30TH APRIL 2023

Dato’ Chiah Hock Yew

President of the Federation of Goldsmiths & Jewellers Association of Malaysia (FGJAM)

Datuk Ng Yih Pying

Advisor of the Federation of Goldsmiths & Jewellers Association of Malaysia (FGJAM)

Dato’ Lee Teong Li

Chairman of the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) Penang Branch

Mr. Law Chin Hooi

President of Province Wellesley Gold & Silver Ornament Merchants Association (PWGS)

To begin, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Federation of Goldsmiths & Jewellers Association of Malaysia (FGJAM) for inviting me to join all of you here today for the Gold Diamond Award Ceremony.

As the Chief Minister of Penang, I am honoured to inform you that our state is responsible for 80% of Malaysia's annual gold and diamond jewellery production. Penang has become a crucial hub for the gold trade in our country, and our gold jewellery industry has played an important role in revitalizing our nation's economy. In addition to being a popular tourist destination, Penang's contribution to the gold jewellery industry has been instrumental in creating a vibrant economic ecosystem in our state.

Moving forward, we must continue to build on this success and strive towards greater heights. Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are confident that not only Penang’s, but also the nation’s gold jewellery industry will continue to grow and flourish. As we transition towards Industry 4.0 and even the proposed Industry 5.0 development trend, we must embrace the latest technologies and innovations to remain competitive in the global market.

Industry 4.0 regards intelligent technology as the core of the manufacturing and suppliers, while Industry 5.0 focuses on enhancing digital transformation more effectively by combining the accuracy and speed of industrial automation with human creativity, innovation, and critical thinking skills through the human-digital ecosystem.

In this new era, modern enterprises face unprecedented competition, as well as the growing demand for speed and customization from consumers. Therefore, it is essential that the various industries in our country, particularly the gold jewellery industry, join the bandwagon towards industrial transformation to gain the best advantage in future development efficiency.

Ladies and gentlemen,

On the other hand, the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) concept promoted by global enterprises emphasizes the attention of businesses to climate change, natural resources, energy use, pollution prevention, and biodiversity in corporate operations. More and more reports indicate that businesses with good ESG performance can continue to create value, achieve stable economic, social, and ecological benefits, and achieve long-term sustainable development.

The Penang State Government too recognizes the importance of ESG practices to ensure the sustainable economic growth and investor confidence in Penang. The state has always been committed in promoting ESG practices, and we have programmes in the pipeline to enhance this effort. One of the pioneer programmes is The Penang Green Industry Program (PGIP) championed by Penang Green Council.

This programme, which is also known as the Penang Circular Economy and Industry Programme was launched in January 2022. It aims to reduce environmental impacts of production and consumption within the manufacturing sector, improve productivity and competitiveness of the industry, and to transform Penang into a Green Manufacturing Hub.

There are three components within PGIP, namely platform building, partnership programme, and supporting or capacity building programme. Basically, the function of PGIP is to act as a one-stop centre that creates a conducive ecosystem that supports businesses in their ESG journey, ultimately propelling our state towards becoming a sustainable business hub.

PGC is working with various stakeholders, including multinational companies (MNCs), large local companies (LLCs) and associations in Penang, to promote green and sustainable manufacturing, particularly through partnership with local SMEs. MNCs and LLCs can provide guidance and reassurance to their SME partners on the ‘green transition’ through sharing of actual experiences. As of now, PGC has established a Batu Kawan Sustainability Group, which is made up of several MNCs and LLC that are keen to further expand their ESG efforts.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to encourage the gold jewellery industry to join us in our efforts and pay greater attention to ESG while moving towards industrial transformation and branding. Take a positive attitude towards the future industrial mode as we work together to propel the state’s and country’s economy, in line with the Penang2030 vision of ‘A Family-Focused Green and Smart State that Inspires the Nation’.  

Having said that, I would like to congratulate FGJAM and PWGS for successfully initiating and organizing this competition, which creates a platform to showcase Malaysia’s gold craftsmanship for manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers in the gold jewellery industry.

The “FGJAM Awards” is the first competition in the history of Malaysia gold and diamond jewellery industry, and holding the award ceremony in Penang is of significant importance to the state. I am proud of the achievements of our jewellery industry, and I am confident that Penang will continue to lead the way in the years to come.

Finally, I congratulate all the awards winners, who have become the pioneers in the development of Malaysia’s gold and diamond jewellery industry, and I hope that they will all continue to progress and take their place on the international stage in the near future.

Thank you.

Pejabat Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Tingkat 28, KOMTAR, 10502, George Town, Pulau Pinang