Empowering Human Talent, Good And Clean Governance, Sustainable Development, Liveable City And A Shared Society Are Critical Success Factors For Economic Prosperity That Will Make Penang No.1 In Malaysia.(en/cn)

Opening Speech By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng During The One Week Kuala Lumpur Launch Of The “Penang Paradigm”(2013-2023) In Mid-Valley On 5.3.2013.

I am very pleased to be here today to officiate the Kuala Lumpur launch of the “Penang Paradigm”, which is a 10 year development framework(2013-2023) put together by the Penang Institute, the Penang state government think tank under the leadership of its Executive Director, Professor Datuk Woo Wing Thye, to develop Penang as an international and intelligent state. Or to put it simply to make Penang No.1 in Malaysia.

Let me first confess that the Penang state government humbly seek your help, the experts and general public out there outside from Penang – to get your inputs on how we can make the Penang Paradigm better so we can make Penang No. 1 faster. In other words, the Penang state government is adopting the crowd sourcing approach by considering changes from feedback to this Penang Paradigm Report. This novel crowd sourcing approach and willingness to concede to superior proposals and policies in and outside Penang is unlike previous development plans which are implemented without genuine public engagement and consultation.

Allow me to start by putting on record my appreciation for the contributions of Professor Woo, who is a world-renowned economist and a former special advisor to the United States Treasury, the United Nations and the Government of China. Though Professor Woo is unique in his talents, he is at the same time merely one among hundreds of thousands of talented Penangites who were lost to our country through “brain drain” in previous decades, and who are starting to return to serve Penang since 2008, in a transformation of “brain drain” into “brain gain”.

It is my long-held belief that Penang’s, and indeed Malaysia’s, most valuable export over the past 50 years has not been manufactured goods or services, but human capital – our talented sons and daughters. And what a tragic export business this has been.

Since Merdeka, 2 million Malaysians and Penangites, especially talented young people, have left because of lack of educational opportunities, lack of economic opportunities, discrimination, corruption and lack of social justice. Our loss has been other countries’ gain. Penang, especially, has given other countries their professors, doctors, engineers, chief justices and cabinet ministers. This state of affairs cannot be allowed to continue.

Hence, we have come up with this roadmap to address these and other problems affecting our development. Although it is a roadmap for Penang, we believe that the key policies proposed for Penang are also applicable to the rest of Malaysia. After all, what is good for Penang is also good for Malaysia, being that Penang is a significant contributor to the national economy, making up nearly half of total electrical and electronics exports and 9% of the country’s GDP.

Ladies and gentlemen

Our vision is for Penang once again to be a regional hub that will build, upgrade, attract and retain international talent. Penang can only do this by becoming an international and intelligent state – one that educates and nurtures talent; one that promotes and rewards diligence, expertise and entrepreneurship; one that is liveable by being clean, green, safe and healthy; and one that practices integrity, justice and people-centric governance.

Since 2008, we have worked with this vision in mind, despite the numerous constraints that we have faced. We have introduced open competitive tenders and compulsory asset declarations for EXCO members to weed out corruption and cronyism. We have made State Government contracts available for the first time for public scrutiny. We have legislated and pushed for freedom of information and local government elections despite Federal obstruction and opposition.

By operating a clean and competent government, we have reversed a string of deficits by recording consecutive budget surpluses year after year since 2008, and have reduced the State debt by 95%. And these surpluses are put to good use with innovations such as:-
• giving cash aid to the poor, senior citizens, the disabled, single mothers, trishaw riders, university, secondary and primary school students;
• yearly allocations for Chinese, Tamil, missionary and Islamic religious schools;
• providing fee wifi in public places throughout Penang;
• free bus services in the city of George Town as well as park and ride services across the Penang Bridge to ferry workers to and from the mainland to the island;
• carrying out infrastructure projects worth billions of ringgit to reduce traffic congestion and flash floods throughout the state;
• becoming the first state to allocate a RM500 million Affordable Housing Fund to build 19,172 units of the best quality that is managed by HDB Singapore; and
• becoming the first state to wipe out poverty in Malaysia in 2013 by ensuring a minimum household income of RM770 a month for every family in Penang, above the national Poverty Line Indicator (PLI) of RM763 a month.

In order to build on Penang’s human capital, we have set up learning and training centres as well as an educational hub in Balik Pulau. In the past five years, the arts and cultural scene in Penang has flourished with events such as the George Town Festival, and Penang has gained international renown for the revitalisation of our world heritage city.

In order to improve Penang’s liveability, we have thought outside the box by using new incentives to make Penang cleaner and safer, adopted green measures by banning free plastic bags, phasing out polystyrene bags to maintain the highest recycling rate in the country at 26% and by introducing a conservation surcharge to limit water wastage. We are also seeking to take this thinking outside the box forward by offering Rapid Penang RM10 million every year to provide free bus services throughout Penang during peak hours which has not been taken up by the federal government.

Ladies and gentlemen,

All that we have done in the last five years we have achieved in spite of the constraints of our country’s over-centralised Federal system, where the Federal Government gets 94% of Government revenues and the States get only 6%, and where crucial local matters such as public transport – buses, ferries – and the airport and the Penang Port are all under Federal Government control.

As a result, over the past 50 years, Penang has been badly neglected by the Federal Government, which has underinvested in Penang’s public transport infrastructure and in her seaport and airport. Our airport runway is still smaller than Langkawi’s, and too short to allow for the Airbus A380 to take off fully loaded. The iconic Penang ferry has simply been left to decline.

The Penang Port, which was the largest port in Malaysia in the 1950s and 60s, has been reduced to being a mere feeder port for Port Klang and TanjungPelepas in Johor. The Penang Channel has still not been dredged to allow larger ships to call at Penang, despite the RM353 million dredging project promised in the 9th Malaysia Plan, and the Penang Port Free Commercial Zone in Butterworth is too small to allow Penang to develop into a regional logistics hub.

All this needs to change if Penang is to reach its full potential as one of the principal powerhouses of the Malaysian economy. Despite being one of the smallest States in Malaysia, with only 6% of the national population, Penang held the top spot for foreign direct investment in Malaysia in 2010, repeating this feat in 2011, with foreign direct investment over the two years amounting to 28% of the national total. Penang contributed 25% of Malaysia’s exports, and nearly two thirds of its medical tourism receipts.

The twin pillars of the Penang economy – tourism and manufacturing, both require adequate investment in Penang’s hard and soft infrastructure if Penang and Malaysia are to flourish. For this reason, we have recently announced a RM6.3 billion project to construct 3 major highways to decongest roads in the island plans and South-East Asia first underwater sea tunnel as our third link to improve the connectivity between the Island and the Mainland. But more is needed to improve the airport, port, housing and public transportation infrastructure in Penang.

Ladies and gentlemen

The Penang Paradigm’s strategic vision is based on our greatest asset: our people. We believe that we can provide the best environment for people to live in if we have a people-centric government that invests in people, that educates and trains the people, that frees the people to innovate and engage in enterprise, and that liberates the people from ignorance, poverty and disability so that that they can be full participants in our economy and in our democracy.

We do not seek to manufacture economic growth through Government expenditure and spending by GLCs because we believe that the business of Government is to stay out of business. Instead we seek to turn Penang into a knowledge economy that emphasises science and technology and that relies on life-long learning and upskilling to generate human-capital-led growth.

Our belief that success and prosperity depends primarily on the people rather than on Government means recognising that in an increasingly globalised world, Penang must be able to fulfil a threefold “choice”, that is, to be the habitat of choice for residents, the destination of choice for tourists and the location of choice for investors in setting up business.

Quality of life in Penang should not be just for the rich, but for all who live and stay in Penang. This requires quality affordable housing, efficient and effective public transport, green open spaces accessible to all, a clean and healthy natural environment and a vibrant arts, culture and heritage landscape.

Thirdly, our emphasis on people means that we believe that we cannot prosper and develop as a State and as a nation if women, ethnic minorities, the poor and the disabled are shut off from full participation in our economy and our democracy. People-centric government requires eradicating poverty, eradicating unfair discrimination and eradicating corruption and cronyism, which elevates private interests and private profits above the public good.

In other words, empowering human talent, good and clean governance, sustainable development, liveable city and a shared society are critical success factors for economic prosperity that will make Penang No.1 in Malaysia. A shared society is crucial to ensure that prosperity is inclusive. A ‘shared society’ is a socially cohesive society. It is stable, safe based on four key characteristics:-
1. democratic participation in decision-making,
2. respect for diversity and the dignity of an individual,
3. equal opportunity; and
4. prohibition of all forms of discrimination.

I believe that the Penang Paradigm is the insightful and path-breaking model by Professor Datuk Woo and his team in Penang Institute with Zairil Khir Johari as his CEO, to let Penang lead again.

Making Penang No. 1 in Malaysia is possible. After all, Penang achieved international recognition in 2011 when it was selected by Yahoo Travel as No. 8 top island in the world you must see before you die. This year George Town became the No. 4 top place for retirement in the world, becoming the only Asian city in the top 8 list. And in 2011 and 2012, George Town became the most liveable city for the first time in Malaysian history, surpassing Kuala Lumpur for the first time ever.

But as I said earlier, while the Penang Paradigm is a roadmap to make Penang No. 1 in Malaysia as a balanced society and an international and intelligent State, the same lessons can be applied nationally. Lest we forget, at the time of the formation of Malaysia in 1963, Malaysian per capita income was 13.6% of US income, whereas Korea and Taiwan per capita incomes were both lower at 10.7% and 12.6% respectively.

We were clearly ahead of both Korea and Taiwan 50 years ago. Today, Malaysia is way behind being only half as rich as Korea and Taiwan. While Korea and Taiwan have made the leap into high income economies, Malaysia has been stuck in the middle-income trap despite its obvious natural advantages compared to those countries.
Income as % of US income (in GDP per capita)

Lastly, I would like to end by saying that the time has come when the people should no longer fear the government, but that the government should fear the people. And it is because we, the Penang state government, fear the people that we have adopted this crowd-sourcing approach in order to seek inputs from the people at large. And so, I hope you will all participate by giving your feedback in order to help us refine the Penang Paradigm.

Thank you.

—-Mandarin Version —

槟城首席部长林冠英于2013年3月5日在吉隆坡谷中城推介《槟城典范》时发表演讲,重点如下:

赋权与人才、良好施政、永续发展、宜居城市及共享型社会是经济繁荣的重要成功因素,打造槟城成为全马第一。

我一直相信槟城过去50年最珍贵的出口不是电子电气产品,而是人才,这真是悲惨的出口生意。

自从独立以来,200万名马来西亚人及槟城人,由于缺乏教育机会、经济机会、歧视、贪污及社会公义,槟城很多有才华的年轻人离开了,这是我们的损失,却让其它国家的得利。槟城输出人才已经成为其它国家的教授、医生、工程师、大法官、甚至内阁部长。这种事情不能继续发生。

我们相信我们所建议的关键政策,都适用于槟城和其他州属。槟城是国家经济的主要贡献者,占了总电子电气出口额的一半及国民生产总值的9%。

我们希望再次打造槟城成为一个培育、提升、吸引及留住国际人才的区域中心。槟城要成为智慧型国际化城市,教育及培育人才、推广及奖励勤勉、专才及企业家;成为干净、绿意、安全及健康的宜居城市,以及一个推广廉正、公义及民本施政。

自2008年,我们突破重重难关,推介了公开招标、强制槟城行政议员公布财产,遏止贪污及朋党。我们第一次让州政府合约让公众审查。尽管受到联邦政府及在野党的阻碍,我们立法制定资讯自由法及地方政府选举。

在治理廉洁及能干政府的情况下,我们在2008年之后的财政预算年年有余,并缩减了95%的债务。我们善用这些盈利:

. 派发援助金给贫穷者、乐龄人士、残障人士、学生及单亲妈妈;
. 每年拨款给华小、淡小、教会学校及宗教学校;
. 免费提供巴士穿行乔治市,以及“停车换乘”载送工作人士往返槟岛及威省。
. 在州内兴建基础设施,纾缓交通阻塞。
. 成为首个拨出5亿令吉可负担房屋基金的州属,兴建1万9172个高素质房屋,并由新加坡建屋局管理;
. 在2013年成为第一个扫除贫穷的州属,确保槟城每个家庭每月收入至少达770令吉,高于全国763令吉贫穷线。

为了栽培槟城人力资源,我们在浮罗山背成立学习及培训中心、教育中心。我们在公共场所提供免费无线上网。过去五年,槟城的艺术及文化发展欣欣向荣,我们拥有像乔治市节庆的活动,在复兴乔治市世界文化遗产城市方面,我们也获得国际认同。

为了让槟城更宜居,我们创意采取绿色措施如禁免费塑料袋、减用保丽龙,维持全国最高的再循环率26%,我们也推介附加费保护水资源。我们也提议每年付1000万令吉给槟城快捷通,在高峰期提供免费巴士服务,但是这项提议不被联邦政府接受。

尽管我国的联邦集权让槟城施政阻碍重重, 我们努力经营争取成就。联邦政府收取94%的税收,而州政府只获得6%,所有与人民生活息息相关的事务如公共交通(巴士、渡轮)、机场及槟城港口,皆在联邦政府的管辖之下。

过去50年,槟城严重被联邦政府忽略,公共交通、海港、机场的所获拨款都很少。我们的机场跑道甚至小过浮罗交怡的跑道,因为太短,导致A380型客机完全起飞升空。槟城的象征性渡轮也日渐没落。

槟城港口,曾是1950年及60年代最大的港口,已经减少成为巴生港口及柔佛丹绒柏勒巴斯港的集散港。槟城海峡也还没有如第9大马计划中那样,挖深让更大的船只停靠,北海槟城自由商贸区也太小,更本无法应付槟城发展成为区域物流中心的需求。

尽管槟城是全马最小州属之一,占全国6%人口,槟城在2010年及2011年的所获投资额全马居冠,占全国所获投资额28%。槟城出口额占全国25%,近乎2/3的医疗旅游收入来自槟城。

如果槟城及马来西亚要昌盛繁荣,槟城经济的两大支柱:旅游业及制造业,都需要槟城在硬软体建设的投资。因此我们最近宣布兴建价值63亿令吉的“两岸三通一槟城”,包括三条高速公路及一条海底隧道的计划,连接槟岛与威省,改善两地的交通。更重要的是改善槟城的机场、海港、住房及公共交通建设。

我们的策略性宏愿能成功所依赖的财产是“人民”。我们相信,槟城若要成为槟城人民喜爱生活的地方,唯有以民为本的政府投资在人民、教育及培训人民,让人民革新及参与企业、让人民从无知、贫穷及能力不足中解放出来,人民才能够完全参与我们的经济及民主发展。

我们不求通过政府开销及官联公司的花费来创造经济繁荣,因为我们相信政府生意就是不做生意。我们希望把槟城转型成为知识经济体,重视科技、终身学习并提升人力资源技能。

我们相信以人民为主体的成功与繁荣,而不是政府,也意味着在越来越全球化的世界,槟城必须成为三种群体的选择,那就是成为居民、旅客及投资者的首选地。

槟城必须为全体居民提高生活素质。这需要可负担房屋、有效率的公共交通、开放的绿色空间、干净与健康的自然环境,有活力的艺术、文化及建筑氛围。

第三,我们强调人民,意味着我们相信槟城之繁荣是全民之繁荣,如果妇女、少数民族、贫穷者、体残人士无法参与我们的经济及民主建设发展,我们将无法达致全民繁荣。以民为本的政府要做的是扫除贫穷、扫除不公平、歧视性政府、扫除贪污及朋党,把公共利益置于个人利益之上。

换句话说, 赋权予人才、良好廉洁施政、永续发展、宜居城市及共享社会,是槟城达致全马第一及经济繁荣的关键成功因素。尤其是共享社会,能确保昌盛繁荣真正概括全民。 一个共享社会是个群体合作的社会,是一个拥有以下4项特质的稳定、安全社会:
1. 民主参与的决策、
2. 尊重多元性及尊重个体尊严、
3. 平等机会、
4. 禁止各种形式的歧视

让槟城成为全马第一是可行的。再说,槟城在2011年已被雅虎旅游选为世界八大有生之年必游的岛屿。今年,乔治市成为世界四大退休后最适合居住城市(在世界八大中成为唯一入选的亚洲城市)。在2011年及2012年,乔治市也超越吉隆坡,成为最宜居的城市。

如我之前所说,当槟城典范作为引领槟城的大蓝图,让槟城成为大马第一等的平衡社会及智慧型国际城市的同时,槟城大蓝图同样可以全国性的实施。我们勿忘,1963年当共组马来西亚之际,我们的人均所得是美国人均所得的13.6%,然而韩国及台湾的人均所得则相对的只有美国人均所得的10.7%及12.6%。

50年前我们明显领先韩国台湾。今天,马来西亚的富裕程度只有韩国及台湾的一半,远落在后头。当韩台已经挤身高收入国之际,比人家拥有丰富天然优势的马来西亚却陷入中等收入陷阱。

马韩台人均所得占美国人均所得对照表(人均国内生产总值)

最后,,我谨以这句话作为总结,是时候了,当人民不再畏惧政府的时候,反之政府必须畏惧人民。这全都是因为我们,槟州政府畏惧人民,所以才主动展开走向人群、接触人群的活动,以获得人民给予更多的回馈。 我希望大家能尽所能给予建议回馈,好让我们能将槟城典范尽善尽美。

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