The Opening Ceremony of Penang International Master Table Tennis Championship 2017

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang
At The Opening Ceremony of Penang International Master Table Tennis Championship 2017

29 April 2017 (10 am)
MSN/PTTA Table Tennis Training Centre



First and foremost, I would like to congratulate Yang Berbahagia Dato' Michael Tiah, President of Penang Table Tennis Association (PTTA) and his organising Committee for successfully organising the Inaugural Penang International Masters Table Tennis Championship 2017, an event endorsed by The Penang State Government. My sincere thanks also to Yang Berbahagia Dato' Khor Siang Gin, CEO of Hunza Group of Companies for sponsoring this tournament.

I was informed that this 3 days event is attended by 150 participants from various countries, i.e, China (with players from Shanghai, Hainan, Nanning, Guangzhou, Hong Kong), Denmark, Taiwan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Singapore and our very own local teams. On behalf of The Penang State Government, I would like to extend our warmest welcome and 'Selamat Datang' to all of you.

Table Tennis is a Popular Sport in Malaysia. This sport promotes positive values such as teamwork, sportsmanship and friendship. The famous 'Ping Pong Diplomacy’ initiated by China in the early 1970s incorporating a famous slogan “Friendship First, Competition Second” (友谊第一, 比赛第二). I believe the assembly of participants from various countries this morning is a symbol of friendship from people of all background for a common goal to participate in this sport event for the love of Table Tennis. Let the spirit of “Friendship First, Competition Second” flourish throughout this tournament.

Ladies and gentlemen, Penang State is a 'breeding ground' for World Champions. We have produced Dato' Lee Chong Wei, the World No. 1 in Badminton and Dato' Nicol David, our World Woman Squash Champion. We hope that through the untiring effort of Penang Table Tennis Association, one day, Penang State will produce a World ranking player in Table Tennis.

Ladies and gentlemen,

George Town, Penang was inscribed a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008, a global recognition of Penang's unique architectural and cultural townscape. Since then, Penang has won many prestigious international accolades which include:

1. ECA International nominated George Town as 8 most liveable city in Asia in 2012.
2. Yahoo@Travel listed Penang as one of the Top 8 Island in the World “You must see before you die” in 2011.
3. Voted Top 10 Street Food Cities in 2012 by
4. Penang Assam Laksa was voted as World's No. 7 Most Delicious Food by CNN Travel, 2011.
5. CNN Travel ranked Penang second in the “Best Place to Visit in 2017”.

Do take the opportunity to visit our UNESCO Heritage Site and you will be amazed at how much this cultural rich state, its beautiful heritage buildings, delicious local food and friendly people would make you want to come back to Penang for more.

Penang will be hosting the Inaugural Asia Pacific Masters Games (APMG) in September 2018. Table Tennis is one of the 21 sports to be featured in this game. As such, I sincerely hope that most of you will return to Penang to participate in Asia Pacific Master Games in 2018.

Lastly, I wish all participants best of luck and hope that your stay in this beautiful island of Penang would be a pleasant and a memorable one.

With this, I hereby declare the Penang International Master Table Tennis Championship 2017 open.

Thank you.

SEMICON SEA 2017: Chief Executive Luncheon

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

SEMICON SEA 2017: Chief Executive Luncheon

April 26, 2017
Olive Tree Hotel, Penang


Ladies and gentlemen

Good afternoon. On behalf of the Penang State Government, I thank investPenang for organizing this networking luncheon as a platform for potential collaborations between the global industry leaders who are attending the SEMICON South East Asia 2017 and our home-grown industry leaders.

Yesterday, in my speech at the SEMICON South East Asia 2017 opening, I touched on smart manufacturing or smart factories and Industry 4.0, and the urgent need for Penang to partake in this Industrial revolution to sustain growth in the semiconductor and electrical and electronics (E&E) sectors. I wish to discuss and provide updates on Penang’s economic and investment climate, investment value propositions and our initiatives moving forward.

Penang’s attractiveness as investment location of choice is evidenced by RM39.7 billion FDIs and RM19.5 billion domestic investment, which amounted to a total investment of RM59.2 billion (USD17.3 billion) from 2008 to 2016. This is a 73% increase from the total investment of RM34.2 billion recorded for a similar 9 year period from 1999 – 2007.

With more than 40 years of industrialization, Penang is well integrated in the global supply chain. We have a vibrant and established ecosystem with over 300 multinational corporations and 3,000 highly competent local suppliers to support the growth of the industry. Our industrial parks have proven to match international benchmarks and a key platform for MNCs to not only synergize their operations, the skills and innovations of SMEs in Penang but matched with the unmatched human talent in Penang, ensure a profitable return.

In this light, we recognize the importance of the local SMEs in spurring the growth of Penang’s industry, and the spillover benefits from large corporations (foreign or local). SMEs are equally important as they provide the much sought after ancillary and support services to the MNCs. Today, the availability of supply chain or ancillary and support services is an important determining factor for FDIs in selecting the location for their investments. The State has a 3-prong approach to SME development i.e.

(i) Establishing SME Market Advisory, Resource and Training (SMART) Centre, which many Penang SMEs today have access to its services and facilities;

(ii) Construction of Penang SME Centre to incubate local start-ups and provide space for SMEs that cannot not afford to have their own facility;

(iii) Developing SME villages to provide ready-built factories and small industrial land plots within the industrial park.

The SME Villages in our industrial parks is to further encourage the growth of our local SMEs and move up the value chain. In February this year, the RM 63 million Penang Automation Cluster was formed, and is expected to be a one-stop supply chain hub for SMEs to further enhance the existing ecosystem in industries and services in the State, supporting multinational companies (MNCs) and local large companies (LLCs).

Over the last decades, with an increasing professionally mature and confident workforce, many companies in Penang have shifted gears from assembly operations to cutting edge technology with intellectual property development, and provision of Global Business Services (GBS). Some good examples of these MNCs are AMD, Intel, Motorola, Dell, B Braun and Osram. Two months ago, Luxoft, listed on the NYSE, and one of the best IT/automotive software companies in the world, set up their COE in Penang. Overall, the GBS sector has created more than 8,000 high-income knowledge-based jobs and the numbers is in growth gear.

We need to expand the pool of human talent and invest in data, the new oil of the 21st century. Towards this end we have taken several initiatives to establish Penang as a Centre of Excellence for science and technology, such as the RM 28 million Penang Tech Dome, RM 20 million Penang Science Café, RM 6 million Karpal Singh Learning Centre, the annual international Science Fair and the RM 3 million Penang Digital Library.

In summary, Penang, is an intelligent, international city, filled with creativity and innovation where talent, technology and tolerance of new ideas prevail. Voted as the most livable city in Malaysia by ECA International, Penang is committed to make Penang as the home for local and global talents. We offer the combination of urban and sea/hill resort lifestyle with fully developed technology parks, excellent network and connectivity, heritage city living, world-class recreational facilities, internationally accredited health care services and most importantly a transparent, efficient and effective pro-business State Government.

Thank you.


Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri


26 April 2017
Auditorium C, KOMTAR


Selamat tengahari dan salam sejahtera.

Bersyukur kita kerana dapat bersama-sama berkumpul pada hari ini sempena Majlis Penyampaian Cek bagi Tabung Usahawan Tani Muda (TUTM) Negeri Pulau Pinang. Terlebih dahulu saya ingin mengucapkan setinggi-tinggi terima kasih kepada pihak PDC, Jabatan Pertanian, Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinar dan Jabatan Perikanan Negeri Pulau Pinang bersama-sama dengan Kerajaan Negeri melaksanakan TUTM sejak pada tahun 2015.

Saya merakamkan ucapan terima kasih kepada Jabatan Hal Ehwal Agama Islam Pulau Pinang dan Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) Cawangan Pulau Pinang yang telah bekerjasama dengan Kerajaan Negeri bagi menjayakan ceramah yang penting kepada peserta-peserta TUTM mengenai kepentingan melunasi hutang dan pengurusan kewangan yang baik.

Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang telah melancarkan Program Mikro Kredit yang dinamakan Tabung Usahawan Tani Muda (TUTM) sempena Majlis Perasmian Agrofest Pulau Pinang 2014 di Tapak Ekspo Bandar Seberang Jaya pada 13 Jun 2014.

Matlamat utama penubuhan TUTM adalah untuk memberi bantuan pinjaman maksimun RM5,000 tanpa faedah kepada usahawan tani muda dalam sektor pertanian, perternakan dan perikanan. Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang telah memperuntukkan RM750,000 bagi TUTM dalam usaha Kerajaan Negeri untuk memberikan galakkan kepada para pengusaha terutamanya golongan muda dan belia berumur 40 tahun ke bawah untuk menjadikan sektor industri asas tani sebagai kerjaya dan berpotensi sebagai punca pendapatan yang lumayan.

Sejak TUTM diwujudkan sehingga 26 April 2017, sejumlah RM330,000 telah diagihkan kepada 66 orang termasuk 8 peminjam pada hari ini. Peratusan peminjam TUTM mengikut kaum adalah seperti berikut:-





62 orang



2 orang



2 orang


Pecahan peminjam TUTM mengikut Agensi adalah seperti berikut:-


Bil. Peminjam

Jabatan Pertanian


Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinar


Jabatan Perikanan


Pecahan peminjam mengikut daerah adalah seperti berikut:-


Bil. Peminjam

Barat Daya


Timur Laut


Seberang Perai Utara


Seberang Perai Tengah


Seberang Perai Selatan


Kerajaan Negeri di bawah MMK Pertanian & Industri Asas Tani, Kesihatan dan Pembangunan Desa mengharapkan lebih ramai lagi permohonan yang diterima dalam usaha Kerajaan Negeri membantu usahawan pertanian, perternakan dan perikanan bagi mengembangkan perusahaan mereka.
Pada masa ini terdapat juga sebahagian kecil daripada peminjam yang tidak menjelaskan bayaran balik pinjaman seperti ditetapkan. Kita berharap peminjam-peminjam akan bekerjasama dengan membuat pembayaran balik kerana jika tidak ianya akan menjejaskan peluang pengusaha-pengusaha yang lain bagi mendapat kemudahan pinjaman.

Sehingga Mac 2017, seramai 58 orang peserta telah menyertai TUTM. Daripada jumlah peserta tersebut, seramai 32 orang atau 55% telah membuat bayaran balik mengikut jadual yang telah ditetapkan. Jika dilihat dari peratusan kutipan bayaran balik, sehingga Mac 2017 jumlah kutipan bayaran balik adalah RM99,400 atau 78% dengan jumlah tunggakan adalah RM28,200.00 (22%).

Prestasi ini adalah kurang memuaskan dan kita berharap agar mendapat sokongan semua pihak untuk memperbaiki kadar pembayaran balik.

Sekian, terima kasih.

Launching of Jawi Peranakan Stories 2017

Posted in Dari Meja Ketua Menteri

Speech by Chief Minister of Penang

At The Launching of Jawi Peranakan Stories 2017

"The Making of a Nation : Rise of Peranakan Muslim Civil Society”

22 April 2017, E&O Hotel, Grand Ballroom, Penang. 1pm


I would like to thank the Penang Jawi Peranakan Heritage Society for inviting me to present the Keynote Address, and to Officiate the Symposium on ‘The Making of a Nation: Rise of Peranakan Muslim Civil Society’.

The Jawi Peranakan, Jawi Pekan, and Arab Peranakan communities have multicultural origins from India, the Middle East and Levant, but all have been well assimilated in urban Malay society. Penang’s vibrant multiculturalism and living heritage, which was recognised in George Town’s inscription, with Melaka, as a UNECO World Heritage Site in 2008, has always been the most notable character of our city.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site inscription is a highly challenging status to achieve, but what is spectacular about George Town is the meeting of great civilisations, with a living heritage where descendants of the founders of the city continue to live within their own ethnic enclaves, but sharing the espirit de corps, acceptance and goodwill that is difficult to find elsewhere in the world.

In addition to our architectural excellence, George Town and Melaka were recognised for our Outstanding Universal Values because our two cities met UNESCO’s criteria of having “an important interchange of human values”, as well as “bear a unique or exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition of a civilisation which is living”.

George Town’s streets are constantly festive. The Boria was once a street festival with processions along Chulia Street, Love Lane and Penang Road, ending up at the Wembley. The Muslim community has shown great acceptance of non-Muslim street festivals, night operas and processions, notably during the month of the Hungry Ghosts, Chap Goh Meh, Thaipusam and Wesak Day. The non-Muslim communities have conversely accepted the calls of the azan daily, and wheel through the weekly Friday traffic for the compulsory Friday Jemaah prayers.

We have lived together for so long, and we have learnt to adjust and adapt to the peculiarities and idiosyncrasies of our diverse ethnic communities, respecting taboos of religion, gender and culture.

Unlike other minorities in neighbouring Southeast Asia, where family names are changed and cultural origins made to fit into a mould of national identity based on the majority, Malaysia has instead practised cultural and ethnic pluralism, without sanctioning differences of language, culture, faith and ideology. In Penang and Melaka, it is this unique living heritage which is cited as one of our Outstanding Universal Values of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Our secular Malaysian laws also co-exist with Syariah law serving the Muslim community. Nonetheless, when different faiths come together, in marriage, divorce, or child custody and conversion, that there arise issues of fair representation. For this reason, it is important to ensure that our Courts are impartial and just, in situations of conflict and contestations among and between different parties.

Again for this reason, we cannot afford to embrace the tide of neo-conservatism sweeping through advanced democratic liberal nations, calling for the conformity and assimilation of cultural minorities into main-stream society, acceptable to the majority. Minority rights count in a modern liberal democracy, and we celebrate heterogeneity of ethnicity and faith.

We do not support extremism or radicalisation from any faith or system of politics. These ideologies can only lead to divisive systems of anarchy and chaos. But we support plural systems of moderation, creativity and progress.

The government of Penang has always been supportive of Muslim heritage in the city and we have good representation from all sectors of the Muslim community. We understand the pressing concerns of the people of Penang - the evolving socio-demographic dynamics of the traditional communities, the changing status of property ownership, as well as pressures of modern traffic and transportation needs.

Most of these Penang properties are privately owned, and in an open free market system, we cannot limit commercial transactions conducted through the city. But we have strict laws of tenancy, restoration and use of adaptive space in commercialised heritage premises.

The Penang State government strictly adheres to UNESCO’s guidelines, and we have not moved away from this. We are fully committed to sustain the status of World Heritage Site by managing and safeguarding our cultural heritage in sustainable manner. Therefore, we certainly agree that the multicultural, living and intangible cultural heritage of George Town needs to be properly managed and conserved.

To this end, we seek to work even more closely with the Jawi Peranakan Heritage Society, trustees of mosques, kongsis, temples and shrines, religious groups, as well as representatives of the Thai and Burmese communities, to see how we can improve our adaptive spaces in the World Heritage Site, as well as the rest of Penang. Please collaborate with us on how we can better share and preserve the communal and living spaces of our heritage.

The Penang State Government has worked closely with the Agha Khan Foundation, as well as with the Malaysian Federal Government through Think City. We welcome this kind of international technical and financial cooperation between the Federal and State governments and globally acclaimed heritage foundations, and seek new ways to expand on such collaborations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sometimes, it takes a shipwreck for us to pause and reflect how we have been united over centuries of trade and commerce, from the ancient silk route across land and sea, from the Middle East via Southeast Asia to China. Global attention has been given to the Belitung Shipwreck, discovered off the Belitung Island, Indonesia, in 1998. The Arabian ship, a dhow, sailed from Oman to China during the 9th Century AD, using the Maritime Silk Route through Southeast Asia. However, in its return journey, it sank before it could reach its destination in the Middle East, possibly via Hadramaut, an important port in the Middle East. Most of the Arab Peranakan communities in Penang, Melaka and Singapore are descendants of these ancient merchants from Hadramaut.

The Belitung Shipwreck remains the most important discovery of the ancient Maritime Silk Route. It transported 60,000 pieces of ceramic Changsha ware from the Tang Dynasty for Arabian markets. From the Levant and the Middle East, it brought Persian and Syrian gold and silver cups for the Chinese market. We know that this global trade, between Muslims of the Abbasid Caliphate and Chinese of the Tang Dynasty, marked the Golden Age of Islam, Buddhism and Daosim during the third Caliphate from 762AD. The Caliphate shifted its capital from Damascus to Baghdad, where an even more cosmopolitan multicultural Islam was born.

According to Simon Worall writing for the National Geographic, the Tang Dynasty, was extremely prosperous because it was cosmopolitan, opening its borders to as far as Persia, and mastering world trade routes while outsourcing its defence with Turkish allies. These great civilisational centres welcomed cultural diversity. The dynasties were economic powerhouses which remain unrivalled for centuries.

This is a remarkable beginning to economic globalisation and the borderless world, where multilateral trade and commerce, science, mathematics, metallurgy, technology, culture and religion could survive through friendship; and diplomatic exchanges bring wealth to millions of people of diverse ethnicities and faith. It is no wonder that the Peranakan Muslims, of Persian, Hadrami, Arab, Turkish, India and Southeast Asian origins, built up the entrepôt cities of the Straits of Malacca and the islands of the Malay Archipelago; from the 11th century in East Sumatra, 15th century in Melaka, to the 18th century in George Town, Penang.

With this kind of history shared amongst Muslim, Buddhist, Daoist and Hindu communities around the world, George Town in Penang can claim to be an 18th century centre of the known world, like Damascus, Baghdad and Xian once were. Today, sad to say, these cities have been destroyed or overrun by civil wars, sectarianism and interventionist foreign policies.

Penang however, continues to uphold its vibrant, cosmopolitan, metropolis character. Lebuh Acheh, in George Town’s heritage enclave, formerly referred to as ‘Malay Town’ in Popham’s 1798 map was known as Serambi Mekkah, the ‘Gateway to Mecca’. Pilgrims from the whole of Southeast Asia, including Borneo and South India gathered here to make the long journey by steamer ships to Jeddah and overland to Mekkah.

The faith of Baghdad and Damascus, where pilgrims used to journey across to Mekkah, now hangs on a fragile thread as Muslim nations are challenged by militancy. As these nation-states are overrun, local populations displaced, ancient heritage cities reduced to rubble, and heritage artefacts looted, indigenous communities can no longer shape their unique identities or support the civil societies which once brought vibrancy, peace and stability to the region.

We cannot afford to allow this to happen to Malaysia, a democratic nation which has always taken pride in its cultural diversity. Diversity and multiculturalism, with each ethnic community contributing in different ways to the growth of its economy has marked the remarkable progress of Malaysia.

Malaysian politics is divisive but is no different from any other democratic nation. However, it poses challenges to constructive engagement in change and transformation from within.

We should find strength in these differences rather than weakness. We should nurture heterogeneity rather than force an artificial homogeneity by imposing psychological barriers and surreal walls to fan hostilities from within. Our plural laws have to accommodate all ethnic populations, and our economic engine churned towards a share of global wealth through solid investments and multilateral trade agreements.

We admit these are difficult times as the rising tide of neo-conservatism and economic nationalism engulfs Europe and the U.S., signalled by Brexit and ‘Trumpnomics’. We simply cannot afford a domino process to take place in Southeast Asia, and shape the societal and economic reality of Malaysia.

We are borderless and our strength has been in the contributions of indigenous people and migrants, shaping the past, present and future of this vibrant economy. Our destiny is shared and our national wealth can only be determined by ourselves, how we stand firm to share our resources fairly, and strive to end mismanagement of national resources, cronyism and corruption. We are an independent democratic nation-state, with an indispensable role in ASEAN, APEC and the UN. We must stand firm and overcome our political and cultural differences to continue our national prosperity.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Penang is a buzz word in social media and global tourism. Everyone wants to have a ‘bit’ of Penang and in the case of some foreign investors, a ‘bigger bite’ than others, since they have millions to invest in our heritage. Most heritage cities develop the international dynamics of demographic change and ownership after a few years of inscription as UNESCO World Heritage Site. We request property-owning Penangites to resist temptations of property speculation. On our part, we urge the Federal Government to establish a National Heritage Trust where buildings, parks and natural resources of intrinsic heritage value are acquired by the Trust, and where grants are made available for locals to restore their premises.

We recognise and acknowledge the contributions of the Jawi Peranakans, Orang Tanjung, Malays, Indian Muslims, Chinese and Hindu communities in working to restore and revitalise their premises in George Town and Penang. Penang’s Malay heritage villages, such as Batu Uban and Tanjong Tokong, can be improved further through restoration efforts, written histories, publications, signage and pedestrian walkaways. We urge the Federal government to realise their heritage value, and to bring in the funds.

We also acknowledge the history of George Town’s old kampungs in the Core Zone of the World Heritage Site - amongst them; Kampung Che Long, now referred to as ‘Armenian Street Park’; Kampung Tuan Guru, now the location of the Youth Centre at Lebuh Acheh; Kampung Kolam, the site of the original homestead of Kapitan Kader Maidin Merican, the leader of the Chulias who initiated the building of Masjid Kaptan Keling; and Kampung Kaka, the village of the Malabar Muslims.

On the part of the Penang Government, George Town World Heritage Incorporated, as the State Agency for Heritage, has improved the cultural content of these areas through signage, brochures on heritage trials, and other documentation. Notable amongst these are the comprehensive Muslim Heritage trail and publications researched and documented by Professor Dato’ Datin Wazir Jahan Karim. There are also the Lebuh Armenian-Lebuh Cannon-Lebuh Acheh (LACALA) Heritage trail and publications researched and documented by our City Councillor, Ms Khoo Salma Nasutin. The Penang State Government is proud to have the support of such distinguished members of the Muslim community. We are delighted to note that the publications, produced in both Bahasa Malaysia and English, have been very well received by the local community and visitors.

The Penang State Government also seeks to promote the Boria, Bangsawan, Ghazal Party and other unique institutions of the Peranakan Muslim performing arts to the level of “State theatre”. However, veterans, artists, activists and anthropologists must work with us to upgrade these to the next level of excellence.

Every year, George Town World Heritage Incorporated through the George Town Festival, seeks closer collaborations with Muslim local performing arts groups, with the goal of raising standards of performances, and to provide the competitive edge to reach the next level of par excellence in order to take these Muslim performances to the international arena.

In conclusion, I am happy to be informed that the Penang Jawi Peranakan Heritage Society is making its mark in the State as a multicultural voluntary entity. I urge other heritage societies to follow the Penang Jawi Peranakan Heritage Society’s lead, and to assume a more plural and progressive character in projects and activities.

Societies, institutions and agencies which began with a multicultural agenda should take strength from this, rather than devolve into a homogenous concern of a particular ethnic or sub-ethnic entity. We should share our resources, collaborate better, and hold more joint activities and cultural exchanges. In this way, we can preserve the essence of George Town, as a living-multicultural UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as a top global destination for travellers.

On this note, I declare the Symposium open.

Thank you.