Speech by YAB Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang
during Ambulance Hand Over Event
on 01 March 2015, 3pm
at Koleksi Vipasana, 170 Beach Street, 10300 Penang
Let me first begin by congratulating Koleksi Vipasana for this auspicious event, the handover of one unit of fully equipped Class A ambulance to St John Ambulance Malaysia Pulau Pinang.
I am very proud that Koleksi Vipasana have stood out to pool their resources to serve the community better. I must sincerely thank Koleksi Vipasana for doing a great service to the people of Penang.
Since 2006, Koleksi Vipasana had undertaken various CSR initiatives. Past CSR initiatives undertaken are namely, the raising of funds to purchase 6 motorised wheel chairs for the Penang Cheshire Home in 2008 as well as the raising of funds to purchase 2 dialysis machines for the Penang Rotary Foundation in 2007, 3 dialysis machines for Penang Fo Yi Haemodialysis Society, 3 dialysis machines for Province Wellesley Renal Medifund in 2009 and one unit of Class A ambulance to St John Ambulance Malaysia Pulau Pinang in November 2011, which cost RM263,000. A total of RM1.3 million collected by Vipasana to various charity organizations since 2006.
Today’s event is the handover of another unit of Class A ambulance to St John Ambulance. This current unit is a commuter type which is much bigger for long distance travelling and it is the first commuter ambulance for St John Ambulance Malaysia, Penang Branch.
The project to purchase a Class A fully equipped commuter ambulance has took Koleksi Vipasana approximately 2 years to realize. Funds were raised through direct donations from the devotees of Kruba Akliyachat, customers and friends. The total amount collected was RM 300,000. This has shown that Penang people care. I was told that all donations were made payable to St John, directly and solely for such purpose without deducting a single cent for their expenses and as for today’s function, all expenses are fully borne by Koleksi Vipasana.
Let me congratulate St John Ambulance Malaysia, Penang Branch to have another fully equipped new ambulance to serve the communities of Penang and also to take over the service and maintenance of this ambulance.
I hope more organizations will come out with more ambulances to help the St John Ambulance Malaysia Rescue team to carry out their job and duty to the community.
The Penang State Government advocates a caring society to look after the welfare of the poor, weak, defenseless and disadvantaged. The state government spent RM 287 million in cash aid and disbursements since 2008 or 12% of our annual budget surpluses since 2008. In fact the Penang state government recorded RM 453 million in budget surpluses over a 6 year period from 2008-2013. This is bigger than the RM 373 million in accumulated surpluses over 50 years from 1957-2007. In other words, the Penang State Government's performance over the last 6 years is better than the previous 50 years.
Let the work of Vipasana be a part of our efforts towards transforming Penang into an international and intelligent city – where our community work and charitable efforts must also scale world-class standards. Let there be no doubt that the state government appreciates your efforts especially in putting others before self. Individually, we became a more complete person when our society is better.
With active non-NGOs like Vipasana, I believe that we can work together to aid the underprivileged. Together, we can create unity, tolerance, social justice and equal opportunities for all, in order to achieve a more sustainable and promising future. Penang as liveable city that is clean, green, safe and healthy is ideal for those with energy, expertise and entrepreneurship.