POPULAR 25 Years Launching Ceremony

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
POPULAR 25 Years Launching Ceremony

17 MARCH 2017


Yang Berhormat Mr Danny Law Heng Kiang
Penang State Tourism Development & Culture EXCO

Yang Berbahagia Datuk Seri Mirza Mohammad Taiyab
Director General of Tourism Malaysia;

Mr Chou Cheng Ngok
Group CEO of POPULAR Holdings Limited

Ms Lim Lee Ngoh
Executive Director of POPULAR Malaysia

Media representatives and members of the press

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

Good day, and thank you for inviting me to share a few words with you, in tandem with the celebrations of POPULAR’s 25-year presence in Penang.

Today’s ceremony is made all the more meaningful, as the KOMTAR outlet is POPULAR’s first ever in Penang. I’ve also been informed that Penang was the first state outside Kuala Lumpur, where POPULAR established its bookstore, 25 years ago.

Malaysians are not reading enough. It’s a fact that even in our internet age, physical books and reading materials remain the most popular method of reference.

In Penang, we established the first Penang Digital Library in Malaysia in the evolution of libraries. The RM2.5 million Digital Library is a public private partnership where the state government provides both the existing heritage building and funds together with funds and expertise from the private sector. We stress that we are not abandoning old libraries but exploring new ones by using the latest technologies and invention.

Penang Digital Library aimed to redesign how we access information and curate knowledge; to channel this information to the people that need it most – when they need it most. It also aims to create an environment that will complement the more traditional methods of teaching and learning to elevate the education experience to be on par with today’s technological landscape.

POPULAR has just finished organising its annual Mega Bookfair last December, at the Straits Quay Convention Centre in Penang, 10th edition of its kind. So, on behalf of the Penang State Government and people of Penang, my congratulations to POPULAR for being established in Penang for 25 years now!

Thank you.

LAUNCHING OF PENANG @ CAT PROGRAMME

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
PENANG @CAT PROGRAMME LAUNCH

WISMA YEAP CHOR EE
17 MARCH 2017

Good morning ladies & gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to be here today to welcome all of you to this exciting gathering which brings together representatives from the industry, startup & entrepreneurship sectors as well as government agencies to introduce ‘Penang @CAT’s Program Launch’.

I would like to express my thanks to InvestPenang and Penang Development Corporation for making this happen.

Today’s launch aims to introduce platforms and programs that will assist entrepreneurs, corporates, MNCs, SMEs and more importantly, the tech community to accelerate ideas & create synergies amongst one another.

CREATING FUTURE AND LIVING DREAMS

We have always envisaged Penang as a platform for dream makers to make their dreams come true and that is why we are now doing as much as we can to lay the foundations to transform Penang into high-income knowledge economy.

Take for instance this beautiful unique heritage building we are in, Wisma Yeap Chor Ee. The Penang State government invested RM23 million to refurbish this building and rent it on a 30 years’ lease with the main purpose of developing and building an interactive connection between science and technology. In addition to this, the State has also taken pro-active measures to inspire and create more innovators through the RM20 million Penang Science Café project (located on the ground floor) to give free classes to kids in applied science and robotics, the RM28 million Tech Dome of Penang to rekindle interest in science and technology and the new RM3 million Penang Digital library.

PENANG @CAT IN INNOVATING TALENTS AND CREATING SUCCESSFUL STARTUPS

With the emergence of digital revolution, the Penang State Government sees a huge potential in the technology industry. To transform Penang into an international and intelligent city, we must embrace this new future of digital technology, especially in the growing fields of Big Data Analytics (BDA), cloud computing and Internet of Things (IoT).

Penang @CAT at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee was established back in Oct 2015 to be the launchpad of Penang’s tech start up ecosystem where the Penang State government’s enterprising plan is to boost the local tech sector & bring the State’s many players under one roof.

Since its inception, Penang @CAT has served as Penang’s catalyst in accelerating emerging tech start-ups & entrepreneurs to gain access to our 3 main pillars:- (1) co-working space & shared facilities, (2) tech community events, (3) accelerator / entrepreneurship development programs. As of last year, almost 200 co-working space applications were approved and approximately 100 tech community events & entrepreneurship development programs combined were held at Penang @CAT for the benefit of the startup & entrepreneurship community.

PENANG @CAT – MOVING FORWARD TOWARDS A DIGITAL FUTURE

Moving forward and with the introduction of our new @CAT Program Director Mr Howie Chang on board, Penang @CAT will be taking this initiative a step forward towards the digital future by launching a host of permanent programs to bridge corporates with startups, entrepreneurs & techies for innovation and partnerships & solutions.

Mr Howie Chang, a returning Penangite, brings 15 years of experience in the tech startup scene in Singapore and has played key roles in major companies such as RedMart.com (which was acquired by Lazada for USD30 million) and Viki.com (which was acquired by Rakuten for USD200 million).

I am pleased to announce the launch of our platform and upcoming permanent programs at Penang @CAT which will create excitement in the entrepreneurship & startup community. They include:-

1. Penang @CAT Online Community Platform
This is a platform where entrepreneurs, tech enthusiasts and business leaders can celebrate, connect, convene and collaborate information on latest industry trends in the startup industry as a community.

2. Startup Connect Gathering
A quarterly gathering that introduces MNCs and SMEs to top entrepreneurs relevant to their industry to provide real insights, inspiration and exchanges.

3. Business Model Canvas Workshop
A free monthly workshop to equip attendees with the ability to substantially ideate, describe, evaluate and discuss business models.

4. Product Management Essentials
A free monthly class where participants will be able to learn how to work with designers and developers to successfully build and launch digital products.

5. Founder Institute Penang 2nd Batch
A 4-month Silicon Valley based early-stage startup accelerator program that assist entrepreneurs with expert training and support from experienced startup – while not being required to quit their day jobs. The 2nd batch is scheduled to take place in May 2017.

Mr Howie Chang will be able to give a detailed insight on these initiatives in the next part of our session. These programs by Penang @CAT will only be the beginning of many more to come for the benefit of the local startup ecosystem.

Before ending my speech, I would like to take this opportunity to invite other industry players and tech community groups to collaborate with us and maximize the usage of our programs, space, facilities and services.

In this 21st century, the millennial generation are the future game changers in the marketplace and our goal is to help continue develop the innovation-driven millennials who want to build their own businesses and tech startups through the platform of Penang @CAT.

I am keen to see more pro-active technopreneurs out there after today and look forward to many future innovations by our local community.

Thank you once again for having me here this morning.

Penang International Property Summit 2017

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

at The Penang International Property Summit 2017

On 10 March 2017 (Friday)

 

It is indeed my honour to have been invited to the third Penang International Property Summit (PIP) co-organized by the Penang State Housing Committee and Penevents Sdn. Bhd.

The inaugural summit held in 2015, and which was continued with last year clearly proved to be a platform enabling property stakeholders and the Penang State Government to address numerous issues facing the property industry in Penang.

I am confident to say that as a result of the discussions and inputs at the previous summits, policies of the State Government have been enhanced so as to suit the various requests and constructive inputs made by the industry players.

Clearly, it is hoped that this year's summit will have the same result. This summit also proves that the Penang State Government is the only state government that engages with the property stakeholders.

2016 proved to be a challenging year for the property market and analysts have warned that this trend will continue in 2017.

In fact, from the figures disclosed by NAPIC as referred to in an article by Sr. Michael Geh from Raine and Horne, there was a drop in residential property transactions in the second half of 2016 in both the primary market (from 1,040 transactions down to 640 transactions) and the secondary market (from 5,658 transactions down to 4,858 transactions).

Although there has been a drop in residential property transactions, we can breath a sigh of relief as the same statistics show that of all the urban cities in Malaysia, namely Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor Bahru and Penang, despite all recording a drop in such residential property transactions, Penang proved to be the urban city with the lowest drop.

Further, it should also be noted that despite the drop in the number of residential transactions.

Having said this, it should be noted that the Penang State Government will continue to prioritize the delivery of affordable housing in particular for Penangites.

Several pertinent issues, which are common throughout all the states, in particular the issue of the high loan rejection rate by banks, in particular for first time home buyers. In fact in this regard, it should be noted that the Joint Motion calling for this issue to be addressed by the Penang State Government and the State Opposition in Penang, has already been forwarded to the Prime Minister for further action.

Apart from this, we will continue to put in place policies that will ensure a cooling of the property market and to further ensure that there is no abnormal increase in property prices.

This is especially so having regard to how attractive Penang is, not only to Penangites and Malaysians, but also to foreigners. In this regard, it should be noted that we have received numerous international accolades that will help the property sector, including:

-New York Times ranking Penang as the 22nd Must Visit Destination in 2009

-ECA International ranking George Town as the eighth most livable city in 2010

-Yahoo Travel ranking Penang 8 out of 10 islands to explore before you die in 2011

-The Guardian's ranking of George Town as Top 15 best street art in the world in 2013

-Lonely Planet's ranking George Town, Penang as the 4th out of the Top 10 Cities to visit in 2016

-Los Angeles Times listing Penang as one of the 16 Must-Visit Destination in 2016

-Forbes listing Penang at No. 1 in its Ten Best Budget Travel Destinations for 2016

-Holiday Lettings UK ranking Penang as No. 6 in its list of 24 Surprisingly Affordable Places to Chase the Winter Sun in 2016

-Penang's listing as one of the 15 Best Cities in the World for Food by The Culture Trip in 2016

-No. 2 on CNN's list of 17 best place to visit in the world in 2017

-No. 1 by CNBC for having the best health-care in the world

The Penang State Government will continue its administration based on competency, accountability, transparency, which will in turn ensure the continuous success of Penang and our direction towards becoming an international and intelligent city.

With all these positive traits, I am certain the property sector in Penang will stand to benefit in 2017.

Thank you.