2011 Penang Christmas Message By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 24.12.2011.
Celebrating Hope In Penang By Establishing A People-Centric Government Based On Integrity. Good Governance And Letting The People Realise Their Full Potential.
Christians celebrate not just the birth of Jesus Christ but also hope on Christmas Day. We pray for peace, joy and goodwill to all. Penang also celebrates hope by establishing a people-centric government based on integrity, good governance and letting the people realise their full potential.
Penang has benefited from a clean government. It is not just praise for good financial management from the Auditor-General or from Transparency International for implementing open tenders and fighting corruption. Penang has recorded budget surpluses for the state government, MPPP and MPSP since 2008.
This has enabled social programmes and cash handouts to the elderly, disabled, single mother, new-born babies and students. Penang became the first state in Malaysia to wipe out hard core poverty by 2009. For 2012 the minimum income has been increased to RM600 monthly per household, where the state government will top up any difference to ensure that each family receives at least RM600 monthly. Penang intends to also be the first state in Malaysia to wipe out poverty by 2015.
Penang has also benefited from good governance through building institutions based on freedom, justice, truth and democracy. Freedom of speech and peaceful assembly is observed in Penang with the first Speakers’ Square in Malaysia and weekly protests held in the streets. There is a Freedom of Information Act and implementation of open
tenders to ensure the best price, quality and management. CAT governance of competency accountability and transparency has ensured a more responsive, accessible and effective government delivery system.
There is also freedom of worship where respect not tolerance is encouraged.
As Penang has no natural resources, building and developing human talent is the only way forward for Penang’s success and prosperity. Schools are given annual allocation to assist in their development needs. The establishment of a Penang Science Council(PSC) Is an important critical step to transform Penang into a center of excellence of science and technology. The astounding success of the Penang International Scienc Fair at PISA, the first science event held in a stadium in Malaysia, has not just inspired innovation but also inspired many young students to consider science as their career choice.
Integrity and good governance are key to building, retraining, retaining and attracting new human talent. Penang may be without natural resources of land, timber, gas and oil but there is no corruption driving away our human talent. The highest investment in Penang’s history last year when Penang topped the investment charts for the first time ever with RM 12.24 billion shows the confidence of not just foreign but also local investors with this approach. Let us remain united, respect our our freedom of worship and stay focused on preparing our children to face the challenges of the future.
LIM GUAN ENG