Opening Ceremony of TAIWAN EXPO 2019 in Malaysia

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Opening Ceremony of TAIWAN EXPO 2019 in Malaysia

Speech by The Right Honourable Chief Minister of Penang

YAB Chow Kon Yeow

VenueSetia SPICE Convention Centre, Penang

July 5, 2019


Ladies and Gentlemen

Good afternoon and welcome to Penang!

It is indeed an honour for me to be here this afternoon for the Opening Ceremony of Taiwan Expo 2019. On behalf of the Penang State Government, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA in short) for selecting Penang as the venue for its international exhibition. 

To my knowledge, the TAIWAN EXPO has emerged as the biggest platform for Taiwanese companies to interact with businesses from Malaysia, other ASEAN and South Asian countries since 2017, featuring exhibits such as Smart City, Green Tech, Taiwan lifestyle, halal, health and beauty, as well as tourism. Over the past two years, TAITRA has already held 10 exhibitions in 6 cities across 6 countries, attracting a total of 1,600 exhibitors and 230,000 visitors. The latest exhibition in Penang, Malaysia will be the 11th outing by TAITRA which is expected to bring the total visitor number to 250,000.

In line with the goals of its New Southbound Policy, Taiwan has developed close ties with the ASEAN region with positive results, especially in areas such as technology, trade and business. The region is today the second largest export and investment destination for Taiwan.  Malaysia, being its long-term trade and business partner, will continue to work closely with Taiwan for mutual trade benefits. And Penang, recognized as an eminent industrialized state in Malaysia, will certainly strive to be Taiwan's favourite destination for investment and sustainable economic partnership.

Penang has an open economy with more than 95% of our GDP derived from manufacturing and services industries. Also known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East' for our E&E industry, Penang occupies the top echelons of one of Malaysia's most vital economic powerhouses. In the first quarter of this year itself, Penang had successfully attracted investments of RM8.85 billion in the manufacturing sector, representing 35% of Malaysia’s total approved investment and has consistently ranked among the top investment destinations in the country over the last five decades.

Our GDP per capita is the highest among all Malaysian states and is considered a high-income economy. Penang, furthermore, also recorded the nation's second highest Human Development Index, after Kuala Lumpur. Apart from having a thriving electrical and electronics sector, we are also endued with rising tourism industry and a UNESCO World Heritage status. Penang is also a green state in Malaysia en-route to become the premier destination to invest, learn, work, play and eat.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Penang State Government is indeed committed to transform Penang into an international city and to make it as the most preferred location for investors, tourists as well as for Malaysians who desire a sustainable living. With the unveiling of Penang2030 vision- A Family-focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation, Penang is inspired to build a comprehensive ecosystem by embracing and adopting smart technology to meet the needs of Industry 4.0. It is, therefore, timely for us to be innovative, imaginative and resolute, with an open mind to turn ideas into actions, whilst learning from others in order to grow and improve.

In respect to this, I believe the contents of Taiwan Expo 2019 are very much in line with Penang2030 Vision, such as Green technology, smart city, healthcare, and many other interrelated fields. Thus, I strongly urge all entrepreneurs to actively participate in Taiwan Expo 2019 to create new business networks, gather the latest market information and explore cross border trade opportunities with an open mind and aim for continuous growth and improvement for the betterment of all.

Last but not least, I would like to extend my heartiest congratulations to the TAITRA management and organizing team for organizing this remarkable event. And to all stakeholders, participants and visitors alike, while you actively engage in this Expo, I also hope that you will take the time to discover the charm, food, beauty and diversity of Penang if time avails.

Once again, I wish all of you a fruitful and rewarding time at the Taiwan Expo 2019.

Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri




3 JULY 2019



A very good morning to all of you.

First and foremost, I would like to thank Global Chinese Arts and Culture Society for inviting me to be part of this prestigious Forum.

In relation to the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Lin Xiang Xiong Art Gallery which was held yesterday together with IJM, I commend Prof. Lin for bringing in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to Penang. The soon-to-be constructed Art and Culture Education Centre which will be housed in the Art Gallery and endorsed by UNESCO; makes this as one of the first in Penang.  

Ever since George Town was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, and with all the accolades bestowed upon Penang, the state attracted new visitors and new ideas. Hence, with the UNESCO office here, Penang will be a new hub to meet; to trade ideas and thoughts.


I am proud to say that this is the first time a Forum of such grandeur involving several UNESCO experts and specialists from Europe, Asia, including distinguished scholars and experts in the field of culture, language, history, arts, philosophy and aesthetic from China, Singapore and Malaysia are gathered here, all with one aim – to promote peace through arts.

Back to the olden days when communication was made using stone carvings on the wall and hieroglyphs to encode messages till the emergence of modern-day writing, it is apparent that humans and arts are intertwined.

Art covers literature, painting, sculpture and building, while music and dance as well as the integrated art of drama, movie and television make up the present-day components of spiritual civilization, and life support, together with material civilization, it becomes the integral parts of human life as entirety.

Art conveys emotional messages from artist to its viewers. Hence, art is also a form of expression, apart from communication. In this 21st century era which we are living in now, we are surrounded by various issues which are threatening humanity, and world peace as a whole. Sometimes meetings and discussion does not seem to help in solving problems, so it is during times like this that art plays a unique role to promote peace. This is because art is neutral and there is no difference in race, religion and nationality, thus it is a force which has the power to unite humankind. Art plays a different social function in the development of human society, and in the realm of cultural system.

Hence, this forum provides a platform on how art plays a crucial role in promoting peace and harmony in Penang society and in enabling people from different background and different races to understand each other hence making Penang to continue as peaceful and better place to live in.

As what Greek philosopher Plato said, “Art has no end but its own perfection.”

Ladies and gentlemen,

The Penang State Government will continue to play our role to uplift arts as it could help to generate economic growth for the state and the country. Penang’s tourism sector which is now known as PETACH under the leadership of State Tourism Development, Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee Chairman, YB Yeoh Soon Hin is actively planning and promoting Penang to become the hub for arts in Southeast Asia for the coming 10 years.

Recently, we launched Penang Tourism Master Plan with its tagline ‘The Diversity of Asia’, Experience Penang Year 2020 (EPY2020). In line with the Penang2030 vision, this master plan is a comprehensive tool for the state to develop and strengthen our tourism brand from 2019 to 2030, focusing in arts, culture and heritage under one roof. This master plan will strategically position Penang in a competitive international market. Among the strategies are to position Penang as an international tourist hub, manage sustainable tourism and to cultivate appreciation for heritage and to engage the community with tourism economy.

As we all known, manufacturing sector in Penang is overtaken by the services sector as the top contributor to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP). But it does not mean that the other sector should be neglected. For that reason, the State Government is doubling the effort to propel the tourism industry, which is now become one of the main sectors within the ambit of the services sector, to be the engine of growth for Penang along with manufacturing which has been in the lead for the past decades.

Penang has received numerous accolades and recognition which never fail to amuse and attract tourists; both foreign and locals alike with its plethora of delectable world-renowned hawker delights, kaleidoscope of cultures and a myriad of local attractions.

Before I conclude - a very warm welcome to all the distinguished speakers of the Art for Peace Forum, and I hope you will enjoy the diverse attractions which Penang has to offer.

I would like to commend Global Chinese Arts and Culture Society for collaborating with Association Memoire De L’ Avenir, UNESCO Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme and The International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) for organizing this prestigious Forum.

May all of you have an enjoyable and informative Forum!


Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


30 June 2019


Ladies & gentlemen


First and foremost, I thank the organisers of this evening’s event for inviting me to officiate the Penang Teachers’ Cooperative Society (PTCS) Annual Dinner at Lot33.

The PTCS is one of the oldest teachers’ cooperatives in Malaysia. It was established more than 90 years ago in 1928 and today, its membership has grown to be more than 5,000.

With a history spanning more than 9 decades of providing services to its members which include subscription loans, surety loans, emergency loans, family special loans, consumer purchase schemes, car tyre/battery/repair schemes, renewal of road tax / insurance for vehicles, share credit scheme and overdraft facilities, it is indeed a labour borne out of love for the teaching profession that PTCS has survived until today!

For this, I wish to applaud your labour of love and tenacity in the provision of such a comprehensive list of services for your members!


I am confident that the well-being of your 5,000 over members is in good hands as they reap multiple benefits from being a PCTS member such as having easy access to loans, death benefit scheme, mutual benefit fund, education grant, seminars, cash discounts on purchase of petrol and so forth.


As we all know, the primary objective of every cooperative is to serve its members by providing goods and services to them, thus enabling them to attain increased levels of income and savings, investments, productivity and purchasing power in addition to equitable distribution of net surplus through the maximum utilization of economy of scale and also cost as well as risk-sharing.

This has been duly conducted by the Board of the PTCS since its inception so many decades ago as indicated in the Directors’ Report which states a dividend payout of 4.01% on members’ subscriptions and 2.00% dividend payout on share capital.

This year, I was told, the PTCS has recorded an impressive profit of over RM 1.5 million!

With a substantial pay-up capital and share capital of more than RM36 million, the Penang Teachers’ Cooperative Society is one of the most well-managed cooperatives in the country.

This is indeed a great achievement by the cooperative and a testament that sound financial management, transparency and good governance are key to success. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

The PCTS annual dinner taking place this evening is the right time to honour members who have stayed the longest with the cooperative. It is indeed commendable that such loyalty persists towards your cooperative even after one’s retirement!

The PCTS, in the capable hands of the Board of Directors led by Dato’ Tan Gin Soon, has indeed come a long way since its inception. And with this, I wish the PTCS every success, best wishes and good luck for many more years to come.

Thank you.