Speech by The Right Hornorable Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang
I want to congratulate the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) for the completion works for their historical building with its unique architecture nestling right at the heart of George Town, the UNESCO world heritage site. PCCC plays a crucial role in Penang’s history.
Even this building has a history of 98 years. It has witnessed an era of change and transformation of Penang. The Chamber’s forefathers who had the vision to establish this organization a century ago and bought this building, had it preserved until today.
After spanning a good 98 years of vicissitudes, it is truly heartening to see the PCCC complete the restoration project for the necessary repair and alteration works. If the landmarks within the heritage site of George Town could learn from PCCC in repairing and restoring their historical aesthetical appearance, I believe George Town would be an even more charming city.
In fact, we have seen an upsurge in the number of tourists since George Town was listed as an UNESCO world heritage site. Not only are the tourists drawn by our world-renowned street food, they are also here to experience the notable historical architecture and the rich cultural atmosphere. Further, our strong record and outstanding preservation of historical and heritage buildings have attracted international attention from filmmakers as far as China, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong and even Europe.
The famous 10-part British drama series costing 10 million pounds, “ Indian Summers” was filmed in Penang. Having attracted 5 million viewers, the second season will begin filming next month, further helping to promote Penang as a Pearl of the Orient. Indeed Penang is appealing not just to Asians but also to Europeans, who can find something familiar about Penang during their sojourns here.
The increased fame and the meticulous preservation of our heritage site is due to the collective effort of the local schools, societies, religious organizations and private enterprises. In this respect, coupled with the PCCC’s relentless support to the Penang government, we are all the more inspired to protect and defend the status of historical buildings within the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is the legacy of all Penangites and every one of us is responsible for its preservation, protection and promotion.
Remember only when we know the past then can we connect with the present to confront the challenges of the future together.
I would like to thank the Chamber again for their support in our efforts to transform Penang into an international and intelligent city. Only when we forge close ties that benefit the people through public private partnerships, can Penang prosper and sustainable development be maintained. I believe the close collaboration between commercial enterprises and governmental bodies in our current context is essential and indispensable for the economic growth and overall prosperity.
-- CN Version --
YBhg Dato’ Lim Kok Cheong, JP, President of The Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM); 马来西亚中华总商会总会长拿督林国璋
Dato’ Seri Choot Ewe Seng, President of Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce；槟州中华总商会会长拿督斯里祝友成硕士
Executive Adviser of Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC), YBhg Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Tan Kok Ping, JP; 槟州中华总商会执行顾问丹斯里拿督斯里陈国平
Distinguished guests, fellow members of the Chinese Chambers of Commerce, members of the media; Ladies & Gentlemen.