2011 New Year Message

2011 New Year Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng Released In Komtar, George Town On 31.12.2010

Penang Must Embrace The Future As An Intelligent And International City Which Allows Us To Live Freely With Dignity And Respect.

2010 ended with a bang when our Malaysian football players made us all proud by winning the AFF Suzuki Cup for the first time in 21 years. The Penang state government has responded to Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak in making a similar declaration of holiday to all state government employees to mark the historic occasion.

All Malaysians are proud of our football success because we have beaten our international neighbours. We do not want to be seen as jaguh kampongs but as international champions in the ASEAN region.

For this very same reason, Penang must embrace the future. The future for Penang is to transform itself into an international and intelligent city. We can succeed if we embrace our human talents by drawing on their energy, harnessing their entrepreneurship skills and tapping their expertise.

As a state without any natural resources, we need to build up our human capital by training, retraining, retaining and attracting new human talents. Penang has no choice but to be an intelligent city centered on high technology, high-value added and knowledge intensive economy. Penang PR government shall formulate policies that both encourages and engenders innovation that permits us to join the race to the top.

What all Penangites want is that our children can live in a Penang that is cleaner, greener, safer, public integrity and allowing equal opportunity to all. The Penang PR will strive towards making these aspirations become operational by empowering them with basic human rights, enriching them with moral values, enabling them with skills, providing affordable housing, overcoming poverty, improving roads and public transport, enhancing security and CCTVs, cleaning up Penang and protecting the environment with “No Free Plastic Bag” rulings.

We want a Penang where we and our children can live freely with dignity and respect.

In embracing the future we must not be stuck in the past of neglect and indifference. We must not be divided by those who wants us to see our diversity as the cause of our problems and not the source of our strength. We must not be diverted by those who preaches messages of resentment, anger and even hate as the solution to our problems instead of working harmoniously together.

Similarly, George Town and Penang has nearly 225 years of experience in living together in harmony and respect amongst the different ethnic groups and cultures symbolised by mosques, churches, Indian temples and Chinese temples built near to each other. This tradition of harmony and mutual respect was recognised by UNESCO when George Town was awarded World Heritage City status on 7.7.2008.

All Penangites are proud that our common heritage has achieved international recognition. We must not allow lies to blind us to the truth that we are all bonded by blood, driven by shared values of diversity and tested by time. Penang must embrace the future where we can compete internationally with dignity and respect.

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