March 2017, we did the ground breaking of Phase Three project, to increase the waiting areas and add facilities such as food and beverage outlets, retail space, roof-top-walk plus a multi-purpose hall. A Penang Science Café will be added to rekindle interest in science and technology. The cost of this project exceeds RM 7 million and is expected to complete by October 2018.

Thereafter, PHC plans to embark Phase 4 project, to primarily focus on expanding the holding area for visitors at Upper Station.

All these additions are for creating greater comfort for our visitors while waiting for the exciting funicular ride to top and bottom of Penang Hill.

3. Penang Hill continues to experience increase of visitors recently. Thanks to the concerted efforts by all state agencies, along with federal agencies in driving Penang as a tourist destination of choice in Malaysia. Just for our information, for the first 3 Quarters, January-September of 2017, Penang Hill recorded approximately 1.2 million visitors, an increase of approximately 9% in comparison with the same period in 2016. At this rate, Penang Hill will likely host over 1.7 million visitors in 2017 from all over the world, in comparison with 1.6 million visitors in 2016. Each year is a record year for Penang Hill, and certainly a great boost of confidence for the Penang State government and PHC to do more.

Ladies And gentlemen,

4. In conjunction with today’s event, it also gives me great pleasure to celebrate the launch of our first Visitor’s Guide to Penang Hill.

The Guide is specially designed to enable visitors plan their time and get the most out of Penang Hill. The Guide features useful information including:

• brief history and how to get to Penang Hill;
• easy-to-read map detailing landmarks and places of interests; other attractions and facilities including restaurants and hotel.

Additionally, in collaboration with Penang Hill Resident Association and Mind Team Building, Penang Hill Corporation has identified (3) Nature Walk Trails on Penang Hill. The Nature Walk Trails will offer visitors opportunities to appreciate the stunning views at the top of Penang Hill, walking close proximity to 130 million years of tropical rainforest, to enjoy its natural beauty filled with rich flora and fauna, plus glimpses of some colonial-style heritage bungalows. Visitors can join guided tours organised by Mind Team’s volunteers at designated locations and along the Nature Walk Trails. Alternatively, visitors who are more adventurous may opt for a self-guided walk around and explore Penang Hill at their own leisure using our new Visitor’s Guide. We want our visitors to explore the Penang Hill more.

Ladies And gentlemen,

5. I would like to sincerely thank all of you for taking the time to join us today for this special event. I hope event like this will foster strong relationships among the communities, business partners and all stakeholders of Penang Hill as we share a common vision, and that is to make Penang Hill the hill resort of choice in Malaysia.

Finally, I would like to thank you again for your great support in towards realising this goal.

Enjoy the cool evening on Penang Hill!

Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri





I wish to thank Dato’ Toh Chin Leong for inviting me to tonight's REHDA’s 43rd Annual Dinner.

It is the state government’s vision and commitment that every Penangite will be able to afford their own home. The state government understands that Penang has a vibrant property market which is good for investors. We do not intervene at the upper echelon housing market as we want to encourage investors to make Penang their habitat of choice. But the state government has a duty and responsibility to provide affordable housing for locals.

The Penang State Government has in the pipeline some 17 affordable housing projects which will see some 27,230 units of various types of affordable housing ranging from RM42,000 to RM300,000 being delivered to Penangites. Under this administration, a total sum of 21,535 units of Affordable Housing Type 'A' and 'B' (Low and Low Medium Cost) were built from 2008 until May, 2017, as opposed to the 5,154 units built from 1999 to 2007. I strongly urge all REHDA members to further develop the housing industry as well as implement affordable and social housing programmes as it contributes to nation building and betterment of life for the people of Penang.

Penang has recorded strong investment in manufacturing sector over last 9 years. In the latest MIDA ( Malaysian Investment Development Authority) announcement last week, Penang topped the national list with total approved investments of RM7.7 billion in the manufacturing sector for the first half of 2017, where No. 2 is RM2.9 biliion. It is also more than the RM4.3 billion investments recorded for the whole of 2016. 

Penang’s 1H 2017 total approved investments contributed to 45 per cent of the total RM17 billion investments approved nationwide. For the 9.5-years period between 2008- June 2017, Penang recorded an investment of RM 67 billion, a 81.6% increase compared to the previous 10 years period between 1998 to 2007 of RM 37 billion.

In Malaysia, tourism contributes RM69 billion to the country’s economy in 2016 with 25.7 million visitors. Tourism in Penang is also doing well. Penang International Airport 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. Even Penang was praised by Qatar Airways for our "magnificent natural scenery" as a factor why they choose Penang, when Qatar Group announced that they will be flying direct from Doha to Penang in February next year. 

I wish to also touch on the recent construction work-site tragedy in Tanjung Bungah last week which killed 11 people; one Malaysians site supervisor and 10 foreign workers. The State Government has formed a Penang State Comission of Inquiry headed by former Malaysia Bar Council Chaiman, YBhg. Dato' Yeo Yang Poh and 2 top engineers to determine the cause of this tragedy and punish those responsible.

Whilst this is a construction work-site accident, those responsible must still be punished. The project is built on flat land not on a hill slope. The Commission of Inquiry will also determine whether the quarry caused the landslide as alleged by same parties and also whether this is actually a work-site accident.

The Department of Environment says it did not support the project because there was a quarry. However, MBPP has stressed that Jabatan Mineral & Geo Sains, which is the principal party that is directly responsible for quarries, has supported this project which is more than 700 meters away.

I am happy to note from your video presentation that REHDA is taking the lead in assisting the less fortunate inmates from charitable homes through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. I strongly urge all developers and associates present here this evening to inculcate a CSR culture in all your companies. It has been demonstrated by many multi national companies (MNC’s) that it is possible to be profitable while also being socially and environmentally responsible.

In conclusion, I would once again want to thank REHDA for your invitation and your effort in working closely together with the State Government to transform Penang into an international and intelligent city that is a location of choice for investors, a destination of choice for tourists and a habitat of choice for residents. PENANG LEADS!

Thank You.