Speech by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng at The Lease Signing of Wisma Yeap Chor Ee on 29th June 2014
Wisma Yeap Chor Ee as a Hub for Creative Animation Triggers and Penang Science Cluster Allow Penang to Escape the Middle-Income Trap and Become a High-Income Economy.
Yb. Dato’ Mohd Rashid Hasnon
Deputy Chief Minister of Penang (1)
Yb. Puan Chong Eng
State Executive Councillor
Yg. Bhg. Dato’ Rosli Jaafar
General Manager, Penang Development Corporation
Puan Ir Hartini Ali,
Deputy General Manager (II), Penang Development Corporation
Yg. Bhg. Dato’ Seri Stephen Yeap Leong Huat
Chairman, Wawasan Open University Sdn. Bhd.
Yg. Bhg. Prof Dato’ Ho Sinn Chye
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive Officer
Wawasan Open University Sdn. Bhd.
Members of The Penang State Executive Council (EXCO)
Pillar Heads from Penang Science Cluster & Techdome Penang
Members from the media
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today to witness the signing of the lease of Wisma Yeap Chor Ee between PENANG DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and WAWASAN OPEN UNIVERSITY SDN BHD.
The significance of this signing underlines the state government’s commitment in promoting science and technology, as well as creative animation, by creating the space necessary through leasing this lovely Wisma Yeap Chor Ee heritage building. This will be the hub for Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) in Georgetown, and will house the Penang Science Café operated by the Penang Science Cluster. Together, the CAT and the Penang Science Café provide the best means to promote, develop and build an interactive connection between science and students; creative industries and end users; innovating and inspiring our future generations towards a high income, service oriented economy.
Investing in the Future
The Penang state government’s vision is to transform Penang into an international and intelligent city while maintaining its renowned heritage and preferred tourist location in Malaysia. Over the last 40 years, Penang’s economy has shifted from extraction in the 1960s to industrialisation, from the export of raw commodities to manufacturing. In other words, Penang’s economy was factor-driven by relying on basic commodities before being efficiency-driven by relying on manufacturing. Penang needs to be not only efficiency-driven but also innovation-driven in manufacturing, services and even the public sector.
The key to future economic success is not an over-reliance on one sector but to seek convergence of not only the manufacturing sector but also both the services and government sector. Services sector includes not only tourism, medical treatment and education but ICT, shared services & outsourcing (SSO) and creative multimedia content.
We are helping to build the capacity of the state as it moves toward a knowledge economy by maximizing local content, adding value through integrated industrial parks, and promoting economic diversification and entrepreneurship.
The focus is to encourage the production of content which is of high quality, innovative and creative, hence, build the foundation for a thriving and lucrative creative multimedia industry to optimise the mature development of the digital network. Fostering creative industries can spur economic growth and create jobs. I hope to propel Penang further up the value chain via its focus on high value-added industries such as creative multimedia content.
BPO-ITO Hub Component of Creative Animation Triggers (CAT)
The creative multimedia industry is making its mark as one of the most sought-after industries in the world, with prospects ranging from post production, special effect studio, publishing, animation, computer games, interactive content, mobile content, applications, and also interactive media. In other words, the creative multimedia industry acts as glue that bonds technology and arts together in harmony.
Penang has the potential to become an animation cluster for Malaysia in the future. Here in Penang we have universities, colleges and academies that train creative multimedia talents. Our talents are also very deep in creativity in areas such as arts, 3D animation and animation touches, not just illustration and artistry.
To incubate this emerging knowledge cluster, the George Town World Cultural Heritage Enclave has been identified as the centre of creative multimedia development with a total of 100,000 sq. feet office space known as Creative Animation Triggers (CAT). The signing today of Wisma Yeap Chor Ee is part of this dream. We take one step closer to realising this dream with 42,402 sq. feet for 30 years, at monthly rental of RM42,402 per month, at RM1 per sq. feet, with an increase of 10% once every three years. The restoration costs to be financed by PDC works out to be RM5 million. We will ensure that the heritage elements of this building remains.
Creative Animation Triggers (CAT) aims to enhance capacity, capability and competency in Penang’s creative industry to produce world-class content and ultimately become a global hub for multimedia information and digital content services as well as drive entrepreneurship in the creative industry.
Incubation of this knowledge cluster in the centre of George Town UNESCO world cultural heritage enclave will grow our heritage community, boost the standard of professionalism and quality of the creative content entrepreneurs, and making Penang a creative city. It is for the community’s use to form a central arts district that can inspire creativity and offer an avenue for artists to gather.
Penang has a long way to go compared with more developed creative industries in developed nations like United States, South Korea and Japan which have contributed over five per cent to their GDP. (MyCreative, 17 February 2014)
CAT can help create over 1,000 highly-skilled, knowledge-intensive and high-value job opportunities.
As a result of all these activities and investment, we can only look forward to better, faster options in the creative multimedia landscape, as well as science and technology, pushing Penang from the middle-income trap.
LIM GUAN ENG