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!