PENANG HILL “APPRECIATION DAY”

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
ON PENANG HILL “APPRECIATION DAY”

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.

REHDA 43rd ANNUAL DINNER

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG

AT REHDA 43rd ANNUAL DINNER

ON 25TH OCTOBER 2017 
AT SPICE CONVENTION CENTER

 

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.

THE OPENING OF ASIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE: LOCALISING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
AT THE OPENING OF ASIA PACIFIC CONFERENCE: 
LOCALISING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs)

25 OCTOBER 2017
JEN HOTEL

 

A very good morning to you all, and a warm welcome to Penang to those of you who have come from far away, from neighbouring states and countries.

It is Penang’s privilege to host this event , the Asian Pacific Regional Conference on “Localising the Sustainable Development Goals - Leaving No one Behind.” This is a timely and important Conference. In discussing, agreeing and signing up to the Sustainable Development Goals, our respective countries have recognised that there are major challenges facing us together. And we can only overcome the challenges together.

The Penang State Government is happy to support the focus on local communities, local government, and local initiatives. As SDG 11 tells us: the cities will be especially important locations for action, and tapping into local resources, expertise and creativity will be essential if we are to have a chance of meeting the SDG targets and to really leave no one behind. Think global, act local!

We welcome your discussions which will help us all identify the key smart partnerships needed, involve as many people of different backgrounds, ages and experiences in the designing and delivery of initiatives and ideas. And integrate issues related to gender equality into all our processes.

The Penang State Government has also made it a priority to be future ready, to be aware of the dramatic changes which the 4th Industrial Revolution will bring. In responding appropriately to the new digital future, where 'data is king', we say 'talent is everything'. We need to train our schools to be adept at coding, including girls. The State Government has adopted a RM2 million coding programme to reach out to 118,000 primary and secondary students to expose them to the digital economy.

And when we talk about environment, as so many of the SDGs do, we are proud in Penang to have a Cleaner, Greener, Safer, Healthier, and Happier Penang. This we have done through a series of environmental initiatives to promote resource efficiency including introducing free bus routes, putting a total ban on polystyrene food containers, providing incentives to green buildings, building cycling lanes, building pocket parks, and lighting up green spaces, reclaiming and rehabilitating back lanes, and enforcing a Waste Segregation at Source policy.

And when we talk about gender, I will just say that Penang is very proud to have an innovative and ground-breaking Gender Responsive and Participatory Budgeting programme, appointing women to top government leadership positions, a strategic partnership of local Government with local community organisations facilitated through the work of PWDC. This initiative is gaining increasing regional and global recognition, as a viable model of community participation and people-oriented government.

Ladies and gentlemen,

When we first took over the state government in 2008, I stated that we can have good governance in Penang because we have good people. I have not lost faith in that commitment. But I would also say that as a government, it is our responsibility to govern in a way that allows people to participate, to contribute, to be heard and for their talents and skills to be fully realised. That is why our commitment has been to be a government which is people-centric, focused on enabling, empowering and enriching the people. We aim to enable our citizens with adequate skills and knowledge that they need. We aim to empower our people with rights, opportunities and freedom. We aim to enrich lives by securing equitable development for all. Of course, these are goals that fit squarely into the goals of the SDGs and of this Conference.

We are committed to sharing and to learning, so that we can enjoy the benefits together. Only by embracing the future, can we win the future. To do that, we must invest in education, especially female education. We are committed to increase the female labour participation rate so that we can empower them to be self-reliant and take care of their families. And help society achieve high-income economy status for only with a high female labour participation rate, can we achieve developed economy status. Remember, when we teach a man, we teach a person, when we teach a woman, we teach a family! This Conference is all about families that makes up a nation.

It remains for me to say, on behalf of the state government, that we wish you all the best for an inspiring Conference, and let us work together for a future which is sustainable, secure, inclusive and equitable.

Thank you.