ST GEORGE’S DAY CARNIVAL
SPEECH BY YAB TUAN CHOW KON YEOW
THE CHIEF MINISTER OF PENANG
ST GEORGE’S DAY CARNIVAL
ST GEORGE’S CHURCH, PENANG | 22ND APRIL 2023
YB. Puan Lim Hui Ying
Deputy Minister of Education
YB. Puan Chong Eng
Penang State EXCO for Social Development and Non-Islamic Religious Affairs
The Right Reverend Dr. Steven Abbarow
The Bishop of the Diocese of West Malaysia
The Right Reverend Dr. Stephen Soe
The Suffragan Bishop of the Northern Region
The Right Reverend Dato Seri Sebastian
The Catholic Bishop of Penang Diocese
Members of the Parochial Church Council
All parishioners of St George’s Church
Members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very good evening to all of you.
First and foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the church leaders for inviting me to be a part of this carnival and celebrate with all of you the declaration of St George’s Church Penang as a Pro-Cathedral. This is indeed a momentous occasion, and I, as the Chief Minister of Penang, am truly grateful and honoured to be here to witness this special day of yours.
This declaration recognises the significant role that your religious institution has played in our community, not only in Penang but throughout the Northern Region of Malaysia. It also demonstrates the hard work and dedication of your predecessors and yourselves that made all of this possible.
I must say, your church has come a long way since it was built and consecrated in 1819, making it the oldest Anglican Church in Southeast Asia. Nationally, it was gazetted as a historical site in 1996, and was named as one of Malaysia's 50 National Heritage Treasures in 2007.
Despite the passage of time, 204 years to be exact, your church continues to stand strong and vibrant, serving not only your parishioners but also working tirelessly with and for the community. This year, our state was proud to confer you the Penang Centennial Heritage Excellence Award, in recognition of your outstanding contributions to the development of our State.
On behalf of the Penang State Government, I would like to congratulate all of you on reaching this significant milestone and commend your unwavering commitment and dedication.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, as we commemorate this momentous occasion, we have also come together to raise funds for the community. We are living in challenging times, and it is our shared responsibility to support one another during times of need, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Like many others, I am pleased to see that the situation is gradually improving, however, it is important that we remain vigilant and continue to empower and support the people of this state. Accordingly, the State Government remains committed to continuing empowerment agendas and policies that benefit the people, in line with the aspirations of the Penang2030 vision, as well as the concept of Malaysia Madani under the administration of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
On the part of the Penang State Government, various i-Sejahtera welfare programmes have been implemented since 2008, and they will continue with an allocation amounting to RM53 million this year.
Similarly, through the funds raised today, this carnival aims to help address some of the pressing needs of our community, from education and healthcare to social services and more. This initiative is very much in keeping with the state’s Penang2030 vision of uplifting vulnerable communities and reducing inequalities, as well as empowering people to strengthen civic participation.
I am delighted to announce that six (6) benefactors have been identified for this initiative, namely the St Nicholas Home Penang, for the blind and visually impaired; Rumah Victory Drug Rehabilitation Centre; Rumah Shalom Youth Hostel; The Salvation Army Penang Children's Home, The Ramakrishna Ashrama Penang, and the Charis Hospice Penang.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I fervently believe that by working together, we can create a better and more prosperous future for all. Hence, in light of today’s commendable initiative, I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all of you to give generously, not just for the sake of the church, but for the good of the entire community. Your contributions will make a real difference in the lives of those in need around us.
Having that said, I once again congratulate St George’s Church Penang on this historic occasion and thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to ensure the success of this carnival. Let us continue to come together, support each other, and build ‘A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.