Speech by the Chief Minister of Penang YAB Tuan Chow Kon Yeow For FMM 50th Anniversary Dinner
On 5 Sept 2019
Equatorial Hotel, Penang
Good evening everyone! Let me first thank the FMM Penang Branch Chairman, YBhg. Dato’ Dr Ooi Eng Hock for inviting me to this momentous event. It is indeed my pleasure and honour to join you in celebrating FMM Penang Branch’s 50th anniversary!
The FMM Penang Branch has come a long way for the past 50 years. The trade association has always been a close partner to the State Government, various government agencies and departments. For five decades, we have worked tirelessly together hand-in-hand for the betterment of the industries, especially the ones in the manufacturing sector.
You have now reached a significant milestone and I am impressed by the vital role FMM has been playing over the decades at the national and state levels in providing the voice for the manufacturing sector especially when it concerns public policy and policy implementation as well as bridging the gap between the government and the manufacturing sector.
Your contributions through your regular public-private sector dialogues and constructive engagements to address the amendments in government laws, policies and procedures have been noted and appreciated by the State Government. This reflects the good work which the FMM has been doing, the strong support you receive and the good rapport you have created among the stakeholders of the manufacturing industry.
Being the voice of the industry, the FMM has been actively involved in the Penang Transport Master Plan since 2009. The Penang state government wishes to express our appreciation for your support and contributions which have been pivotal as the project moves closer towards reality. I am sure the PTMP will benefit the various industries in Penang and provide the much-needed boost for the State to capture the next wave of growth and prosperity to be brought upon by Industrial Revolution 4.0.
Besides being a trade association representing the manufacturing industry, the FMM Penang Branch also made your mark by actively organising corporate social responsibility programmes. The FMM-USM CEO Forum and the FMM-OCBC Power Talk which all of us are privileged to be part of today attracted an impressive crowd of 3,700 participants including students and 500 participants including the Captains of the respective industries. Congratulations, FMM Penang for a job well done!
From this CEO Forum, a sum of RM200,000.00 is donated to the Penang Future Foundation (PFF) for deserving outstanding underprivileged students. PFF has, so far, awarded 408 scholarships from 2015 to 2018.
PFF provides fruitful opportunities for our future Malaysian leaders. With PFF the state government hopes to attract, build and retain human talent in Penang. The FMM Penang Branch has been a regular donor. On behalf of the State Government, I wish to once again express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to FMM Penang’s sponsors.
Ladies and gentlemen, please give FMM Penang a big round of applause!
The State Government continues to work hard with the relevant government agencies to ensure that Penang continues to enjoy the FDI from various countries and at the same time, encourage local investments.
We are happy to announce that Penang is currently ranked number one in receiving the highest investments amounting to RM9.2 billion in the first half of this year. Out of the total amount, RM8.07 billion were foreign investments while RM506.5 million was domestic, involving 56 projects. These projects will create approximately 10,000 jobs. The Malaysian E&E industry received the highest investments followed by paper, printing, publishing, transport equipment and plastic products.
We have a robust supply chain, strong talent pool, well established infrastructure and good support services, and all these are making Penang the first choice of foreign investors.
The State Government will continue to play our role in creating an environment where innovation and entrepreneurship in all sectors of the economy can flourish. We will collaborate with the private sector on any initiative to support the innovators who want to create the next Malaysian business. Our intention is to remove the barriers in order to facilitate growth, and to support the creativity of Malaysians. Such are some of our measures which would serve to complement our strategic initiatives for the upgrading of our economy to raise household incomes as outlined in vision Penang2030.
We, Penangites are also very proud of our food, the unique colourful diversified cultures, the various dialects, street arts, heritage sites, beautiful sandy beaches and many more. We are proud that Penang is the first and only state in Malaysia with all its Local Authorities to be elevated to city council status. Soon, both the Island and the Mainland will have city status.
Penang is set to make waves despite the gloomy global economy. The federal government had given the green light for the reclamation project of the three man-made islands to be developed at the Southern Coast of the island. The development of the Bayan Lepas LRT route of 30 km with 27 stations, furthermore, has also been approved by the federal government with conditions.
Under the Penang Transport Master Plan which is the future engine of growth, the Penang South Reclamation initiative will reclaim 4,500 acres of land off the south coast of the Island. From this, a large plot of reclaimed land will be dedicated to a high-tech manufacturing and R&D cluster.
With nearly 50 years of industrial development, Penang is now one of the world’s top five largest electronics and semiconductor manufacturing clusters. We are the choice manufacturing base for many European, American and Japanese electronics companies.
The manufacturing companies must thrive to move up the value chain instead of continuing with the traditional assemble and production. Today’s manufacturers, especially the SMEs, must embrace Industrial Revolution 4.0, focus on design, research and development to bring their businesses to the next level.
The Penang state government is committed to moving away from low-skilled dependency particularly for the manufacturing sector. The time is now for manufacturers in Penang to seize the opportunities now available in digital manufacturing and leapfrog onto the global stage to avoid being left behind. I was told that the FMM Institute trains about 18,000 workers yearly. Our workers need to be trained and re-trained to stay relevant to the various industries.
We no longer have a choice but to surf the wave to embrace disruptive technologies in the digital era to bring your business to the next level playing field.
Ladies & Gentlemen,
Before I end my speech, once again I would like to congratulate FMM Penang Branch for your 50th anniversary. I enjoy working with FMM Penang Branch and I look forward to many more years of support and collaboration.
I would also like to thank the committee members and staff for all the good work done. On a final note, I wish everyone a pleasant evening.