The Opening of Regus Menara Boustead, George Town, Penang

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

At The Opening of Regus Menara Boustead, George Town, Penang

7 December 2017


Good morning. I am pleased to witness the official opening of Regus’ third business centre in Penang, here at Menara Boustead in Penang Central Business District. Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions and with the company establishing not one, or two, but three business centres in Penang, demonstrates the business vitality and economic robustness in Penang. With the 4th SPICE business centre in the pipeline, Regus has invested a total of RM 9 million to date and prepared to invest more for the growth/expansion in the coming years. Regus has workforce of 9 headcounts dedicated to manage these 4 centers, ie RM 1 million of investment per staff.

Penang achieved GDP growth of 5.6% in 2016, outperforming the national GDP of 4.2%; specifically, for manufacturing GDP, Penang recorded GDP growth of 5.4% while for services GDP, the state achieved 5.6% growth. In 2016, Penang also recorded the second largest investments for Global Establishments for Services or ‘Principal Hub’ with an investment value of RM4.1 billion, after Kuala Lumpur. More recently, MIDA announced Penang as the top recipient of manufacturing approved investment in 1H 2017 valued at RM7.7 billion. Not only was Penang’s RM7.7 billion way ahead of No.2 at RM 2.9 billion, but Penang contributed 45% of the total investments to Malaysia. With the encouraging performance this year, the State forecasts that Penang will record a GDP growth of at least 6% in 2017.

Despite the worst rainstorm and floods in history, Penang bounced back quickly and the clearing up was able to be completed in 10 days, a remarkable feat praised by all. What is noteworthy is that industry and the factories were not affected and there was no flooding in the industrial parks. Some had even feared that Penang business will be out of action for 6 months like Thailand. However they were unaffected and continued operations as usual. This should give confidence to investors that even when Penang suffered the worst rainstorm and floods in history, their factories were unaffected. Further the crisis management that allowed Penang to bounce back in 10 days should give added confidence of the effective delivery and competent governance by the state government in Penang.

Flexible and modern spaces meeting the needs of businesses in the digital era

Regus’ new business centre which offers office space of 10,700 sqft here will be able to increase the available work and office space in Penang. Regus first two business centres, Regus Ideal Bayan Lepas and Regus Gurney Paragon are already recording average occupancy of 98%-99%. Major tenants of Regus business centres in Penang include marquee names such as Swarovski, IBM, Agoda, Expedia, AIA, and CBRE. The demand for office space especially MSC status buildings is increasing in Penang as Penang continues to attract more investments and business expansion. Knight Frank 2016 Real Estate Highlights reported that occupancy rates for prime office buildings in George Town ranged from 86% to 100% while newer buildings in Bayan Baru have occupancy of around 97%. Penang has the highest occupancy of office space in Malaysia.

This year Austrian-based Swarovski, world’s leading automotive software company Luxoft, Power Integrations, French-headquartered Teleperformance have announced their GBS investments into Penang while companies such as Toray and UST Global have increased their re-investments into Penang.

The new ABCs of the business world in the digital era today are Industry 4.0 centred applications in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing and robotics. In line with these new trends, business needs evolve and the flexible workspace solutions that Regus offers will also be attractive to startups and SMEs in Penang. In addition, Regus provides global connectivity to its centers around the world which is something we welcome as an engine to our productivity growth.

Flexible working is a globally rising trend to do business. With Regus solutions easily available in Penang, we hope the SMEs and businesses in Penang can leverage on flexible working options to enhance their growth, increase productivity and attract and retain talent.

SME Corp records shows that Penang is home to more than 6,800 SMEs. Meanwhile, in @CAT Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, the State’s initiative for startups to accelerate from ideas and innovation to businesses, the co-working space have recorded an average 94% daily occupancy rate.

I would like to once again reiterate my warmest welcome of Regus’ third business centre in Penang and I also hear a fourth is on the horizon. Congratulations to Regus on the occasion of this opening in the quest to provide flexible working options for businesses in Penang.

Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


7th December 2017
Setia SPICE Convention Centre, Penang


Good morning,

Welcome back to the second edition of the Business Events conference in Penang – or as we call it, BE @ Penang.

BE @ Penang is just one of the Penang State Government’s many initiatives to drive the state as a leading hub for commerce, tourism, and development. Through state business events arm - the Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau or PCEB – we have seen major developments in the business events industry in Penang.

Ladies and gentlemen,

PCEB’s efforts over the past two years has helped to position Penang as the top destination city for Business Events in Malaysia, only behind Kuala Lumpur.

2017 has been an exciting year so far for Penang. Team Penang secured the bid for World Seafood Congress 2019, making Penang the first Asian city to host this 50-over year-old congress!

PCEB itself has been shining bright despite being only two-years old. Just this October, PCEB won the prestigious rAWr Awards for Destination Marketing Organisation.

G Hotel Gurney also won a rAWr Award, winning the highly coveted Hotel with Meetings Facilities Award for Excellence.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We are now gathered within a world-class and green-certified RM 350million convention centre. In 2017 itself, with the effort of PCEB and its industry partners, Penang has hosted a total of 1,731 events, with 202,335 participants. This year, we hosted the largest event in the history of Penang with a delegate size of 18,000 here at Setia Spice Convention Centre.

With 9 new hotels in the pipeline for 2019 and the Penang Waterfront Convention Centre in 2021, Penang is within reach of hosting larger, more impactful and knowledgeable events.

Penang is fast rising as a key second tier destination in the region, and with a unified business events industry, Penang as a state would stand to benefit from the economic impact of business events. Last year, Penang has recorded 1251 events with an estimated economic impact of RM808 million.

From January to September 2017, we have hosted 1731 events with an estimated economic impact of RM900 million.
This translates to a 27.7% increase in the number of events and 7% increase for the estimated economic impact. We are confident of breaking RM 1 billion this year.

PCEB might be the one who is heading this initiative, but it is Team Penang that is able to bring this plan to greater heights.

Thank you once again for participating in this conference and contributing to the strength and sustainability of the Business Events industry for Penang.

Dear delegates of BE @ Penang 2017,

I urge you to BE EMPOWERED over the next two days. You have in your presence some of the best professionals and experts in the global Business Events arena, and I wish you the best in gaining knowledge to spur your growth.

Keynote Speaker Roy Sheppard, a specialist international conference facilitator, moderator and speaker is going to speak on Empowering the Penang Business Events Industry to Act Independently, yet Collectively.

Let us strive together with the same purpose and mindset to make Penang a Business Events destination no organiser can resist.

Thank you.

Penang Chefs Association 3rd Anniversary And 30th Anniversary Of Penang Chefs

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister Of Penang
At Penang Chefs Association 3rd Anniversary And 30th Anniversary Of Penang Chefs 
6th December 2017

I can recollect exactly a year ago in December at the Olive Tree Hotel together with the Ambassador of Norway where I officiated a Norwegian Seafood Council event jointly co-organized by the Norwegian Embassy and Penang Chefs. Here I am this evening to congratulate the Penang Chefs Association on the occasion of its 3rd Anniversary.

The Penang Chefs fraternity was formalised in 1987 – 30 years ago and where the Association was once known as the Chefs Association of Malaysia - Penang Chapter. I am delighted with this milestone and an achievement that needs to be celebrated!

Your 30 years as volunteers, giving up your valuable time to the profession in the hospitality industry, to the society in times of need especially during the recent natural disaster in the history of Penang. The Penang Chefs Association teamed up with Food Aid Foundation and Mutiara Food Bank to cook and serve over 6,500 packet of hot meals for flood victims and volunteers over 3 days. On behalf of the state Government, I would like to thank Penang Chefs Association for all your hard work and contribution.

Just 2 weeks ago on 20th November, we witnessed the MoU signing between Penang’s pilot Mutiara Food Bank with Food Aid Foundation to feed low-income families. The signing of this MoU is an important step to expand the Mutiara Food Bank operations next year and it will also involve assistance from the Penang Chefs Association and the Malaysian Association of Hotels – Penang Chapter too.

Thank you for partnering with Penang International Halal Hub for 5 years running to co-organise the Penang International Halal Chefs Challenge. Your involvement recently in the state Chinese New Year Heritage enclave celebration and also the Penang International Food Festival 2017 Cooking Competition is also appreciated.

As for your young and aspiring chefs, kudos to all of you to have brought glory and fame to Penang. You have won gold medals this year at the Philippine Culinary Cup, Silvers at the recent International Food Hotel China Gourmet Table in Shanghai and the President himself Chef Audee led Penang as Overall Champion in the 3rd Thailand Culinary World Challenge as Highest Scoring Team in Day 1 and VIP Vote for Day Two – 2 years ago in Bangkok.

The Penang Chefs Association has also entered into a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding between LiFE Academy and DISTED College where PCA through its extensive experience, will provide industry-relevant review and input into the academic syllabus, as well as continuing the professional development courses.

It is not easy to stand out when Penang has the best street food in the world. But the Penang Chefs Association have made Penang proud. Let me again congratulate you on your perseverance and dedication to Penang and the world of culinary.

Thank you and best wishes.

The Launch of “When the Christmas Toys Comes Alive at Gurney Plaza”

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Launch of “When the Christmas Toys Comes Alive at Gurney Plaza” 
Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017 (7.00pm)

Good evening

Penang Bounced Back And Back In Business – Fully Recovered From The Worst And Natural Disaster

Penang has bounced back and is back in business – fully recovered from the worst rainstorm and flood natural disaster. Welcome all to Penang. If 10,000 tourists from China is confident to come to Penang, why not domestic tourists from other states? This is why we are celebrating Christmas as before like last year.

I want to thank the management of Gurney Plaza for inviting me to officiate the launch of Christmas Celebration at Gurney Plaza.

Christmas is a season of joy not only because it encourages forgiveness but also goodwill, good deeds and harmony with everyone. This was captured during the worst natural disaster on 4-5 November when non-Muslims opened up their temples to Muslim families and Muslims opened up their mosques to non-Muslims families. Penang made not only the people proud but all of Malaysia proud of our spirit of brotherhood and humanity.

The State Government had launched a ”Penang Bounce Back” programme to clean up Penang and give financial assistance of RM105 million which serves to rehabilitate and rebuild the lives of the people who were affected by the worst rainstorm and floods in the history of the state.

Under the ‘Penang Bounce Back’ programme, the state government will be giving one-off RM700 to each household that was affected by the floods.

Furthermore, as the cleaning works for most households will involve a lot of water, the Penang Water Supply Corporation has agreed that for the next water bill cycle of two months, all Water Conservation Surcharge will be exempted. All domestic consumers in Penang will also get a 50 per cent discount on their water bill while commercial consumers will get 25 per cent discount.

Thirdly, the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Seberang Prai Municipal Council (MPSP) will be giving a 10% discount on assessment fees for all properties. In 2018, all the house owners of low cost, medium cost and village houses will be given tax exemption for assessment rate. For Seberang Perai, the exemption also applies to 700-square-foot residence (original area) and below with the selling price of RM72,500 and below. At the same time, all lost or damaged documents such as land titles would be replaced without any charges.

For non-Muslim places of worship affected by flood, a maximum of RM50,000 will be available for repair works.

In closing, I wish all of you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The State Government is certainly looking forward to more quality events to be organised by Gurney Plaza in the coming years in order to complement the earnest efforts of the State Government in making Penang State a preferred tourist and shopping haven in the region.

Thank you.