YB Wong Hon Wai

Penang State EXCO for Tourism and Creative Economy


Mr. Mondi Mecja

Country General Manager of Ascott International Malaysia

Mr. Alan Khor

Chairman of Venice Property

En. Shafar Jamaludin

Director of Operations & GM of Ascott International Malaysia


Management and staffs of The George Penang

Distinguished guests,

Members of the media,

Ladies and gentlemen.

A very good evening to all of you.


Today marks a remarkable milestone in Penang's history, as we gather here to celebrate the official launching of The George Penang by The Crest Collection. This hotel which is meticulously managed by The Ascott Limited is not just a place to stay; it’s a shared dedication to safeguarding the very essence of George Town, Penang, a city steeped in culture, heritage, and history.

I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all who have contributed to this achievement, particularly Mr. Alan Khor, Chairman of Venice Property, and his tireless team for their unwavering dedication in this endeavour. It is your commitment that has given rise to an establishment that mirrors not only the spirit of George Town but also one that elevates the state’s tourism sector.

To The Ascott Limited, a global leader in premium serviced residences, I commend your visionary curation of The Crest Collection, and I am elated that The George Penang has taken its rightful place within this distinguished portfolio. Your dedication to hospitality and the preservation of heritage is truly commendable. It is through collaborations like these that we can honour our past while embracing our future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Looking back, Penang has come a long way in the last five decades, transitioning from a traditional seaport economy to earning the moniker "Silicon Valley of the East." Our progress spans various domains including technology, manufacturing, tourism, and culture.

In the realm of investment, the manufacturing sector has consistently been the primary contributor to the state's growth. In 2021, Penang reached a record high in approved manufacturing investments at RM76.2 billion, followed by RM13.7 billion the following year. As of January to March 2023, Penang's approved manufacturing investments stand at RM3.3 billion, making it the second highest contributor among all states.

In terms of trade, Penang led the nation in 2022 with an unprecedented export value of RM463 billion, generating a noteworthy trade surplus of RM170 billion. Additionally, Penang's GDP witnessed the highest year-on-year growth among all states that year, exceeding RM100 billion, marking a 13 percent increase to RM112 billion.

This remarkable growth is primarily attributed to the manufacturing sector, which saw a 16 percent rise to RM54 billion, followed by an 11 percent increase in the services sector, reaching RM52 billion. These sectors, acting as the twin engines of the state's growth, accounted for 95 percent of Penang's overall GDP.

In terms of cultural heritage tourism, Penang is recognised as one of the most popular destinations in the world especially since our capital, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. Our diverse heritage and culture, stunning landscapes, and vibrant arts scene have garnered international recognition, featured by esteemed publications like CNN Travel, listing Penang as a top Asian destination for adventure in 2019 and one of the best destinations to visit in 2022.

Ladies and gentlemen,

All these achievements are a testament to the collective dedication and vision of the government, the private sector, and the people of Penang. Looking ahead, Penang will continue to build on the strength of our services sector, along with manufacturing and the digital economy, to achieve a GDP growth of 5.4 percent by 2025.

One of our strategic focuses is to promote creative economic programmes through exhibition and arts, to increase the organisation of International-level celebrations or festivals and to enhance business-related events (MICE activities), as well as to attract new hotels and expand direct flights to Penang, as outlined in the Penang Unity Manifesto 2023.

Recent developments, such as the reinstatement of direct flights from Hong Kong to Penang, the resumption of Qatar Airways flight services, and not to mention, today’s launch of The George Penang, are encouraging signs of progress.

In addition to that, we are also pleased to have several prestigious hotels in the pipeline that will further enhance Penang's tourism landscape, including InterContinental Penang, Crowne Plaza Penang, Le Méridien Penang Airport, and the Iconic Marjorie, among others. These ventures symbolize our dedication to fostering tourism growth through effective public-private partnerships.

Hence, as we stand united today, let us celebrate not only the birth of a grand hotel but also honour the resilience and unity of our community. The George Penang by The Crest Collection stands as a testament to what we can achieve when we unite with a shared vision and purpose.

In through this spirit of collaboration, we strive to propel Penang forward into an era of sustainable growth and development in keeping with the Penang2030 vision. We envision a Penang that continues to attract investment, supports innovation, preserves its rich heritage, and embraces the diversity that defines us.

As such, I hope to see more of such partnerships that will undoubtedly assist us in our goals. Let us continue to work hand in hand, for it is together that we can achieve greatness and ensure a brighter future for generations to come.

In closing, I wish to extend my gratitude to all those who have made this event possible, and I look forward to witnessing the positive impact that The George Penang will have on our beloved state and its people.

With that said, I hereby, with great pleasure, officially launch The George, Penang, and may the hotel flourish as a symbol of our unity, culture, and progress.

Thank you.

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