SPEECH BY CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
@CAT PENANG HILL’S DESIGN-A-THON 2017
29 October 2017
@CAT Wisma Yeap Chor Ee
THE STATE GOVERNMENT HAS ADOPTED A RM2 MILLION CODING PROGRAMME TO REACH OUT TO 118,000 PRIMARY AND SECONDARY STUDENTS TO EXPOSE THEM TO THE DIGITAL ECONOMY
I am pleased to be present at @CAT Wisma Yeap Chor Ee to be with all of you here in this Penang Hill’s Design-A-Thon 2017 award ceremony. It is encouraging to see so many university students who have showed their passion and enthusiasm in presenting solutions in this Penang Hill’s Design-a-thon to improve crowd handling and visitor experience at Penang Hill. This Design-a-thon is not only a corporate-community event by Penang Hill Corporation but also a platform for our Gen Ys and millennials to be introduced to and experience real world problems to seek innovative solutions and improvements.
Never Too Young, Never Too Early
I was informed that 35 participants from 7 teams which are from 5 institutions of higher learning - Disted College, Equator Academy of Art, Inti International College Penang, KDU Penang University College and Universiti Sains Malaysia – are taking part in this event.
In the first nine months this year, Penang Hill recorded approximately 1.2 million visitors, an increase of 9% in comparison with the same period in 2016. At this rate, Penang Hill will likely host over 1.7 million visitors in 2017 from all over the world, in comparison with 1.6 million visitors in 2016.
Each year is a record year for Penang Hill, and certainly a great boost of confidence for the Penang State Government and PHC to do more. I am confident Penang Hill will continue to be the resort hill destination of choice for domestic and foreign tourists in Malaysia.
As one of our primary development strategies, the State is committed towards creating human talent to drive and support the Digital Economy and the 4th Industrial Revolution. Only in Penang is there so much emphasis placed to increase passion among young generations in science and technology. In responding appropriately to the new digital future, where 'data is king', we say 'talent is everything'. We need to train our schools to be adept at coding, including girls.The State Government has adopted a RM2 million coding programme to reach out to 118,000 primary and secondary students to expose them to the digital economy.
One of the programme is the annual Penang International Science Fair (PISF) – the largest and most successful industry-government collaborative science fair in Malaysia. This year, the PISF will take place at SPiCE Arena on 11th and 12th November. There are 20,000 workshop slots offered over the two days for students to experience.
In our efforts to partake in the Industrial 4.0 revolution, revolving around interaction of machines, cloud computing and Internet of Things, two months ago, the State has also announced the formation of Penang STEM Sdn Bhd. as the umbrella organisation consisting of @CAT Penang (Accelerator for Creative, Analytics and Technology), Penang Skill Development Centre (PSDC), Penang Science Cluster (PSC), Karpal Singh Penang Learning Centre (KSPLC), Tech Dome Penang (TDP), and Penang Digital Library (PDL).
The Penang Digital Library which is open 24-7, all year round is also popular among youths and adults alike with e-books and digital databases. Not only that, we are going to expand and build Penang Digital Library 2 (PDL-2) with a total area of 16,000sq ft. The state government has allocated RM10.8mil and PDL-2 will be fully operational by the end of December 2018.
Penang – A Vibrant State for Ideas, Creativity and innovation
This month marks the second anniversary of the launch of @CAT Penang Wisma Yeap Chor Ee, which we launched on 10 October 2015. The State Government through PDC invested RM23 million to rejuvenate this beautiful heritage building which now serves as a platform and launch pad in bringing the tech-startup community under one roof, providing necessary support and services to build a strong ecosystem which includes promotion and teaching of technology, coding, e-business and maker-fest.
The programs and facilities available in @CAT are gaining popularity among the start-up community in Penang and also internationally. As at September 2017, due to high demand, the co-working space which opens 24-7, and which had recently been increased to 70 seats has an average daily occupancy rate of 94%.
Over 200 tech community events & entrepreneurship development programs such as software coding and e-business had been hosted at @CAT Penang for the benefit of the startup & entrepreneurship community. @CAT Penang is also proud to be the centre of Founder Institute, a 14-week Silicon Valley based idea stage accelerator program. Last year’s program was a great success, producing a total of 7 graduates, in which 2 of them were successful in securing investor and funding.
In closing, I wish to encourage more of our tech-enthusists to unleash their potential through programs such as this continue taking part in the upcoming events that will be held in @CAT. Congratulations to Penang Hill Corporation, supported by investPenang, @CAT Penang and Ayuh Bina for the successful organisation of this Penang Hill’s Design-a-thon 2017. I look forward to award the prizes to our winners.