SPEECH BY YAB TUAN CHOW KON YEOW, CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
OPENING CEREMONY FOR LEFT POCKET CREATIVES
28 MARCH 2019
Dato’ Loo Lee Lian,
Chief Executive Officer of investPenang
Dato’ Yoon Chon Leong
Director of Penang Science Cluster
Ms Yu Xin,
Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Left Pocket Studio
Management and staff of Left Pocket Creatives Sdn Bhd
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good morning to everyone.
I am delighted and honoured to be here this morning to witness the opening ceremony of Left Pocket Creatives, a Shanghai-based Intellectual Property (IP) creation company focusing on animation and webcomics, to be the latest tenant of Wisma Yeap Chor Ee. This occasion is made even more significant because Left Pocket has chosen to locate its first Malaysian Studio in this renowned colonial heritage building which is home to the tech & creative community in Penang.
Over the past five decades and still counting, Penang has been a preferred location for many multinational corporations (MNC) to set up their manufacturing facilities. Even that being so, the state government understands and acknowledges that the key to future economic success is to seek convergence not only of the manufacturing sector but the service sector as well. The service sector includes not only elements of traditional tourism, medical treatment and education, but also the Global Business Services (GBS), Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and creative content & technology, which the state has been significantly working on to shape up for the past few years.
One of the key initiatives by the State government was the restoration of this unique colonial heritage venue, Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, with the objective of building an interactive connection between science & technology together with the creative content industries. The state government has spent RM23million to create the space necessary while maintaining the characteristic and old-world charms of this historic building.
We have created a collaborative and supportive environment within Wisma Yeap Chor Ee to have three functions under one single roof. Firstly, we have the Penang Science Cluster to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education and innovation centre at level one. We then house our Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) at level 2, with the purpose of prospering local creativity in digital multimedia contents, animation and game development. And as for level 3, we have our accelerator for Creative, Analytics and Technology (or known as @CAT) with the objective of accelerating the establishment of tech startups & nurturing talents in new growth areas such as IoT, Big Data Analytics, cloud computing and so forth.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Creative Technology Content ecosystem is still very much in its infancy stage in Penang. Although we have Institutions of Higher Learning such as Universiti Sains Malaysia, The One Academy, and Two Studio Multimedia Academy among others that supply our creative talents every year, it is unfortunate that there is lack of job opportunities in this field in Penang. However, I believe that with the addition of Left Pocket Creatives in Penang, opportunities would be aplenty and forthcoming for us to open the doors for more high-income jobs related to the creative industry and we would retain our creative tech players in Penang who will contribute to this new stream of economy.
As a matter of fact, Left Pocket Creatives is projected to create approximately 100 creative talent opportunities in the next 4 years. Its Penang facility would be used in the vital areas of creation, animation from pre-production to post-production of comics that would require talents with related skill sets. On top of job creations, Left Pocket will also assist in grooming the creative technology ecosystem and culture within the state.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The creative multimedia industry is making its mark as one of the most sought-after industries in the world due to its huge economic potential. Industrial research suggests that the total value of the global animation industry will reach USD 270 billion by 2020. The traditional form of content viewership is giving way to a sharp increase in streaming video consumption. The size of the streaming market for animation content was USD 2.9 billion in 2018 and is growing at an annual rate of 8% and the size of global video gaming industry was USD 96 billion in 2018. Meanwhile, the global eSports industry is growing at the rate of 30% year-on-year and it is predicted to be a billion-dollar industry by 2019.
Given the excited outlook of the creative technology content industry, Penang should intensify its presence and capture a share of it. Having mentioned that, I would like to take this opportunity to commend Invest Penang for their incredible efforts in moving towards this direction as they attract prominent investors such as Left Pocket Creatives to be an added impetus to boost the service sector in Penang.
I would like to end my speech by expressing my heartfelt congratulations and appreciation to Left Pocket Creatives for choosing Penang as your first studio in Malaysia.