SPEECH BY THE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG YAB TUAN CHOW KON YEOW FOR THE OPENING OF THE INSPIRING FUTURE LEADERS CONFERENCE
30 March 2019
YB Chong Eng
State Executive Councillor for Women and Family Development, Gender Inclusiveness and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs cum PWCC Adviser
YB Lim Siew Khim
Assemblywoman for Sungai Pinang
Tan Sri Datin Paduka Rafidah Aziz
Former International Trade and Industry Minister
Dato’ Seri Lee Kah Choon
Dato’ Annie Chin
Penang Women Chamber of Commerce (PWCC) President and Organising Chairperson
Our Distinguished Speakers for today
Friends from the media
Ladies & Gentlemen
Good morning to all of you.
When the invitation to officiate the opening and to speak at the Inspiring Future Leaders Conference reached my desk, I know at that moment that this is one invitation that I must not turn down despite my tight schedule because the significance of the conference we are having this morning covers not only the issues concerning the various industries so vital to the economic heartbeat of Penang but it also reflects the issue of leadership in the current political crossroad of Malaysia and for that matter, the state of Penang in which all of us who are present right now have a stake in.
The leadership of Malaysia finally took a different path after more than 60 years when the majority of Malaysians voted the Barisan Nasional out of office on May 9, 2018. Pakatan Harapan came into power in Putrajaya with our current Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad back in his previous job which he had resigned from just 15 years earlier. And Malaysians now have a prime minister with more than 20 years of experience at the helm and a Cabinet of many young faces with fresh ideas. While some critics through the press and social media have voiced their dissatisfaction over the performance of certain inexperienced ministers, I believe given time and exposure, these ministers will improve and so will the performance of the federal government.
The point I’m making here is this – leaders whether in government, business or captains of industry – need to be inspired to be effective and will achieve greatness if given time and sufficient inspiration. Having a conference with a focus on Inspiring Future Leaders is one way of providing lessons on the soft skills, latest knowledge and life experiences from others who are successful in their respective areas, so critical for aspiring leaders in the pursuit of their goals.
The state government takes a similar view when it comes to leadership and have never lose sight of our human talent being the greatest asset of Penang and the need to ensure the continuity of its inculcation. It was for this reason that the 2-term limit on the position of the Chief Minister was passed by the Penang State Assembly in November 2018. Leaders at the pinnacle must be ever ready to groom future leaders or their successors and having a deadline serves as a perfect impetus to make that happen. On some of the challenges that Penang is facing, I will dwell on them when I start the ball rolling as the keynote speaker this morning on the topic closest to my heart which is my vision for the state – Penang2030: Our Challenge – in a short while.
I wish to congratulate the Penang Women Chamber of Commerce (PWCC) for braving the steps forward in making a success out of its vision to groom future leaders by organising this Inspiring Future Leaders Conference. Your success in putting together prominent speakers from Penang as well as from overseas who are the experts in their respective fields with a strong willingness to share speaks volumes of the organisational skills and caliber of the PWCC office holders. Even more so is the focus of its members in leadership positions towards the need to inspire, to cultivate and to groom the next generation of leaders in the field of business, industry and education.
I also wish the speakers and participants to have a fruitful day of sharing and learning from one another and of course, be inspired to reach greater heights for your respective organisations and even more so, individually as a person.